Difficult Question

I have a very important question about the faith thats seriously bothering me. I’m not quite sure how to word this, but I’ll do my best. For a little background, I’m 16. After making some big mistakes in my life, I came back to the faith about two years ago. To give you an idea of where I am, I now pray Vespers, a decade of the rosary, and spend about 20 minutes just conversing with God. I’m also considering the priesthood. I try to center my life around God and have been doing a lot of spiritual reading and deep thinking lately.

Now, today I had a conversation with some family members. They too are Catholic, but they believe I’m going too far. They think that I’ve been “brainwashed” by this site and other Catholic media – especially because of my intense opposition to Obama.

Now…prepare for some run-on sentences. They made some good points that seemed logical, saying I shouldn’t simply believe what anyone tells me is true – especially the church regarding abortion, euthanasia, etc. However, I’ve read a lot of Catholic apologetics that are equally logical, not only about abortion but about the truth of Christianity. I think I’ve weighed both sides of all of these issues, but they made me wonder. They made it seem like I’m just jumping into things and the fact that God doesn’t exist is equally possible, and I hesitated. Now - Is it okay if I just harden myself against their arguments and refuse not to *not *believe, or is that not **real **faith? I almost feel like I’m picking the Catholic life because if I’m right, I go to heaven but if I’m wrong, all I lost was a lifetime and I spent it helping others anyway. However, if I chose to give up and just live the way the world suggests, if I was wrong I’d be eternally separated from God, and if I was right I just got a few decades of happiness. Is this an okay motivation for the faith??? I do believe, but when I talk with non-believers there’s always the slightest nagging doubt – “what if I’m wrong? What if its not true?” Everything seems to fit so beautifully in the Catholic faith, but atheist friends have told me they fit too well. I’ve come to love it. I love God and I think I have a good, developing relationship with Him – but people have instilled this irritating thought that there is the slightest chance that I’m just fooling myself and this whole thing is a result of my guilt about my past. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Please help! I just want to leave this behind so that my faith may be full and unshakable.

My parish priest says that doubt is an impetus to pray more, and to grow more in spirituality and faith.
You are intelligent, and open to different ways of perceiving and questioning. It’s human.
Life causes us to question truths, but the help of friends’ logical debate can make it more difficult for us.
If you study for the priesthood you will face a lot of real questions, and dealing with them will challenge you to deeper faith.

Anyone who isn’t as committed as we are is likely to believe we go to extremes. They thought this of Jesus and killed Him for it. They thought it of the apostles, and did the same. Others can feel uncomfortable if family members are more devout than they. I had an uncle who thought I was a religious maniac because I go to daily Mass. My husband, who is an atheist would only be annoyed with me if I didn’t, because he’s a perfectionist, and if I believe, then in his opinion I should go “all out” , I shouldn’t be a lukewarm Catholic…but he’s a rarity I think!

If any of my family…and one of my sisters did at one stage, think that my commitment is “over the top”, they long ago got over it. It’s just Trishie. It’s what she is and does…because their interaction with me is loving, happy, cheerful and at times amusing. I’m an enthusiastic person with a sense of ‘mischief’ so all the family, religious or not, just accept and love me for who I am, and make space if necessary, for my going to Mass. They come to accept you at your own place unless you do want to give them too much power over your choices.

What I mean is, your family will get over your full-on commitment.
And you don’t have to engage in any more discussion if you don’t wish to at this time. You have enough to process already. You can say something like, “Please accept where I am. I would ask you to respect my choices, and leave it at that for now.”

But that’s only one aspect of your post. I’ll go collect the mail that’s just arrived, it being midday here, and give that some thought before replying…as someone who has a mind that has questioned many things in its life.

God bless you

I know what you’re going through.

I sometimes wonder

“If I’m wrong, then I’m basically wasting my life”

someone once said

“serving Christ means living in a way the would be stupid if the gospel was untrue.”

I’d like to speak to this part of your question, it seems to me that
you most likely have been given a great gift of faith and your intense desire to know, love and serve God obviously come from the grace you’ve been given. Your response to that is what is important, not what others tell you. I’d say to continue the path you are on, you obviously are wise beyond your years.

