Getting there, albeit slowly


#1

I hope this is the right place to post this. Not sure exactly, but I think it fits in here best.

In my effort to become a better Catholic for Lent, and thus a better person, I thought I might identify the reason(s) that I am not as good of a Catholic that I should be and get help.

So I think I just have the problem of being ignorant. My religious education was terrible. Not that it’s entirely to blame, a lot of it’s my fault. My mother and stepfather belong to a Catholic church, but arent what you call “practicing” either. My father, ironically a buddhist, did a much better job. Anyways, in summary, in religious ed. at our church we were taught without any explaination or depth. The educational “excersises” made us feel like we were in kindergarden and/or being punished. The volunteer parent teachers did put a lot of effort into it, but it just didnt quite make it through our hormone soaked brains.

For example:

Who’s St. Thomas Aquinas?: Never mentioned in religious education. Would have been sooo much better for them to say “According to St. Aquinas, who’s writings are the foundation of many of the Church’s teachings, (insert blank)” In fact, the only saints we were taught anything about were the apostles.

Why is Mary so important?: Never got any clear answer. Still gotta figure that one out (getting there though).

Praying the Rosary: Never taught in my relgious ed. Didnt know what a rosary was until I was a teenager and my buddhist father gave me his grandmother’s. Never prayed w/rosary, dont know how. Yet another thing to Google…

Abortion: I have realized that abortion is infanticide for some time now, but I didnt always believe so. Abortion was mentioned once or twice during religious eductation.

Sexuality/Contraception: Basically, we were initially taught that sex is a dirty thing and should never be talked about again. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it.

I guess the whole “American high school experience” didnt help. Being Catholic wasnt exactly a popular thing to be. Knocking religion was pretty cool, however. This made me extremely cynical of the Catholic church, or what I *percieved *to be the Church. I didnt want to listen to what I wasnt supposed to do. My turning point occured when I began tai chi with my father’s old friend from high school, Rob. He not only happened to have studied tai chi and wushu from some very prominent people, he also is a devout Catholic who rigourously studies the saint’s teachings and the Vatican’s edicts/documents/thingamabobs. He too agreed with me that religious ed. at our church was lacking and was the first person to treat me like an adult when it came to religion. So he talked about Catholcism with me and gave me a copy of Meister Eckhart.

Any help where I could get started? I think the best thing to do is to get over my embarrassment of talking abou it and see a priest, and start reading the bible regularly.

Sry about the long post or if it’s in the wrong place. Oh, yeah, I cant spell, sry.


#2

Argh,

Like that name:) The place to start…here! There are lots of people here to practice talking about religion with. Also try the CCC (the Catechism of the Catholic Church). You can buy it for maybe $10 or read it online here. It doesn’t look like links, but you can click on the parts of the table of contents to go to the CCC. They also have an alphabetical index at the bottom of the page.

An excellent idea to go talk with the priest. Welcome home!

Here also is a short description of how to do the rosary with the prayers in case you have forgotten some of them. Scroll down to see step 4, meditate on the mysteries. It is easy to miss.


#3

Tonight before mass I prayed and imagined myself conversing with God about the whole matter:

me-“Lord, how can I possibly do all that you ask? I barely have time to eat and sleep, let alone enough time to read the Bible and study theology.”

God-“You have 15 credits, I have six billion people, deal with it.”

me-“But Lord! Physics is hard, I have to study hard every day just for one class.”

God-“You think studying physics is hard? Try creating physics. Do you know how long it took me to create the Theory of Everything so everything else can work perfectly according to mathematical law?”

me-“I guess…btw, could you tell me the Theory of Everything?”

God-“Sure, it’s 42.”

me- “Really? That’s it, 42?”

God- “No.”

Alright, so I added some parts. But seriously, for the first time in a long time, I didnt feel so “detached” in mass today-like I didnt belong there. And today’s readings, being the 1rst Sunday of lent centered around temptation. It really spoke to me when the priest explained that Satan and our ego wants us to believe that we are God and able to decide what is right and wrong.

I;m getting there…


#4

Yeah I know what you mean, physics has a lab. :stuck_out_tongue: Math is the way to go…no labs.

The more I find out about what is going on at mass, the easier it is to be mentally present and talking to Jesus. About the readings, one of the cool things I like about mass is how the readings travel along each year on a journey.

Maybe God will explain the theory of everything in heaven.:smiley:


#5

Welcome to the forum!

I would also add, there is lots to be learned on this forum. I select “New Posts” an dscan the titles, looking for things I can read about. I have found things on the Internet that I never knew existed. I too bought a book on Thomas Aquinas after reading some things about his teachings here.

Good luck in your discovery!


#6

The hair on my arms stood on end as I read your post. The Holy Spirit is clearly moving you – don’t resist Him. You’ve come to a good place. Better you should be on your knees, but this is a good place, too!

Give up cable for a couple of months. Get a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


#7

When I decided to make the effort to become a better person my thoughts immediately focused on my relationship with my girlfriend.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=38736

Today is our 2nd anniversary and I took the chance to talk about my current quest/journey/effort/whatever, not knowing what to expect. It turns out **I’m **the one who was more uncomfortable talking about religion. Turns out she’s been attending her Lutheran church’s Bible study and agrees that religion should be very important in our relationship. We talked in length about both of us not being educated as much as we liked and now we both feel a bit lost. When I asked her if she believes in God, she admits she cant give a definitive “yes” or “no” and is still searching within herself for proof. I response, I naturally told her that there isn’t “proof”, that’s why it’s called faith. She however was referring to a form of internal proof, for lack of a better description, which I can certainly understand. I cant help from feeling incredibly happy…

I’m still afraid of my feelings for her, though. I constantly, many times each day, ask God if this really is genuine love. So far, the answer hasnt been revealed to me. I think my fear that I will repeat my parent’s mistakes and my desire to genuinely love her is blinding me somewhat. I do stringly feel she was sent to me during a time wher I thought very little of myself, to put it nicely.

In other news, the campus church has regular bible study and theology sessions. I should get myself involved in that. And, the nun who’s work inspired the film “Dead Man Walking” is coming to lecture at our Memorial Union tomorrow night. Something worth attending I think.


“God is dead.”
-Nietcze
"Nietcze is dead."
-God


#8

oh yeah, and I did pretty dang well on my physics exam tonight. Just thought I’d throw that in…


#9

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.