Confused


#1

Apologies in advance for what may seem a jumbled post and for possibly posting this is the wrong place.

Until recently I would have undoubtedly described myself as athiest - I think part of what 'drove' me from religion was attending a Scripture Union camp which at the age of 11 felt quite like brain washing? It just felt like everything was pushed on me very fast? Anyway I can't put my finger on it but recently I have felt a 'draw' to the church. I can't explain what the appeal of the Catholic faith in particular is (perhaps sense of family). My local church is Church of Scotland and while I know you shouldn't judge people I feel I would struggle there knowing some of the attendees as well as I do (I hate hypocrisy) and it seems to have become a bit of a social club/status symbol (I know that sounds odd, but you'd need to hear the conversations I do, I'm sure there are genuine members). The weird thing is when I start reading anything about Catholicism I realised I have always agreed with the RC Church's stance on many things to the point many people assumed I was a follower of the faith.

I have a fairly good grounding of the Christian faith (I studied RS up to higher level - yes even though I identified myself as an athiest). Maybe it was a subconscious thing. It was at Christmas I felt a particular pull, which I didn't act on as I'm unsure what to do. Is it acceptable to just start attending services? The nearest Catholic church is quite a distance away (I don't drive and local buses are atrocious) and I'm not keen on spending a lot of money (again I know that shouldn't be my focus) going to something I could be turned away from. I don't think I know anyone who attends and it seems a bit rude to ask people outright.

I've not been baptised into any religion. My mother (who lives with me) is not religious and I feel uncomfortable even broaching the subject with her (pathetic when I'm nearly 30 I know). I went to Sunday School for a short time as a child, but the only other time I was in church was Remembrance Sunday when my Dad (ex-Navy) was alive (he died when I was 9). I think I understand about RCIA training, I'm unsure about the baptism for purely selfish reasons - I hate receiving attention. What do I do? Just phone up the local priest? I wouldn't have the first clue as to what to say.

I've noticed there is an ALPHA course running near me in September, but given my working hours I don't know if it would be an option and, without meaning to sound impatient, I don't want to wait that long when I consider myself 99.9% sure.

Anyway sorry for rambling on. This is not a trolling post. The title I've used sums everything up really. Any suggestions would be gratefully received. I know I should have mentioned a love for God and Jesus, but I really don't feel in a position to articulate this properly....yet.


#2

Welcome to the forums! Whether or not you have heard this, the Holy Spirit is calling you to faith. Your heart has a great capacity for love, and this is what draws you to God's Church. To more fully understand the Catholic faith, and reasons for it, I highly recommend that you get a copy of Catholicism for Dummies, one of the Dummies series of books. It is well written and very easily understood. It is approved by the Church, and may be used as a catechism.

Another possibility is the Handbook of Christian Apologetics by Prof. Peter Kreeft. It provides reason for belief. There is also a condensed, pocket version.

One or more of these will help to remove many of the doubts that you have.


#3

Welcome to Catholic Answer Forums! :smiley:
We’re glad that you have joined us.

If you like reading, I would read up on St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica. It is a brilliant work of literature and faith written by arguably one of the smartest men who ever walked on the Earth. If you’re interested in digging into the brilliance of the Faith through its Scholastic roots, St. Thomas Aquinas is the way to go!


#4

[quote="Ailsa_M, post:1, topic:267746"]
Is it acceptable to just start attending services? The nearest Catholic church is quite a distance away (I don't drive and local buses are atrocious) and I'm not keen on spending a lot of money (again I know that shouldn't be my focus) going to something I could be turned away from. I don't think I know anyone who attends and it seems a bit rude to ask people outright.

[/quote]

Yes, beginning to attend Mass regularly is a great start. Absolutely no one will turn you away. I remember being nervous about attending for the first time, but once I started going, I couldn't get enough. (The only thing you won't be able to do as a non-Catholic, is receive Communion.) Sorry for the transportation difficulties, :( but hopefully you will be able to find a solution.

[quote="Ailsa_M, post:1, topic:267746"]
I've not been baptised into any religion. My mother (who lives with me) is not religious and I feel uncomfortable even broaching the subject with her (pathetic when I'm nearly 30 I know). I went to Sunday School for a short time as a child, but the only other time I was in church was Remembrance Sunday when my Dad (ex-Navy) was alive (he died when I was 9). I think I understand about RCIA training, I'm unsure about the baptism for purely selfish reasons - I hate receiving attention. What do I do? Just phone up the local priest? I wouldn't have the first clue as to what to say.

