Can't believe but want to believe?

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.

Invite him to come here to ask about his difficulties. Most often people are simply misinformed and never got a good answer. I will keep your friend in my prayers today.

… My dear friend ,

I would just sau taht we must believe all on faith , the only thing we can know for certain is we exists and not who or what we are without faith that is , the normal operandus modi is to believe all on faith , if we find it so easy to believe millions and millions of things on faith most with no real proof at all then why not believe the testimony and belief of billions over 2,000 yrs that confession is and does what it says , he should strive to repent now with an ect of perfect contrition and just take a small leap of faith by confessing to a priest , he has heternity in heaven to gain if he’s right ( and he is - billions testify to it and have given their lives for this scarament for many so they really take it serious ) and if he gets it wrong and won’t sit with a priest for a few minutes to unburden jhis soul which will leave him a whole new man ( much better than paying psychologists ) he runs the risk of forsaking god and choosing an eternal destiny without god - hell , for the sake of 5 or 10 mins with th epriest why not just go , and pray hatd him and all for him , the devil will / is working furiously to keep him out of the church – note this , hope this helps …

… God bless you :thumbsup::slight_smile: ,

… John …

Your friend would have a problem if he willfully gives into his doubts and willfully denies the faith because when we willfully deny some teaching of the faith or willfully give into some doubt regarding the faith, this is considered a sin by the Church. Your friend truly wants to believe so maybe he isn’t willfully giving into doubts regarding the faith. He should pray for the gift of faith and give his assent to faith without understanding the things he disbelieves. St. Augustine says that understanding will follow once we give our assent to faith … and I know this to be true.

Accepting the resurrection is the core of our faith. There is good evidence outside of the bible that Jesus actually existed and that His apostles actually existed and spread the gospel throughout many countries. These were men that knew Him personally before He died and they saw and spoke with Him after the resurrection.

Only St. John died of old age. The eleven other apostles were executed because they preached about Jesus. They actually laid their lives on the line for what they had seen with their own eyes. They didn’t do this for power, glory, money, or an easy life.

What are the chances that these eleven men would go to their deaths for a lie? Ask your friend that.

I think that the fact that the apostles died as martyrs is pretty convincing that what they said they experienced and witnessed is true, not to mention the many hundreds of martyrs in every century who died instead of denying Christ.

I wonder if your friend would be willing to make a bet or try an experiment to see if God would reveal Himself to him. Ask him if he would sit in church in front of the tabernacle for an hour a day for two weeks. Why not? Isn’t it worth 14 hours out of his life to find out? If he won’t even do this I’d say he isn’t serious about wanting to find out the truth about God. And isn’t it better to find out now instead of waiting until he dies?

While he’s sitting there he should ask, “Jesus, if You are real, if you are the Son of God the Father, if you died for me, if you rose from the dead, if you are alive now, and if you are somehow present here in the Blessed Sacrament, please give me the faith to believe in You.”

I’m betting that God would do something to show him the truth.

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