I’m really confused about something and I think it might help to just get some other people’s perspectives… I really want to talk to my priest sooon but I won’t be able to until next Saturday, sadly I’ll still talk to him but I need to somehow get through this week first.
I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas, or if anyone could please say a prayer for me…
as some of you might know I became Catholic this Easter. Before this I was baptized Eastern Orthodox and then attended a Protestant church. During my conversion, my main issue was trying to decide between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I settled on Catholicism because I believe in the doctrines (though I didn’t at first) and because I just felt a lot of peace about it and I believe God revealed Himself to me through the Church. It also makes sense to me… I can see the Papacy, etc, in the Bible and in the early Church and Tradition… but my journey was also difficult because I struggled with doubt. Sometimes I would feel a lot of peace and everything would be great… and other times I felt confused. In the end (after much prayer/research), I felt strongly that God wants me to be Catholic, and entered the Church.
Something happened at Easter vigil that really confused me though. I think I might have received the Eucharist in a state of sin (there was some time between my first Confession (which went really well) and the Vigil Mass), or more probably I just had a lot of distrust in me and that affected my whole experience. I felt a lot of anxiety after Communion, which is something I never expected, and it scared me a lot. During the night, I had something like a panic attack, where I felt SURE that I’m going to hell for becoming Catholic. I also felt like something was trying to invade my mind. But there was so much fear, confusion, etc, in that, that I decided it can’t be from God…that it’s an attack from the enemy. I don’t think that God scared people into doing His will. If He had wanted me to be Orthodox, I think He would have used a different way to bring me there… I decided to give the Catholic Church another try and see how it goes…
the next day (Easter) I went to church early and asked the priest to hear my confession. He did… I told him everything and he absolved me. Then I received the Eucharist for the second time. It was like night and day! I felt SO much peace afterwards, so close to God, and literally for the whole day I felt Jesus was inside of me through the Sacrament in such a powerful way. I decided that yes I just had wayy too little faith at the Vigil, and listened to the enemy’s lies.
For the next several weeks, everything was fine. Then, my Orthodox friend sent me some emails with conspiracy theories about the Pope, etc… after some research I decided they’re not true. But reading all that information (and even thinking about it) caused me so much stress that I had another similar experience as Easter Vigil… this time it was even worse. I felt really attacked by the enemy… I thought I was literally going to lose my mind. I don’t have any history of clinical disorders or anything…it’s not psychological. I’m a pretty ‘stable’ person psychologically. It felt more like something spiritual. I once again felt SURE that I’m going to hell for being Catholic, that there is no hope of salvation for me… I felt such a horrible evil presence in my room I couldn’t stand it. Here’s the interesting part… in the end, I didn’t know what else to do and grabbed my blessed Rosary and put it around my neck… and instantly, everything disappeared. Everything went back to normal, as if nothing had happened. And all my faith in the Church came back. I still wonder what happened that day, but it seems Our Lady helped me.
this happened one more time later on, when I was trying to discern if I have a religious vocation or not. One evening, after prayer, I got this really strong feeling that I do have a vocation, but also that I MUST pursue it NOW. I told God, this is impossible because right now I’m still in school and have student loans to pay off first, and there’s a family situation, etc. I know that God knows these things and even if I do have a vocation, He wouldn’t push me into it, He would wait until the right time. But this, whatever it was, was telling me that I must do it NOW. I suddenly felt a lot of panic cause I didn’t know what to do and where these thoughts were coming from. When I put on my Rosary, it went away again. I still don’t understand… my guess is that the devil was trying to confuse me. Sometimes I feel like I might have a religious vocation but these experiences are very different.
(to be continued)