[/quote]

Just take it one step at a time. :) I would call up the local parish office and tell them that you are interested in becoming a Catholic and would like to know how to begin the process. They can help you from there. And don't worry about the baptism. It will be one of the greatest experiences of your life. (But again, take it one thing at a time. By the time you go through RCIA, you'll be ready for it.)


#5

"Alpha" is an Anglican program, mostly oriented toward the "evangelical" wing of the Church of England, or the Scottish Episcopal Church. I would call my local Catholic parish and ask to speak to the person in charge of RCIA.

You can sign-up and see where it leads you. Attending an Inquirers' Class does not obligate you to be Baptized. You are free to change your mind.


#6

Congradulations on your willingness to take the step to join the roman catholic church we have a rich history. I recommend that you call the priest and tell him you were an unbeliever untill recently and you want to join R.C.I.A. This is a class that teaches about the church without obligation to join, however the class ends prior to Easter and you then will be asked to choose if you want to join.

You may want to ask if there is others going to the class that could pick you up for class.


#7

Definitely make the effort to get to a Mass, and I would recommend giving the Pastor a heads up so you can talk to him ASAP. And I'd recommend learning as much about the Mass as you can as soon as possible. The more awareness you have of the meanings of the rituals, the theology behind them, and the better your personal disposition and prayer the more you'll get out of it and the faster you'll be tracked to grow in holiness, even before you get to receive Communion you'll still benefit from the graces of the sacrificial prayer.

Oh, and I'll warn you beforehand that right now the Church is lacking a lot of its catechesis and liturgical mystique. Don't be surprised if you somehow already know things others don't or if the Masses themselves are kind of corny. Just forewarning you, I expected medieval stereotypes and got warm feelings and cabaret music.


#8

[quote="Ailsa_M, post:1, topic:267746"]
It was at Christmas I felt a particular pull, which I didn't act on as I'm unsure what to do.

[/quote]

Indeed, rejoice! This is God's grace. I'll be praying for you. :)

Is it acceptable to just start attending services? The nearest Catholic church is quite a distance away (I don't drive and local buses are atrocious) and I'm not keen on spending a lot of money (again I know that shouldn't be my focus) going to something I could be turned away from. I don't think I know anyone who attends and it seems a bit rude to ask people outright.

Yes, you can definitely start attending services, as long as you don't take Communion. As for transportation: I'd do whatever possible to make it. Otherwise, I'm afraid I'm not sure what I'd do. It might also help to look into local classes, so that you may in fact be baptized and confirmed, if you find that Catholicism is Truth.

I think I understand about RCIA training, I'm unsure about the baptism for purely selfish reasons - I hate receiving attention. What do I do? Just phone up the local priest? I wouldn't have the first clue as to what to say.

Yep -- just call your local Catholic parish, and explain that you're interested in exploring, and possibly entering, the faith. You're definitely not alone.

Just for some inspirational reading, here are two of my favorite blogs:
whyimcatholic.com/
patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/

God bless!


#9

Just a quick thankyou to everyone who responded. I’m looking out a few of the books recommended (and at transport options).


#10

Thanks be to God!

One piece of advice (I hate saying that, I'm no expert!) that I would give is when I re-embraced my catholic faith (raised catholic, then drifted, then back in) was that I tried to do everything perfect, which I eventually found out was not possible (if I had a nickel for every time I "messed up" in the rote prayers...). Long story short, embracing the faith and living it out is a life long process. Don't be concerned with doing everything "right". Approach God in humility, but with joy as well, thanking Him for His blessings and His workings in your life.

:highprayer:


#11

[quote="4givemeasinner, post:10, topic:267746"]
Thanks be to God!

One piece of advice (I hate saying that, I'm no expert!) that I would give is when I re-embraced my catholic faith (raised catholic, then drifted, then back in) was that I tried to do everything perfect, which I eventually found out was not possible (if I had a nickel for every time I "messed up" in the rote prayers...). Long story short, embracing the faith and living it out is a life long process. Don't be concerned with doing everything "right". Approach God in humility, but with joy as well, thanking Him for His blessings and His workings in your life.

:highprayer:

[/quote]

Good advice. I was just saying that God has been showing me the same thing on another thread, and then I came here and read this. I'll take it as a sign ;)


#12

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