I will pray for you to stay on His narrow path that all too often others will not join you on. HE IS WORTH THE JOURNEY!! Our Lord and King love us so much. Do not think you are alone. Doubt can come to all. The enemy of our souls tries to steer us away from Him. You should continue on :slight_smile:
God bless you and keep you in His tender care as you grow in faith,
mlz

What a blessing you have been given. You are still so young and I firmly believe you shouldn’t be afraid to question. The Catholic church teaches the Truth, so if you seek the Truth you will find yourself here again. Don’t lock down the questions you have right now, explore them. Talk to a knowledgeable priest about your questions about God existing. Read the church fathers and great saints’ writings like Augustine and Aquinas. Logically think through our universe. If you do that, you will come full circle again and see that our beautiful and savage Universe was created by something intelligent, and we call that intelligent force God.

I am much older than you and come back here via a very circuitous route so I speak from experience (as it sounds you do as well) that nothing else makes sense. I noted narrowpath’s comment that “serving Christ means living in a way the would be stupid if the gospel was untrue.” and have to say that even if I die and find out that God doesn’t exist, I wouldn’t trade my faith in Christ for anything. If you seek truth, love the Lord, serve others and bring happiness and joy to all those around you; no one could possibly say that was a waste. We will all die some day whether or not we believe in God, so we lose nothing by living our lives in a faithful and upright manner.

Continue searching and questioning. That is what you should be doing especially at your age now. With grace, you may become an outstanding priest, or perhaps find another vocation. It is in God’s hands, but do not be afraid of the questions. They are almost more important than the answers.

Book of James, chapter one:

2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it.

You’ve been given such good responses, I’ll just pray for you.

The proof of Catholicism is actually scientific at this time. Very soon it may be widely accepted as true.

In Kibeho, Rwanda prior to the genocide, the Mother of the Word appeared. She said a “river of blood” would happen if people did not convert, repent,pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows, and stop committing various moral sins, such as the girls sleeping with certain men. Did a river of blood happen? This New York Times Article on the Rwandan genocide documents the apparitions of Mary prior to the genocide. query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400E4D81738F93BA35757C0A96F958260

Then we look at Fatima, Portugal. See some of the messages from Mary to the three little children: The war [World War I was still raging] is going to end. But if people do not stop offending God, another and worse one will begin in the reign of Pius XI… When you shall see a night illuminated by an unknown light [on January 25-26, 1938 from 9PM to 2AM there appeared over the Northern Hemisphere a very unusual light that scared many people. The New York Times devoted almost an entire page to the event. Scientists attributed it to an exceptional aurora borealis] “know that this is the great sign that God gives you that He is going to punish the world for its many crimes by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father” [Within two months of the sign, in March of 1938, Hitler invaded his first country, Austria.] %between% http://www.loveandmercy.org/loveandmercy/fatima.htm

New York Times article: January 26, 1938
Aurura Borealis Startles Europe; People Flee in Fear, Call Firemen; Britons Thought Windsor Castle Ablaze–Scots See Ill Omen-Snow-Clad Swiss Alps Glow–Short-Wave Radio Halts The most brilliant display of an aurora borealis in fifty years held Britons spellbound over a wide area of this country tonight. From 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. the people of London watched two magnificent arcs rising in the east and west, from which radiated pulsating beams like searchlights in dark red, greenish blue and purple. [End of First Paragraph] Buy This Article, Single Article $3.95 select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F00817FB355A157A93C4AB178AD85F4C8385F9

Other articles
Los Angeles Times, Jan 26, 1938 Aurora Borealis Upsets Europeans pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/743927742.html?dids=743927742:743927742&FMT=CITE&FMTS=CITE:AI&date=Jan+26%2C+1938&author=&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&desc=Aurora+Borealis+Upsets+Europeans&pqatl=google

Chicago Daily Tribune, Jan 26, 1938Aurora Borealis Glows in Widest Area Since 1709Abstract (Document Summary) Radio and telegraphic communication was disrupted and persons in many parts of the world were awed tonight as the aurora borealis [northern lights] flamed brilliantly farther south than the phenomenon ever has been seen by this generation.
pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/441756312.html?dids=441756312:441756312&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&date=Jan+26%2C+1938&author=&pub=Chicago+Daily+Tribune&desc=AURORA+BOREALIS+GLOWS+IN+WIDEST+AREA+SINCE+1709&pqatl=google
Why was the church punished?

