Doubts

Hello everyone.
I am currently facing a very difficult period of losing my faith. I am 19 years old. For me it doesn’t feel anymore I’m sure God exists like it did. And with that many doubts are rising and it keeps driving away from God and I can’t see it getting any better.
So, let put some of my concerns to you. For some it may seem as if I am some rebel teen angry with God, but I’m sure that’s not the case. I’m just someone stugling to preserve his faith.

Seeing how few people nowadays try to live according to the Church, I can’t help but think hell will be a lot more crowded than Heaven. That bothers me a lot, because that englobes people who do no harm to others in any way. How can I live with it?
Doesn’t God expect to much from us? I mean…we have to make a decision to be Catholics but it seems we don’t have enough experiences to support it. And the alternative is eternal damnation…isn’t it a rather cruel punishment given that the right choice is, at minimum, improbable.
What about the growing divisions in the Catholic Church? I always bases my faith solely on Revelation and the true doctrine kept by the Church and never saw any reason other than that to believe. So you may imagine how much it confuses me to see that constant divisions appear in the Church and (with the sedevantists, traditionalists, progressists,etc) it seems even being a Catholic you still have some difficult choices to make.
The one that I am even a little embarassed to ask…If God created the concept of sin, how can we say He saved us from our sins?

Before anyone asks me that are questions I have to discuss with a priest I have to say I am pretty sure it is (unfortunately) much more likely I’ll find someone with satisfactory answers here than with any of the priests I know.

Finally one last question…How can I pray to God to help me with my faith if I have doubts about the existence of all spiritual things.
By the way, if someone doesn’t understand precisely what I meant, please ask, I’m not a native english speaker and might have done osme mistakes,
Thank you.

God gives us His commands but He is not bound by them. Do not be too quick to judge salvation of souls. Yes, we can judge that society as a whole is not living as holy as Jesus would want. This does not mean that God’s infinite love is not available to everyone. God is infinitely just and infinitely merciful. We see that fulfilled on the cross. So, firstly, try not to make our God into our image. Allow God to be God and know that He created us out of love and does not demand more than we can deliver. His will is that all people are saved. I think that it is VERY important to leave eternal judgment up to God and we will be very surprised who we might see in heaven; including ourselves.

Yes, there are divisions within the Church but those divisions can never affect faith and morals. Doctrines and dogmas of the Church that are upheld by the Magisterium cannot be changed. If dissention occurs in these areas then we have more Protestants since that is what Protestantism is. Stick with what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches and the sound doctrine maintained by the Church. As long as we remain human there will be issues with authority and divisions. Do not let the ignorance of those who sway from orthodox teachings sway you from the faith.

God did not create the “concept of sin”. He created us out of love and gave us free will so that we can choose to love Him back. Unfortunately we choose infinitely lesser goods over the infinite Almighty God. When WE choose to move away from God it is described as sin. God did not create sin nor does He will it. He permits it so that we are not robots only loving Him through coercion. You might want to discuss this more with others.

Your last question is not an uncommon one. Many saints who have gone through the “Dark Night of the Soul” experienced a spiritual dryness to the point that God seemed not to exist. The difference is that they know (even if only rationally) that this world could not exist without God and that everything is kept in order by God. Doubts are not sins and definitely not uncommon. You can still pray and God will hear those prayers more than ever. He knows you better than you could ever know yourself and He knows why you are feeling this way and what good will come from this. Look, you are here asking. If you truly believed that all spiritual things did not exist you would have not taken the time to post this. You are seeking help because you want to be where you were before. The good news is that you will be better than you were before having gone through this.

I will pray for you. God bless you.

There have always been problems and divisions in the Church. Just read the New Testement, especially the letters of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles. It is human nature. Being Catholic is no magic bullet. Each of us has to co-operate with grace and live a good life and not worry about the short comings of others. Perhaps you need to read a good history of the Church. Check out the libraries of this site and EWTN. Also you need to be readiong your Catechism.

Linus2nd

Dear Doubts,

Welcome. You have come to the right place. I commend you for your questions and efforts. “Seek and ye shall find” (and be very persistent!).

I also questioned the existence of God while going through one of the worst periods of my life, and I simply said in prayer, “God, do you exist? I will turn on the radio and listen for your response”.

To that, I heard the song “Hello” by Lionel Richie. I cried. The next day I thought it could have just been a coincidence and the doubts returned. So, I said again, “God, do you exist? I will listen to the radio for your response”. Then, I heard the song, “Hello Again” by Neil Diamond!

(I guess it worked for me probably because, even in my doubt, I must have had a musterseed of faith left!)

