Doubts about the True Faith


#1

I am wondering about your thoughts about this:

I have been raised in Catholic home, so I have been Catholic all my life. Naturally, as a child, you don’t understand everything about the faith and what makes is the one true faith.

Lately however, now that I am a young adult, I have been starting to think that I can’t just believe in the Catholic teachings *just *because someone has told me to (My parents). What if I were raised with a different faith? From a Catholic perspective, if I hadn’t doubted my false faith I would never have had the chance to learn about the actual true faith.

Therefore, I am thinking that I can’t just take my (Catholic) faith for granted, as that would be naive. More specifically, what I feel that I need to do is read up on several Christian denominations to see what makes them different, why, and which church is right. I want to be as objective and unbiased about this research as I can possibly be. Playing the devils advocate, so to speak. That said, I am absolutely not ruling out the Catholic church as the true church. What I am saying is that I do not, and can not be sure who is right at this stage.

That does bring some questions however. From a Catholic perspective, I don’t know if I should go to confession in the mean time or not? I feel that it is disrespectful to God to say “The Catholic church could be true, or it could not be true”, go to confession and say that I am sorry for doubting, and then continue to doubt afterwards. For that reason, I haven’t been to confession in a very long time, and I am sorry to say that I am regretfully also in the state of mortal sin. On the other hand, I am thinking that maybe I need the graces in for this research?

Please tell me what you think, or if I am missing something here.


#2

Firstly, I would like to applaud your skepticism. Society could always use another critical thinker.

But why not extend your argument further? You can’t really take Christianity for granted just because others tell you it’s the “true” religion. Why not consider other religions as well? Heck, why assume that there are any “true” religions at all?

Humans have postulated millions of gods throughout history, and even the surviving religions have changed their conception of their gods over time (cough Christianity cough). Clearly we don’t have a knack for grasping these sorts of things, so who’s to say any human institution has found the truth?


#3

I know it may seem illogical to you, but I am not sceptical at all about Christianity as a whole. I am positive that it is true.


#4

Why not try to take some classes in your faith? As a Protestant coming into the Catholic faith, I can tell you that studying Catholicism has been like having all the pieces to an immense puzzle suddenly fall together into place. Especially reading about the early history of the church and where all of the traditions came from. Ask your priest to recommend a book to you that addresses the specific things you are doubting. I wish I could send you some of my enthusiasm. :wink:


#5

proof of God the Catholic way (I think?)

God is good
God gives us good things
to know God is good
Thus if you believe in God it is a good thing
The good Belief in God came from God as he is the good dispenser
But wait you had to chose between accepting his love or not using reason (a choice)
So If you believe in God you know he exists because you know that he came searching for you.
Even more to be cahtolic is good sa you being catholic know Its is true and not in error because it came from God in which you choice and reasoned to beilive in

Any one thinks this makes sense ?


#6

Catechism:

(2088) Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

and

157 Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to human reason and experience, but “the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that which the light of natural reason gives.” “Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt.”

158 “Faith seeks understanding”:33 it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know better the One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a more penetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. The grace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts"34 to a lively understanding of the contents of Revelation: that is, of the totality of God’s plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connection with each other and with Christ, the center of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spirit constantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundly understood."35 In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe."36

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c3a1.htm#157

Let us give always our yes! And in Faith -seek understanding…


#7

My children - as they grow - and even now -ought not believe in Jesus and profess the Catholic Faith “just because” their parents do --but because it is truth. And they do not - and indeed ought not - call such into question or doubt - in order to know such is truth.

Something that is truth - need not be “doubted” to be seen as truth.

My children need not “doubt” that my wife and I are their real Mom and Dad – in order to be right in believing that we are. In order to know that yes we are!

It is not a “hermeneutic of suspicion” to be used here -but a “hermeneutic of faith” – and it is a to be a “faith seeking understanding”.

Jesus is the way the truth and the life! In him is true life!


#8

Read the messages from world youth day with Pope Benedict XVI :slight_smile: Here are some…

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2011/august/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110820_veglia-madrid_en.html

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2011/august/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20110818_accoglienza-giovani2-madrid_en.html

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110821_xxvi-gmg-madrid_en.html

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/travels/2011/index_madrid_en.htm


#9

My children - as they grow - and even now -ought not believe in Jesus and profess the Catholic Faith “just because” their parents do --but because it is truth. And they do not - and indeed ought not - call such into question or doubt - in order to know such is truth.