Mother Teresa*“The fruit of abortion is nuclear war.”*

Let us compare slavery/colonialism/racism, genocide, abortion/euthanasia, and nuclear war in the level to which they value life. Slavery/colonialism/racism - treats another group of people like dogs, but still wants them alive to work.
Genocide - decides another group of people needs to be exterminated. Abortion/euthanasia - decides than one’s own self or one’s own children need to be exterminated.

Are these the times that we are living in? A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, **"Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ **Luke 23:27-30

Nuclear war - potential for exterminating the entire world - nature everything.

When I read St. Maria Faustina’s Diary, I am struck that God held his hand back from punishing the world because of her. I am also struck that she mentioned that one city would receive wrath of God for punishment of its sins, like the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the footnotes, it was suggested that this city may be Warsaw. She died at age of 33 - just like Christ - on October 5, 1938. In March of 1938, Hitler invaded his first country in WWII. On January 1939, Hitler announced in a public speech, “If international-finance Jewry inside and outside Europe should succeed once more in plunging the nations into yet another world war, the consequences will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” “Justice is mine,” says the Lord, I will repay."

39 +One day Jesus told me that He would cause a chastisement to fall upon the most beautiful city in our country [probably Warsaw]. This chastisement would be that with which God had punished Sodom and Gomorrah. I saw the great wrath of God and a shudder pierced my heart. I prayed in silence. After a moment, Jesus said to me, My child, unite yourself closely to Me during the Sacrifice and offer My Blood and My Wounds to My Father in expiation for the sins of that city. Repeat this without interruption throughout the entire Holy Mass. Do this for seven days. On the seventh day I saw Jesus in a bright cloud and began to beg Him to look upon the city and upon our whole country. Jesus looked [down] graciously. When I saw the kindness of Jesus, I began to beg His blessing. Immediately Jesus said, For your sake I bless the entire country. And He made a big sign of the cross over our country. Seeing the goodness of God, a great joy filled my soul.

Diary of St. Maria Faustina Divine Mercy in My Soul saint-faustina.com/Diary/DMIMS1.shtml

Scientific Proof

In A.D. 700 “at the monastery of St. Loginus in Lanciano, Italy, a priest from the Order of St. Basil was celebrating Mass. Having doubted the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the priest saw, during the consecration, the bread miraculously transfored into a circle of flesh and the wine appear as bright as fresh blood. Eventually, the liquefied blood turned into five pellets of various sizes and shapes. When the local archbishop later weighed the pellets, it was discovered that one nugget weighed the same as all five together, two as much as any three, and the smallest as much as the largest. In February of 1574, another test was done on the miraculous blood pellets. Again, any one of the pellets weighed along equaled the weight of all five pellets together. In 1970, further tests were made on the body and blood of Jesus. Analysis has proved that the bread and wine contain characteristics of real human flesh and blood. Both belonged to the same blood type, AB. Eventually the Franciscans rebuilt the church that houses the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. It is now called the Church of St. Francis (Michael Freze, S.F.O. Voices, Visions, and Apparitions) (http://www.concernedcatholics.org/miracles.htm)”

This miracle was first studied scientifically in 1970-1971 by Dr. Edoardo Linoli, professor of anatomy, pathological histology, chemistry and clinical microsocpy, and the former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo, published in pub med: Quad Sclavo Digan. 1971. Sep; 7(3): 661-74. Histological, immunological and biochemiccal studies on the flesh and blood of the eucharistic miracle of Lanciano (8th century) ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4950729?ordinalpos=28&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum
(Pubmed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health that includes over 18 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources)

Findings:
"* The Flesh is real Flesh. The Blood is real Blood.

