Feeling a tug to come back to the Church after a long absence


Hi everyone. I’ve been looking around this forum and you all seem really nice and warm so maybe you can help me?

See, I was born and raised a Catholic. I was very devout and was very involved in Church. I prayed the Rosary every day. I read the Bible several times and studied it intensely. I studied the CCC and the history of the Church. I was a lector, first grade CCD teacher, youth group participant and eventually leader, when I was confirmed I became an ROC teacher, I even considered a vocation as a Sister.

But a few years ago, I began to slowly lose my faith. I began really thinking about my political views and my social awareness. My own sense of right and wrong. There are simply a lot of things in the Catholic/Christian religion that I just don’t agree with.

Lately though…I’ve just felt this tug in my heart to go back. However it’s not the religion I’m missing, but the place itself. I miss the building…the stain glass windows, the inscense, candles. I miss the overwhelming sense of peace I feel when I walk in. I miss the organ music, and the hymns.

I told my mother this and she told me to go to a Mass. I told her that I would be going for all the wrong reasons if I went back. What should I do? Who’s right in this situation? I am completely confused so maybe some feedback from you guys could help?

Thank you so much.


Welcome Home! The Holy Spirit is calling you back to the Church. Your Mom is right, you should start going to Mass again and pray the rosary. See how you still feel about it in a month or so and take it from there! :slight_smile:


Dear LookingForFaith,

Welcome back! :slight_smile:

Heaven is a place, well worth seeking to go.

Praying for you with today’s Liturgy of the Hours, part of Psalm 41(42):

My tears are my food, by day and by night,
and everyone asks, “where is your God?.”
I remember how I went up to your glorious dwelling-place
and into the house of God:
the memory melts my soul.
The sound of joy and thanksgiving,
the crowds at the festival.

Deep calls to deep
in your rushing waters:
and all your torrents, all your waves
have flowed over me.
By day the Lord sends his kindness upon me;
by night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.


LFF, welcome home!

I hope this doesn’t come across as dime-store psychoanalysis, I don’t mean it to be, but I am seeing a conflict in your statements that you might want to spend some time in prayer and contemplation trying to sort out for yourself. Let me give a quick summary of what you said and see if you can spot the part that doesn’t fit.

You had a meaningful Catholic heritage and a strong faith. Somewhere along the line you drifted apart from it, putting priority on your feelings and emphasis on the things you disagreed with. Now you feel a need to go back, but only for the incense and the stained glass. Oh, and the sense of peace.

See, buildings and their adornments do not draw people with the kind of force that actual grace does. If that was the only reason to go, you could go and NOT be Catholic, a perpetual visitor so to speak, and your heritage of faith would be irrelevant. You could go and enjoy the ambiance. But the truth is you probably wouldn’t enjoy it because it isn’t about ambiance. I suspect it is much more about faith and the sense of being in community with that faith than you realize. But I’m not you, and only you by seeking will know the real answer to this.

I told my mother this and she told me to go to a Mass. I told her that I would be going for all the wrong reasons if I went back. What should I do? Who’s right in this situation? I am completely confused so maybe some feedback from you guys could help?

Thank you so much.

The fact that you think it would be the wrong reason to go just for incense, windows, and hymns is a pretty powerful indicator that there is more to this than may appear obvious to you right now. Search your heart some more and pray for the grace to know the truth. I agree with your mom; I think you should go to Mass. It’s one thing to speculate on your feelings somewhere else, but in the setting of a Mass it’s much easier to feel the memories of the joy that experience once brought to you (and can again).

Be hopeful and seek with joy, not with sadness and remorse. Be confident that God knows just what you need and will help you resolve your feelings so that you can again be in community with the Church. When you feel more comfortable, I recommend you speak with a priest about how you feel. Rest assured the road back is not uphill.


I also have a really intense love for the feeling at church. But really, it is God’s prescence that makes us so happy, like people before me said…

I’d recommend that you go to confession! When you mean it, you get that same joy afterwards that you get from the place, but much stronger, and hopefully you’ll recognize that it’s from God and not from the place.

It’s not selfish at all to want to go back for the feeling. Everybody has their own reasons. I promise you, though, that God has much more of that happiness waiting for you if you’ll follow him again.

It’s been said that there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner repenting than over a hundred righteous people doing the same. And St Paul said, “Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him.” You’re definitely on the right track! Don’t let anything stop you.

Maybe write about your situation in prayer intentions. Prayers always help if you’re looking for more than just encouragement.



don’t worry so much if you want to go back for the right or the wrong reasons.

if God is calling you, it does not matter so much if He uses doctrine or music and candles. He always knows what will ‘work’ :slight_smile:

I’m a convert to the Church and at the beginning, before I agreed with any Catholic teaching, He drew me there in all sorts of ways. Eventually, I got to agree with the teaching too. But that’s not how it started.

take it step by step…

that’s wonderful that you want to go to Mass :slight_smile:

God bless you.


Hey LFF,

Welcome back :slight_smile:

Take baby steps…pray the rosary as often as you can and go to Mass.Our Lady will show you the way and help you with all the issues you have.

I will keep you in my prayers.


I, too, had been away for many years. I felt a pull to return to the Church but, at the same time, a little uncomfortable. I went to talk to a priest and received confession. I also signed up for and participated in a program called Catholics Returning Home. I started going to Mass every Sunday again, and soon the awkwardness just melted away. I’m so glad I returned! I think perhaps there was something about being away for so long that made my Catholic faith so much more precious to me when I returned.

Open up your heart to Jesus and see where He leads you! God bless!


Thank you all for the replies. I think I will go back…I’m actually very nervous though.

Keep me in your prayers?


Absolutely we will :slight_smile:


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