Something that is truth - need not be “doubted” to be seen as truth.

Such would be a mistaken approach to life.

My children need not “doubt” that my wife and I are their real Mom and Dad – in order to be right in believing that we are. In order to know that yes we are!

It is not a “hermeneutic of suspicion” to be used -but a “hermeneutic of faith” – and it is to be a “faith seeking understanding”.

Jesus is the way the truth and the life!

In him is true life!


#10

From what I know about the RCC from a protestant perspective, I’d think one of the main things to do would be to seek out a Priest to talk to about it and see what advice you are given on that front. If you currently believe and have faith that confession is going to help you, then go… from what I gather, that would be a good thing.

Now, from an outsiders perspective, it is a very important thing to know why you believe what you believe. Having the faith of your parents is NOT a bad thing, but it is important to be able to give a defense of the hope that is within you to anyone that asks. I researched other faiths without ever doubting God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To be able to teach about other faiths and dialogue it is very important to know about them. In the midst of researching them, I grew stronger in my Christian faith. The Apostle Paul is always a good example here because he was very well educated in other belief systems.

As a protestant, we always say, “take it to God.” Tell Him directly about what is in your mind, and pray about it, and you can use the lovely prayer, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” Pray that the Spirit guide you.

:gopray:


#11

I, too, sometimes have doubts about certain aspects of the Church, particularly the men who run it.

But–I think if you strip away everything and get down to the very core basics of the Catholic faith, there you will find the truth.

In other words, I agree with you that one ought not believe just because someone told you to.

And I don’t think you’ll be satisfied reading the CCC, because it won’t fulfill your need. I read the CCC to learn about Catholicism, but it doesn’t strengthen my faith in Catholicism. To me it’s the rule book, and you can’t get good at practicing the Faith by reading about it on the sidelines.

You should attend Mass, listen, think about what is happening, meet with a priest you feel comfortable with, etc. Listen to what your own heart is telling you, be open to it, and there’s a 99% chance that you’ll feel much stronger in your Catholic faith.


#12

well, actually that stuff that you mention, it is what makes many other Christian faiths clearly wrong, what if you were not raised Christian? would you go to hell just for it? Catholics say no, other Christians say yes.


#13

We are all called to find reason for the Faith within you.
You are not alone in your realization that you cannot continue to rely on the baptismal promises of your God-parents’ but that as an adult, you must look for rational justification for being a Catholic.
I would advise that, instead of looking at other religions or christian denominations, you firstly concentrate your studies on a deeper knowledge of your own faith.
such a foundation is important to do any objective analysis of others in comparison.
Good luck on your justifiable search.
Don’t cease in going to confession, your search does not make your present devotion hypocritical. You have these rights under your baptism.
Doubt is just the beginnings of all knowledge, don’t be afraid of it.


#14

Perspective option #1:
if to ponder truths-plan to take the Eucharist with JOY! in sequence, first make a short confession-plan to pay attention to the priests words-“I forgive…in the name of…” Notice the name of Jesus Christ is the only ‘name,’ in general-that notes the presence of the Holy Spirit…(in your soul);a confession/reconciliation could be short -perhaps 60 seconds, or so; next- sing in mass, speak the words as in “We believe…etc”, hear the person next to you-to greet you…as in:“Peace be with you” …so, singing,speaking, hearing are then proven to be signs that the soul is alive…(would you plan this?) yet, reconciled to the Church, there is next an opportunity to approach, the front-in line walking up to accept the consecrated bread of the body of Christ- taking supper with the Lord with JOY! then, return to your seat-there is a little time of prayer-notice the JOY! as an embrace of the Holy Spirit by the Divine love of Jesus!
hope that helps…patrick


#15

Banned Topics List

8 .Proselytizing Catholics or encouraging them to leave the Church


#16

The posts from Bookcat are objective evidence. Do you know yourself Zooncorp? Do you know yourself as subject to rightly perceive object?

