Depth of the catholic experience


#1

From the majesty of saying the hours to the battle and beauty of contemplative prayer . Mother church guided by the holy spirit has enough spiritual rewards for all who heed her clarion call.

yet still some leave/never enter Why?

please no tired reformation arguments. Just from the heart why arent u catholic


#2

I am neither Catholic nor Chrisitan. I was raised by a Methodist mother and Mormon father. When I was growing up I would go to the Methodist church with my Mom and look at people and wonder why I didn’t feel the same way that they did about Chrisitanity.To me Jeus was a nice person but not the Messiah. I wanted to belive. To be like everyone else there. But I just didn’t . That is why I’m not Chrisitan.
Now I married someone that was raised Catholic but no longer practices and doesn’t view himself as Catholic anymore. I’ve been to church with him and it did not inspire me to convert. His parents and brother are practicing Catholics. And because of my religion many problems have occured because they say that the reason they are doing these things is because they are Catholic. They didn’t come to our wedding because it wasn’t Catholic. I respect their beliefs but don’t agree. Our wedding incorporated both my husband and my beliefs. I can’t pray around them because I’m not Catholic and they are. I just don’t believe that God would be that exclusionary, segregating. If God wanted everyone to be the same, believe the same,we would be exaxt replicas of each other. In my head, I get the picture of the Stormtroopers from Starwars. All black and white and lined up, running, doing the same thing. I don’t believe that God would say, put me first and you’re family second. To me life is not that black and white. I don’t believe that I’m not Catholic because God just hasn’t shown me the truth yet. And when people say that, it infuriates me because I believe that is arrogance. Truth is subjective in a lot of instances. In England a cat is cat. But, in Franch it’s chat. Some people view a cat as a meal while others a household pet. All we have to do is to look at history to see that there are many sides to truth and it is not always so clean cut so black and white. So that is why I’m not Catholic in a nutshell.


#3

I am confused here. You say that you are pagan. Who do you pray to? I think that any Christian might be uncomfortable going to a pagan wedding or praying with a pagan.


#4

In my own nutshell :slight_smile: , I do not believe that there is a singular omnipotent, omniscient God, (that is why I am not a monotheist) much less that Jesus is that God (that is why I am not a Christian). I do not believe that the Pope or any other individual is infallible in religious matters (or any other matters as far as that goes), even only when speaking ex cathedra; that people who are LGBT are automatically damned for trying to responsibly express their inherent sexuality in a monogamous consenting adult relationship; that practicing responsible birth control is bad in a monogamous consenting adult heterosexual relationship; that religious leaders should be required to be celibate; that women are less fit than men to be religious leaders; etc (that is why I am not Catholic) .

True the Catholic Church has given the world some gorgeous liturgy, music, art, architecture, etc. It has been a force for literacy, education, and social welfare. I am glad of all these things. However, all of those things together do not compel me to belief in it as the One True Religion ™ because the theology of the Catholic Church does not match my experience of spiritual reality.

If I could have stayed Christian, I would have stayed within the Episcopalian Church for the reasons stated above (see why I am not Catholic). If I could have honestly stayed monotheistic (and could have dealt with the cultural issues related to Judaism), it would likely have been within Reform Judaism (see why I am not Christian). I was not able to do either of those things and be honest with myself about my own religious experience. That is why I am a polytheistic Hellenic Neopagan Unitarian Universalist.


#5

You are right, there are many wonderful things, beauty and spiritual rewards available withing Catholicism. The reason I left is that according to the Catholic Church all members MUST believe certain things, and I did not. Because I did not, and could not believe everything required by the church, I left.

Rather than be a troublemaking Catholic, I left to fully live a faith that I believed in.

I believe that religions have the right to set guidelines and rules and beliefs for their members, and that if a person does not care to live by those, they, by definition are not really members of that faith.

cheddar


#6

I could ask questions or address perhaps, some of your issues, but what really struck me here was the irony of polytheism existing in a sect that originally was about God being one (as in no trinity, no multitude of gods…).


Bill


#7

Oh, I’m fully aware of the irony, believe me :smiley: . I also fully realize that as a polytheist I am definitely a minority, even among UUs. Want some more irony? I am also part of Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF), a US-based Neopagan organization that focuses on all Indo-European pre-Christian religions, but calls itself Druidic. I get looks when I say that I am a member of ADF, but do not follow a Celtic pantheon. What can I say? I didn’t pick the names for either organization, but find the organizations best fit my needs :slight_smile: .