  • The Flesh and the Blood belong to the human species.
  • The Flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.
  • In the Flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium.
  • The Flesh is a “HEART” complete in its essential structure.
  • The Flesh and the Blood have the same blood-type: AB(Blood-type identical to that which Prof. Baima Bollone uncovered in the Holy Shroud of Turin)
  • In the Blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteric make-up of the fresh normal blood.
  • In the Blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
  • The preservation of the Flesh and of the Blood, which were left in their natural state for twelve centuries and exposed to the action of atmospheri and biological agents, remains an extraordinary phenomenon.

therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/lanciano.html

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a latter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10-20

And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’ knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come not to bring peace but the sword.
For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple – amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.Matthew 10:32-42

Also see: Case for Christ by Lee Strobel. amazon.com/Case-Christ-Journalists-Personal-Investigation/dp/0310209307 He was a former atheist, Chicago Tribune Legal editor, and Yale law graduate who wanted to use historical evidence to prove Christianity wrong and instead converted into a Protestant pastor. :wink:

P.S. St. Louis Marie de Montfort wrote, The Secret of the Rosary, explains origin, name, prayers, mysteries, marvelous effects, proper dispositions, ways to combat distractions and pray the Rosary effectively, and Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.

Someone once wrote, *“Possibly the finest book ever written about the Rosary; appeals to all ages. Shows the great spiritual power of the Rosary, which is appreciated by few.” *Pope John Paul II was also consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the method of St. Louis Mary de Montfort. St. Padre Pio, who said, “The Rosary is The WEAPON”, said as many as 90 rosaries a day in a special form for which he received ecclesiastical permission. Father Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, cites this in The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell hli.org/sl_2008-10-03.html

True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.
Divine Mercy Chaplet ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
Rosary Confraternity Enrollment rosary-center.org/nconform.htm (As Pope Leo XIII said in his encyclical on the Confraternity, *“Whenever a person fulfills his obligation of reciting the Rosary according to the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members and they render him the same service many times over.” * Each member includes deceased fellow members as well; and thus he knows that in turn he will be included in the prayers of hundreds of thousands both now and hereafter.

Daily recitation of Litany of Humility ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/humility.htm may greatly help. :slight_smile: :smiley: :o

Cradle born Catholic here… and grew up that way primarily out of obligation to my Italian grandfather. For more than 10 years, I steered clear of church, and even married a man that swore he’d never step foot in a Catholic church. At the age of 25 I found myself seriously questioning the existence of God; just over a year later, my grandmother died, and the Spirit orchestrated myself and my husband to her Catholic church. We’ve been there almost 4 years now, and have seen things my friends and his family refuse to believe. People have been healed, prayers have been answered, miracles have occurred right before my eyes. In addition, we have been tested and attacked more times than I could count. The closer you strive to get to God, the more difficult times can be. This is perfectly natural, and knowing that you’re contemplating the priesthood, I’m not surprised one bit. It would be so much easier to believe in a bubble, but the “real world” is still out there… and is part of His mission for us all.

As to the teachings and positions of the church on specific issues, it’s not a matter of choice… it’s called obedience. That’s something that today’s society does not understand. We are supposed to be strong and independent, making up our own minds and exercising that free will in whatever way is most convenient and makes us feel good. This life is not about always feeling good… faith is not about a “feeling” at all. Truth is, society is trying to fill a God-sized hole with anything but God, and can’t accept that it’s as easy as accepting Him.

Thank God for these questions and tests… they will make you stronger, and ask His Spirit to give you the words He wants your friends and family to hear. Ultimately, it won’t be words that convince them… it will be your actions… the light of Jesus shining through you and everything you do. And believe me, when they have trials in their own lives, you’ll be the one they look at to carry them to Christ.

