There is someone very close to me, raised a cradle Catholic, who turned away from the Church in his teens because he couldn’t accept many of the supernatural aspects of faith, like the Resurrection. He is now approaching 50 and confided in me the other day that something in him is causing a longing to return to the Church, even though he still cannot accept on faith the things that caused him to doubt in his teens.
I said that if he feels a need to be united with the Church he should start attending Mass, and seek the sacrement of Penance. He said he didn’t see how he could do that when he didn’t believe in what was happening in a sacrement. I told him that nonetheless, if he felt called back to the Church he should do those things and see where Grace led.
He seemed disappointed in my response but I didn’t know what else to say. Does anyone have any ideas? Surely most of us have struggled at one time with another believing in this or that teaching of the Church, but when the doubt is about practically everything we are taught, I don’t know if it is possible to resolve a conflict between wanting to return to the Church even while not accepting its most core teachings.