Finding Religion


#1

When did you come to believe the teachings of the church? Especially if you were raised Catholic, when did you decide as an adult to follow the teachings? I am really struggling with wanting to return to Catholicism, yet deep down I just don't believe everything about the faith. however, my son is 3 now and he knows nothing about God and it was never my intention to raise him with no faith at all. Should I just start going to church again and go from there? And to be completely honest, here is the main sticking point. Last year I had an abortion and I know that I would need to go to confession in order to ever be Catholic again. Of course there are days when I deeply regret what I did and if there was one thing I could change it would be that. But for the most part I just don't think about it at all. I have tried to go to a retreat thinking that would be the best way to find some direction but the timing never works out and I need to make a move before the little guy gets any older. Any suggestions?


#2

Yes. Get in touch with Rachel's Vineyard and begin the healing from the abortion. And God bless you and your family!


#3

[quote="nikkib303, post:1, topic:178746"]
When did you come to believe the teachings of the church?

[/quote]

Hi Nikki :) I became a Catholic last year, and before then I was a Protestant.. it took me several months to come to accept the teachings of the Church. It started out with me being drawn to Catholicism but disagreeing with 99% of it... now I agree with all the teachings. It was quite a process, but it's something God leads you through, with prayer and reading :)

Especially if you were raised Catholic, when did you decide as an adult to follow the teachings? I am really struggling with wanting to return to Catholicism, yet deep down I just don't believe everything about the faith.

take your time.. try to pray every day for God to show you the truth, be open, and read as much as you can about the Church. Like I said, when I started I believed only one thing: the Eucharist..and nothing else. But the more I prayed and researched, the more things made sense, and in several months I noticed that I'm Catholic in my heart and in all my beliefs! I'm not saying everyone has the same journey..for some people it's easier, for others harder, but whatever your journey is like - try to surrender it to God... He'll take care of it better :) best of all, try to pray... and be honest with God during prayer, tell Him everything, try to understand He really loves you and is listening to you. Build a relationship with Him by spending time with Him.. go to Mass (even if you don't believe everything), go to Confession (it's a wonderful healing Sacrament) and try Adoration! :)

however, my son is 3 now and he knows nothing about God and it was never my intention to raise him with no faith at all. Should I just start going to church again and go from there?

there's no problem with doing that :) don't feel like you have to be perfect or believe everything in order to attend Mass. Anyone can come to Mass, even atheists. I started going there before i believed everything too. We receive many graces at Mass if we're attentive.

And to be completely honest, here is the main sticking point. Last year I had an abortion and I know that I would need to go to confession in order to ever be Catholic again.

yes, you would need to, and the Church considers abortion a serious sin.. but try to see this as a great opportunity to 'start over'.

When we go to Confession and are sorry for what we've done, God makes our soul completely clean and remembers our sins no more. It's really healing. And there's absolutely nothing that God can't forgive, - He WANTS to forgive us.. that is His wish.

on a sidenote.. I was so scared for my first Confession cause I had many horrible things to confess, but the priest was very kind and understanding... you can go anonymously if you want, or face to face... one time I was confessing the worst thing I've ever done, but face to face with the priest. I looked at him as I said it and his expression didn't even change. They've heard it all before. :) He was so kind and gave me really good advice.

Of course there are days when I deeply regret what I did and if there was one thing I could change it would be that. But for the most part I just don't think about it at all. I have tried to go to a retreat thinking that would be the best way to find some direction but the timing never works out and I need to make a move before the little guy gets any older. Any suggestions?

try going to Mass :hug1:

You might be interested in Project Rachel.. it can help to understand what abortion is and how it affects people and also it's a good way to find healing and deal with the regret.

God bless you


#4

I was born and raised Catholic and I am still struggling to follow the teachings of the Church. Conversion is a life long task. The temptation for me is to say f#%$ this, I don’t need God or the Church…I can do my own thing. But I have come to learn that obedience is a virtue almost as great as faith. God wants us to give up our own will and learn to follow him as little children.

I pray that you see your abortion in this light. If you always follow your own path you might end up in a very dark place. God desires your conversion just as much as he desires mine. I think you should call your local diocese and make an appointment to talk to the bishop. He will be able to help you more so than any priest.

Yours in Christ,


#5

I grew up Lutheran, in a devout Lutheran family. Three years ago I converted to Catholicism, and it was a year prior to that when I was really seeing that Catholicism is the true Church.

I think it's hard if you don't really study and see why it's the true Church. I suggest doing some reading, it really can help.

I suggest "Rome Sweet Home" by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

as well as

"There We Stood, Here We Stand" by Timothy Drake

They're both conversion stories and give the experiences of people and why they came to become Catholic. It will show you the difference between Catholicism and Protestants.

Sometimes doing the right thing can be hard. It's easier to push away the memories and just pretend things didn't happen. But in order for us to really heal we need to get past the hard moment and move on. Just take the first step. It may not be easier, but after you get past that sticking point it will get better.

Pray to God, go to Mass, even if you don't take Communion. Just put yourself with God and He'll guide you.

God bless!