May God bless you and keep you strong! :knight2:

:thumbsup:

j e a l p h a k. :heart:
you actually remind me a lot of myself—i am also sixteen, returned to Christianity in november 2007 and then Catholicism in december 2008 after making terrible mistakes in my life during the darkness of my broken past, have family members who consider me “too religious,” and atheist friends who are overwhelmed by the depth of my transformation. i can relate to you in several ways, and hope and pray that my post will be helpful to you. :slight_smile:

you are definitely extremely intelligent and mature, and seem to have a great idea of the spiritual life. that’s also amazing that you’re considering the priesthood—i wish you luck, and will definitely pray for your discernment in discovering God’s call upon your life. i can relate to you in that my parents are not as religious as i am, and because they don’t know about my “born again” experience on november 22, 2007, when i gave my heart to Jesus and was filled with His Love and Life, they aren’t sure if i’ve been brainwashed by too much religious reading or websites, but think that i’m extremely religious simply because i’m trying to “use” Catholicism as a way to heal from my dark past, which is not what i’m doing at all. i have become as religious as i am today because God literally preserved my life with a miracle when i attempted suicide on march 28, 2007, and how could i not give myself completely and forever to the One Who saved me and has transformed my heart and life so beautifully? but enough about me. my advice to you is to continue doing what you’re doing, as you definitely seem to be headed in the right direction. there will be always be those who aren’t as devoted as you are and so will consider you a “zealot” or an “extremist,” but please don’t let them force you to turn away from the beauty of your strong faith. i don’t believe that you are “going too far” in your faith if you are truly a devout Catholic living a sincere Christian life for God’s glory, but actually following His Will and glorifying Him. i don’t believe that you’ve been brainwashed, and the sincerity of your faith shows in your opposition to Obama (which i have as well), especially because of his support of abortion. because your family members feel this way, i think that it would be best if you continued in the strength of your faith, but sat down with them and explained to them why you are so passionate as a Catholic—whatever that reason may be—and ask them to respect your faith just as you respect theirs. i highly suggest that you pray for a deepening of their conversion, especially through the Divine Mercy Chaplet (ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm)), which i know i will pray for my parents, and i will take the time to pray it for your family as well. please don’t ever let anyone persuade you to lessen the passion, conviction and perseverance of your faith. i have been called everything from a “zealot” to an “extremist” when i have shared my faith online, but i refuse to become less passionate, and i hope and pray that you will find the strength in God to persevere in the strength of your faith.

it’s definitely a good point that you shouldn’t simply believe something because someone else tells you it is true. someone of another religion could attempt to convert you and explain all the reasons why their faith is “true,” but that definitely doesn’t mean that you should believe it, especially since it is not the Truth, as the Truth is Jesus. however, since you are definitely not believing what the Church teaches simply because it’s what you have been told, but because you know it in your heart to be true and have read about Her logic, definitely continue to persevere in believing and being obedient. you have not been brainwashed—the sincerity and depth of your faith shines forth so clearly in how you are obeying the teachings of the Church, unlike many people who consider themselves Catholics but go against what the Church teaches when it comes to essential issues such as the ones that you mentioned. no matter what any one else tells you, you have experienced the Truth, and deep inside your heart you have experienced that sense of conviction that makes you so passionate and so devoted to your faith—please don’t let anyone take that away from you. i don’t believe that you’re “jumping into things” if you’ve read about the Truth and have experienced it for yourself. i don’t believe that it is equally possible that God doesn’t exist. i have felt Him in my heart, i have felt His Presence, i have felt His Love, i have heard His Voice, i have experienced His Truth. even more, there is so much evidence out there for the Truth of His existence and Presence. a great website for you to give them is rationalchristianity.com, and it might also be a great site for you to visit for yourself, just to strengthen the conviction of your faith and remind yourself why you are so passionate and devoted, which i think is amazing, and i admire you so much for it.

i feel that there’s a difference between real faith and blind faith. my Muslim friend tells me that i have blind faith because i refuse to listen to her arguments against the divinity of Jesus, but i don’t think that’s the case. i don’t blindly believe in Christianity simply because it’s what i’ve been told—i feel that’s the definition of blind faith, that doesn’t question something that one has been told to believe. i have questioned Catholicism and Christianity, and have experienced the deep conviction within my heart that i am living the One Truth. i think that it’s our doubts that make our faith stronger and our passion deeper, and i hope and pray that you will experience this for yourself. i believe in Catholic Christianity because i have experienced its real Truth for myself, and i believe that i have real faith. (i’m not trying to boast—please don’t get me wrong. i’m also not trying to focus this post on myself or my own experiences—i can just relate to you so much, and hope and pray that my own experience will encourage you in at least some small way.) i do believe that you have real faith as well—listen to their arguments against the existence of God, and tell them that you refuse to believe what they say because you have experienced the conviction of the Truth within your heart in such a deep, passionate way. it’s important to question, but it’s also important to persevere once you are in the Truth and living it for yourself.