We are part of the Unitarian Universalist church for a variety of reasons. We share their focus on social justice issues and it provides a spiritual community for us and our child (we are geographically isolated in terms of our religious beliefs). As it is non-creedal, it is not a problem that the beliefs of the people in the church vary.


#8

I agree the church has many beautiful and meaningful things. The reason I usually appear to be in the cafeteria line and tend towards leaving has to do with being tired of needing to lie to myself and those around me about irrelevant and untenable teachings. For example:
[LIST]
*]We know enough of history, geography, and science, and ancient literary forms to put to rest the traditional claim that the bible is infallible and innerant in areas where it was never meant to be. Even though the church discusses this in a few relatively obscure documents such as Dei Verbum, the leaders seldom act or teach as if it is accepted.
*]We know enough biology to figure out that the male and female contribute something to the making of a child. The ancients believed that the male seed included everything and the woman only served as the incubator - a misconcept which forms the basis for an endless variety of sexually related sins and sexual prohibitions.
*]The church still insists on treating women as the mindless property they were considered to be 2000 years ago. Ignoring the seeming impossibility of women’s ordination as less important, there is still no woman in any position of magesterial authority.
*]The knowledge gained in the last few hundred years requires that we rethink the reasoning behind many traditional beliefs. We know that God isn’t “up there” above the sky, that germs and genetics cause disease, that weather is the result of such things as El Nino winds and low pressure systems, and that the victory or defeat of a nation in military conflict is explained not on the basis of divine intervention, but rather on which nation had the larger army and the greater military capability. C[FONT=Arial]urative agents as antibiotics, surgery, and chemotherapy, all of which are morally neutral, work as effectively on sinners as they do on saints. [/FONT][/LIST]I believe that the current drastic decline in the power of institutional Catholicism is occurring not because of liberal compromises with the ancient verities or recent liturgical changes but because the traditional basis upon which the faith system has been erected can no longer be sustained. The heart will at the very least resist worshiping what the mind rejects.

I have a hard time being drawn to blindly accept and obey a religion which suggests that salvation comes through the barbaric human sacrifice of a perfect person who was crucified to appease a mythologically offended theistic deity (who through some twist of logic turns out to be himself). Neither am I attracted to the idea that in the shedding of Jesus’ blood somehow the price of sin was paid and that ritual cannibalism is required to fully partake in this “mystery”. These threadbare concepts are not worthy today of eliciting worship. Indeed, they have become grotesque.

All the above are assembled from my comments in past threads so we don’t really have to drag ourselves through it all again - these are just some of my answers to your question. Obviously though, I am still here and still searching.


#9

The Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholic life and has been so since Christ left. Just saying to look on this topic as a spiritual one in addition to an intellectual one may yield better results. I would find it harder to be a Catholic and Christian without the Eucharist with all the suffering and evil in the world. It’s something I need to contemplate more; it’s some peace and joy and hope and promise all bound up.
sorry I butted in


#10

What is so sad (to me at least) about most of the above posts is that they fall into the same patterns I see on other forums.

  1. I don’t believe this concept of God that I developed as a child and never bothered to develop further.

  2. I want to do what I want to do.

  3. God’s commandments aren’t the way I would have written them, so they must be wrong.

  4. God doesn’t meet my expectations, so I’ll ignor him and invent my own.

  5. I want to have sex with whomever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, however I want. What amazes me is that in my experience this seems to be the “root cause” of most people leaving the Church, becoming pagans, atheists, and/or downright anti-religious (not that anyone here is all of those things, or left for that reason). This item “feeds backwards” into items 2-4.

That sex is the tool that Satan uses for his own purposes is to be expected. The holiness of our sexual differences and the act of co-creating new life with God are intrinsic to our very purpose - and marriage was the very first sacrament and covenant with mankind. One MUST understand this, or you will not understand much of Catholicism, God, our yourself.

If you are interested in this, I suggest googling “Theology of the Body”, or else read these 2 (easy) articles:

this link or this link.


#11

Mickey,
I never said that I was pagan. I just said that I wasn’t Catholic or Christian. I have never asked my inlaws to pray with me. I have only wanted them to give me the same respect that I would give them in my house, to pray to God. I would understand and not expect them to utter my same words of pray. My husband and I also did not have a pagan wedding. We were married by a female minister. We did not ask them to participate in the wedding. We just wanted them there to support my husband not necessarily his religious inclinations, he is Christian. They just said they couldn’t come to our wedding because it wasn’t Catholic. They didn’t even suggest that we get a dispensation in order for them to come to the wedding.