#6

[quote="nikkib303, post:1, topic:178746"]
When did you come to believe the teachings of the church? Especially if you were raised Catholic, when did you decide as an adult to follow the teachings? I am really struggling with wanting to return to Catholicism, yet deep down I just don't believe everything about the faith. however, my son is 3 now and he knows nothing about God and it was never my intention to raise him with no faith at all. Should I just start going to church again and go from there? And to be completely honest, here is the main sticking point. Last year I had an abortion and I know that I would need to go to confession in order to ever be Catholic again. Of course there are days when I deeply regret what I did and if there was one thing I could change it would be that. But for the most part I just don't think about it at all. I have tried to go to a retreat thinking that would be the best way to find some direction but the timing never works out and I need to make a move before the little guy gets any older. Any suggestions?

[/quote]

nikkie,
Any sin you have on your heart you can pray directly to the Lord . Ask for forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. He took all of our sins to the cross.
if you feel better about confessing in your churcn, do it. I'm sure they will welcome you with a loving heart.
PS.32, will guide you also. it reads in part, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord- and he forgave the guilt of my sin. This a a prayer which David offered to the Lord.
Please read this Psalm.

God bless,
bluelake


#7

[quote="nikkib303, post:1, topic:178746"]
When did you come to believe the teachings of the church? Especially if you were raised Catholic, when did you decide as an adult to follow the teachings? I am really struggling with wanting to return to Catholicism, yet deep down I just don't believe everything about the faith. however, my son is 3 now and he knows nothing about God and it was never my intention to raise him with no faith at all. Should I just start going to church again and go from there? And to be completely honest, here is the main sticking point. Last year I had an abortion and I know that I would need to go to confession in order to ever be Catholic again. Of course there are days when I deeply regret what I did and if there was one thing I could change it would be that. But for the most part I just don't think about it at all. I have tried to go to a retreat thinking that would be the best way to find some direction but the timing never works out and I need to make a move before the little guy gets any older. Any suggestions?

[/quote]

Craddle Catholic here!

I was in your same position with the faith. Was raised catholic but didn't understand or know any of it. I refound my faith as an adult in college. I have came to believe in the teaching of the church everyday. Seriously it was not an ahhhhh moment for me. Its an on going process because no one can know everything about the catholic faith. I find out new things all the time. I just have faith in the church and her teachings.

Get yourself some good catholic books. I have heard "Catholic for dummies" is good. I like scott Hahn Rome sweet home or any of the surprised by truth books. Also there is 52 questions by karl keating or heck anything on the main page of catholic.com is good. I would suggest finding something that talks about the general catholic faith and then go off in to different areas when something grabs your interest. That happened with me. I got really interested in the churches views on women, marriage etc so i turned to pope's and saints writings. I also love Mother Therese so her books are good about living the faith.

Also contact the church and see if they have a mothers group you can join. Having a good support group of women who are in your same situation is key! Women of faith you can lean on and learn from. Also continue to come to catholic forums. They women here have a lot of experience and can help you out too.

Go to confession to cleanse your soul. Absolution is the best feeling in the world. Beware the devil will try to keep you away. he always does with me. Makes me think "you don't really need to go" or "your-such a sinner" or "how embrassing will this be to talk to someone about"...I just have to throw those thoughts out because i know the feeling of absolution and i need god's mercy!!!

Welcome Home!!


#8

Project Rachel :)
hopeafterabortion.com/

God bless


#9

Hi Bluelake, I agree with you that Jesus took all our sins on the Cross… but confessing to HIm through a priest brings tremendous healing and afterwards there’s the assurance that you’ve truly been forgiven. It’s like your soul is cleansed by His Blood every time the priest says the words of absolution. In addition, the OP is a Catholic and it’s Catholic teaching that all mortal sins should be confessed to a priest… it’s still God who forgives but He gave the Apostles power to forgive sin. God bless


#10

How I came to accept directly correlates with how much I knew what I was knowing as to what is just Catholic, and what is basic belief. It did take some time to test it all, but it's about education more then anything that helped get it through this thick skull. There are and will always be gaps of understanding I have not grasped yet, and with those, I simply accept that the church has been right with the rest that I have confirmed, why not these too as well, it's just correct to it's core.

Know that sometimes penance is a bigger task then what is delivered from the priest you confess to, often we still have to face repercussions for our actions in spite of it, it's just the way it works with some sins. You should also note, once you are forgiven, you are forgiven as long as you are forgiving, and even though it's impossible not to look back, the past is the past and should remain there, you have been washed with his blood and your sin has no more hold over you outside of what you allow it to. In other words, you don't need to be forgiven of the same sin twice, which in a simpler manner, do not beat yourself up over it any longer.

Your home is at the Catholic church, it's time to come home Prodigal Child.

Yours in Christ and may he hold you in his embrace at all times.


#11

I am a cradle Catholic, though I went quite a few year of being a very lukewarm Catholic, and at times Catholic in name only. Growing up I was never taught why we do the things we do. It was just a do-it-or-you-will-go-to-hell. When I really started to be firm in my faith and started looking at the reasons for things, and the Biblical foundation, or the meaning behind the symbolism, it gave me a whole different attitude. It became a want-to, not a have-to. And that has made all the difference.

Absolutely start going to Mass. Of course, until you go to confession, you cannot receive Communion. But you still receive the grace of being at Mass. And you will be showing an example to your son. By going to confession you will be able to participate in the sacraments. Talk to the priest about the issues of faith that are stumbling blocks for you. Maybe its just a matter of information like it was for me.

Most people who stop their religious training as children only have a child's knowledge of the faith. Once we become adults, we need to continue to learn from an adult mindset.

Good luck to you on your journey.


#12

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