i feel that the most perfect, beautiful motivation to live out the Catholic Faith is love for Jesus and Mary, but if you haven’t reached that point of perfection yet, of course that’s fine. we are both sixteen, and have a long way to go! i do believe that your motivation to live out the faith is absolutely fine and makes a lot of sense, even if it is imperfect. (i’m not trying to be arrogant when i say that it’s ‘imperfect’—i hope that i’m making sense, and that you know what i’m saying. i’m not trying to offend you in any way, i promise.) i also believe that it’s very difficult to reach that state of perfect motivation for the faith, and i don’t even believe that i’ve reached it yet. when you experience those nagging doubts when speaking with non-believers, go back and visit all the resources that have convinced you that you are living the Truth, and never let them separate you from the Truth of God. doubts are completely normal, and if we don’t allow them to overwhelm us, i do believe that they actually strengthen and deepen our faith. i suggest that you take these doubts to God and pray for Him to relieve you by allowing you to experience the Truth completely, a prayer that i know He will answer. even if you simply pray, “God, show me that You exist,” i know that He will listen to you and grant your request. that’s beautiful that you love God, and i’m so glad that you’re developing a good relationship with Him. keep heading in the right direction, and keep living out your faith, and refuse to let them bring you down or take you away from God and His Truth. when people tell you that you are simply religious because of your past (i hear this all the time), explain to them why you are so passionate, and take the opportunity to share the Truth of the faith with them, hopefully bringing them into it. there’s a quote somewhere about unshakeable faith being faith that has been shaken, and i believe that’s complete true. once you overcome these doubts, your faith will be stronger than ever, i do believe stronger than the faith of someone who has never doubted and never questioned. please don’t worry—you are living the Truth, and these doubts will be overcome with time. i have no doubt that God will help you and relieve you in His Own time and way according to His Will, especially if you ask Him to through prayer. since you have such a good relationship with Him, spend those twenty minutes talking about your doubts with Him, and listen for His response. i do believe that He speaks to us clearly when we open our hearts to Him.

jealphak, you are obviously very intelligent and mature, gifted with so much from God Who lives you infinitely more than you could ever imagine or comprehend. please know that i will be keeping you in my constant thoughts and prayers, that you overcome these doubts and experience a stronger faith than ever before. stay strong, stay safe and take care of yourself, and please know that if you ever need anything at all or would just like to talk, you don’t ever have to hesitate to contact me. God bless you! :slight_smile:

love,
in the peace and love of Christ,
alison :heart:

It warms my heart to see so many young faithful… at a time that our morals are being politically challenged, it’s encouraging to know that there is a generation of good, compassionate and faithful men and women that will continue the fight for those that can’t fight themselves.

I’ve already said plenty on here, but do want to add that you won’t reach a “perfect faith” in this lifetime… there will always be more to learn, more tests to endure, and a higher relationship with Jesus to reach for. HOWEVER, always remember that Jesus has won the fight, our foe is already defeated, and a persevering (although imperfect) faith is one of your strongest weapons in times of trial… and it will be perfected through Christ Jesus when we enter into eternity. Continue to study and pray, and your faith will be strengthened, wise words of explanation will come more easily, and your heart will be more readily at peace.

I agree that the Divine Mercy Chaplet is an excellent prayer for the conversion of others… especially when prayed at the 3:00 p.m. hour of mercy. If you do not have St. Faustina’s diary, I stronly suggest you get one… her trials with and during her vocation would be most helpful to you during your own trials and vocation contemplation. If you are unable to get one, let me know, and I’d be happy to help.

:blessyou:

One of the great saints of the 20th century was always told he’s mad. he would say , I am mad. Madly in love with God. St Josemaria Escriva. they said the great St Paul was mad for much the same reason. We should all be mad like these saints. They are the ones that are truly sane!:slight_smile:

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