#12

Well, let’s see:

1. I don’t believe this concept of God that I developed as a child and never bothered to develop further.

The Catholic Church has a different conception of God than as singular, omnipotent and omniscient? The Catholic Church does not teach that Jesus is that God?

I spent 20 years mostly as an adult working very hard to reconcile my actual experience with monotheistic and most specifically Christian beliefs. This was done in several different denominations, from the extreme Calvinism of my youth, through association with Pentecostal/Evanglelical movements (because of family) into a very deliberate choice of the Episcopal Church. It involved very in-depth study, independently and with groups, including for lay ministry in the Episcopal Church. Even after I realized that I could no longer honestly call myself Christian despite all the theological gymnastics in which I had engaged, I studied Reform Judaism with a rabbi for an extended period of time, trying to remain within monotheism.

The decision to leave Christianity and monotheism was not one that I made lightly or on the spur of the moment, but in light of personal religious experience. It was certainly not the easiest path or choice. The path of least resistance would have been to remain at least nominally Christian in order to fit in with my family and my broader society. It would not have been an honest choice.

2. I want to do what I want to do.

Hardly. My religion often calls me to make decisions that are not following the easiest path or what I would like to do. Instead it calls me to behave responsibly, with wisdom, moderation and respect for others and the effects of my actions upon them.

3. God’s commandments aren’t the way I would have written them, so they must be wrong.
4. God doesn’t meet my expectations, so I’ll ignor him and invent my own.

Why should you be surprised that there are people who do not agree with your understanding of deity when there are billions of people whose understanding of deity with which you do not agree?

Orthodox Jews could say the same about Christians when it comes to God’s commandments not being the way Christians would have written them, so they must not apply anymore.

**5. I want to have sex with whomever I want, whenever I want, wherever I want, however I want. **

Well, let’s see. I am a monogamous heterosexual woman who has never had sex with anyone other than her husband. I was a virgin until I entered into committed relationship with him when I was 30 (we had a handfasting–a binding religious wedding-- before we had our legal wedding). I have one very desired child and had one very medically difficult miscarriage before her. We practiced birth control until we felt we were at a point where we could responsibly take care of a child, emotionally, physically and financially. After her birth, it was not medically advisable that I become pregnant again, so my husband opted for a vasectomy as it seemed the most responsible course for me to do what I could to stay around and raise the child that I had rather than risk death in attempting to have another one. That hardly seems to meet your description of sexual hedonism and free-for-all.


#13

I imagine he picked it up from your public profile.


#14

Don’t know if the above is original/from your heart or if you got it from somewhere else… nonetheless, it is beautifully worded… Thank you for sharing it with us :slight_smile:


#15

For all the first few posts, to put it simply… you can not speak of which you do not understand. You think like man thinks and it is why you do not understand the faith that was handed to us from God himself. Think you can grasp the mind of God?

My best advice. If you believe there is God, pray and ask Him to help you understand. Ask for the gift of faith. You cannot understand unless you first have faith.
And if you think you have…well, keeeeeep asking…He wouldn’t refuse you!


#16

Just because there are many interpretations of the truth does not mean many sides after all there is one truth many erroneous interpretations.:wink:

God Bless

Arthur
Ad Jesu per Mariam


#17

** Quite a mouthful basically Catholicisim does not interest you and you a are happily and freely a polytheistic . Neopagan. That begs the question why are you here on Catholic Answers ?:rolleyes: I certainly don’t go to SDA sites and post messages think about it.
**
God Bless

Arthur
Ad Jesu Per Mariam


#18

**Its original thanks for the compliment :slight_smile: **


#19

I think that many protestants do not even open the door a sliver to the catholic church because they were taught from a very young age that anything Catholic is evil and against God.

It reminds me of when i was little. There began a trickle of russian immigrants and I HATED them! But later in life when i befriended some russians i realized how stupid it was to hate them.

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!!


#20

This very thought has run through my mind upon reading several people’s posts in recent past… and I’m still scratching my head here & there… It’s not as if the site name title/name/url or anything in it is ambiguous…

My apologies… no harm intended… It’s just something I don’t get :confused:


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