I do not know any other faith tradition that can explain the gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in the Book of Isaiah:

“And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And he shall be filled with the spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. But he shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: land he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of his loins: and faith the girdle of his reins.” (Isa 11:2-5)

Isaiah here reveals the terms to esteem (or judge rightly) in the context of the subject as person. I suspect that Sweden and United States have a shared motivation to sideline the weak and run them to their weakest. We purify by justice, enlighten by knowledge, and perfect by wisdom. But first the soul as a subject needs to grasp those terms.

Not only that, it will not be true unless you grasp by mode. What do I mean? It needs to be performed: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it” (Ps 111:10) Further, Catholic Christianity is not an individual meditation, what it subsists in is a way in which you are invited by God’s Mercy.


#17

sorry about an error, as i follow through and redo a comment shown by ***
Perspective option #1:
if to ponder truths-plan to take the Eucharist with JOY! in sequence, first make a short confession-plan to pay attention to the priests words-“I absolve you from all sins***…in the name of…” Notice the name of Jesus Christ is a *** ‘name,’ in general-that notes the presence of the Holy Spirit…(in your soul);a confession/reconciliation could be short -perhaps 60 seconds, or so; next- sing in mass, speak the words as in “We believe…etc”, hear the person next to you-to greet you…as in:“Peace be with you” …so, singing,speaking, hearing are then proven to be signs that the soul is alive…(would you plan this?) yet, reconciled to the Church, there is next an opportunity to approach, the front-in line walking up to accept the consecrated bread of the body of Christ- taking supper with the Lord with JOY! then, return to your seat-there is a little time of prayer-notice the JOY! as an embrace of the Holy Spirit by the Divine love of Jesus!
hope that helps…patrick


#18

In my experience, I’d advise you not to put your faith to the test in this way because that really will put you in a vulnerable place. As the St Michael prayer warns, satan and the evil spirits “roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls”.

You have been blessed to have been born and raised Catholic and I would suggest studying the saints that have some relevance to you and your family. In my 51 years years as a Catholic, I have clung to some certain saints such as Teresa Avila and St Gerard Majella when my mind and heart seem to want to question my faith… but more than anyone else, Bl. Pope John Paul II, steadies and comforts me when I feel challenged. It is not a good practice to indulge skepticism before you have carefully studied why such wonderful, loving men and women both intelligent and simple… have such surrender and faith. In times of doubt these days, I say to my special saint, ‘if you believed, Pope John Paul, then so will I’. This is why the lives of the saints are so valuable to us today.

God bless.


#19

Fine, go ahead and read up on several Christian denominations to see what makes them different. Start with the question of who started them and when.

Before going off in all directions, however, you might want to undertake a more extensive study of Catholicism. Perhaps begin with something by Frank J. Sheed.


#20

Similarly, I was thinking recently how blessed I was to be raised Catholic, and have access to the Church and the True Faith my entire life. I wondered how I would feel being raised in a different faith, and years later realize that it’s not the right one. That was an option: I am adopted, and could have easily been raised by someone else, although my birthmother did request (her only request) that I was adopted to a Catholic family.

Questioning the teachings isn’t a bad thing; it can compel you to learn more and realize WHY you are Catholic, why you believe what you believe, instead of taking it for granted. I think, to have a truer, deeper faith, you have to question and decide, to reason, to understand, why you are Catholic, and why you must be Catholic. Whatever you decide to do, don’t immerse yourself so completely in other teachings that you are confused or led astray. Remain Catholic while learning about other religions. Keep going to Mass and being Catholic and learning about Catholicism, while learning about others.

I encourage you to go to Confession immediately! Do not let this mortal sin remain a moment longer. Talk to your priest; tell him you are curious about other faiths and why. Perhaps he can give you the resources you need. Could it be that having this sin on your soul is leading you AWAY from the faith? The devil WILL look for any foothold he can to lead you away from the one true faith.

Why am I Catholic? Even away from the faith for many years, I couldn’t bring myself to be anything else but Catholic. I knew deep down that it was the right place for me, so I couldn’t even stomach becoming something else. I enjoyed a few other services, but no place else felt like home to me. When I returned to the Church the first time, God Himself told me that I was supposed to be Catholic. It was written on my soul and my heart that day. He didn’t say that anyone else did, just that I did.

Make sure you study and learn about Catholicism just as devoutly as you do other faiths; I think you will find the One True Church.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.