If you don’t think you have even a musterseed of faith left, why not consider seeing the video, "Expelled: No Intelligent Design Allowed"? A lot of libraries have it, and it gives the side which is often deliberately omitted but you need to hear, now, as to the existence of God.

The probability of the universe coming into being randomly, all by itself, is so highly improbable. If God didn’t exist, ask yourself where all this came from. If you say it created itself, ask yourself how. It’d be like a computer just assembling itself, except something so much larger and much more complex. It’d be impossible for life to simply come into existence in that manner.

It’s like these movies on evolution that suggest this entire process happened by accident, randomly, that fish just wanted to walk so simply sprouted legs? Mutation? Well, things have “mutated” in such a harmonious and perfect way, then, all by chance?

I once asked my mother what she thought on the existence of God. She just said she thought it was “obvious”!

The only logical explanation is God. See the video with an open mind and consider the possibility of the existence of God.

Good luck!

A Former Doubter

To the OP - most of us have doubts from time to time. Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta actually doubted for several decades that God actually loved her. It was her “Dark Night of the Soul”. Do not despair. Do not see your doubt as your losing faith - see it as an opportunity to increase in faith. Continue to go to Mass. Continue to receive the sacraments. Ask the LORD to help you understand and believe.

I am no theologian so I can only offer my personal experience and belief - what I have found (having lived a bit longer) is that even when we can’t seem to feel faith in God - God always still has belief in us. Knowing that is a comfort. He is constantly seeking to bring us closer to Him - so give Him your struggle. There have been times I have simply told God that it was too hard for me to hold on to my faith, to figure out what was / is / should be going on in my life and in my relationship to the Church. In doing so, I realized I must have faith - or who would I be handing my struggle over to?

Seeing how few people nowadays try to live according to the Church, I can’t help but think hell will be a lot more crowded than Heaven. That bothers me a lot, because that englobes people who do no harm to others in any way. How can I live with it?
Doesn’t God expect to much from us? I mean…we have to make a decision to be Catholics but it seems we don’t have enough experiences to support it. And the alternative is eternal damnation…isn’t it a rather cruel punishment given that the right choice is, at minimum, improbable.

A parent expects their child to do their best, to use their abilities, to follow the rules and to keep working to get better. They are not happy when the child makes mistakes or deliberately does wrong. They offer correction and insist on restitution. Misdeeds are not tolerated, however the love for the child never, ever stops. They warn their child in advance what the consequences will be if they deliberately misbehave - but a good parent never expects a child to do more than they are capable of doing.

If a human parent can love their child so deeply, can insist on them trying to do their utmost best and being understanding if perfection is not reached, and alerts them to consequences and follows through if rules are deliberately broken - Can we not expect the same from our Loving Father in Heaven? Will He not have understanding and mercy for the times we try and fail and then try again? Why would He not follow through with punishment for those who repeatedly refuse to accept His warnings and do what they know to be evil?

The one that I am even a little embarassed to ask…If God created the concept of sin, how can we say He saved us from our sins?

No parent wants to have their child disobey - but no parent I know would be willing to substitute a programmed robot (who would never disobey) in place of their child. God created us unique, loves our uniqueness, and grants each of us free will. Sin is making choices that separate us from God and hurt ourselves or others. If He took away our ability to sin, He would also have to take away our free will.

Finally one last question…How can I pray to God to help me with my faith if I have doubts about the existence of all spiritual things.
By the way, if someone doesn’t understand precisely what I meant, please ask, I’m not a native english speaker and might have done osme mistakes,
Thank you.

Again - my experience - simply tell God (aloud or silently) - God, I don’t know for sure you are there. I’m having trouble believing in You. So could you help me with that please?

Then listen…God finds each of us in the most unique ways, at the most strange times, and strange places.

If I were your age again, I would have doubts - in fact I did. Left the church, demoted God down to something resembling the force from Star Wars if I remember right. Thought I had it all under control … but I didn’t. I’ll spare you my life story but for me it has been a journey - a journey from external faith (believing and living as a Catholic because that was what I was raised), through a time of little to no faith (when I thought I was on my own, that many things were meaningless), through a time of trials and tribulations and joys and many ups and downs and promptings by the Spirit that led me right back to the Catholic Church - and a secure belief based on actual events in my life, that God is, and was, and shall be - though I may not always understand, and I might not always be able to feel it, and I might want to doubt it.

May God bless you and keep you, hold you and guide you, comfort you and lead you to peace.

In the Holy Mass, the priest raises the Blessed Sacrament and says, “Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory is yours Almighty Father, forever and ever!”

In short, God is inexpressibly awesome and owed every ounce of our being through his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

“Choose life” I believe Moses said.

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