Hello everyone,

I am new to the board, and frankly I am new to completely opening up to GOD and religion in my life. I’ve always been Catholic, but I would probably be labeled as a ‘cafeteria catholic’ or something similar. I attended Mass (inconsistently), I prayed very rarely (usually when I needed help) and tried to live a morally good life.

Three books later (almost done with the 3rd), i’m realizing how scared I am right now with how little I know and understand about faith, salvation, eternity, etc. The three books are The Shack, 90 Minutes in Heaven and 23 Minutes in Hell. Needless to say, I am glad that I have read these books, but I am also filled with questions, uncertainties, anxieties, etc. about the life I have lived and the direction I need to go. More specifically, how to practice being a good christian, how to develop a relationship with GOD, what is considered sinful, etc. I could go on and on, I just don’t know where to begin and/or stop.

The more I read, the more I become convinced that I want GOD in my life and I want to spend eternity in Heaven, but the more I read, the more anxious and confused I become as well.

I look forward to hearing your responses and being a part of this community.



CAF is best for specific concerns and questions - we’ll hopefully try to give honest helpful answers.

Do you attend Mass or know a good orthodox priest? If you do talk to your priest and tell him you are a returning cradle Catholic with many questions, you will be gladly welcomed. If you don’t, will direct you to Catholic churches near you

(A good test for orthodoxy is here: The importance of Catholic Orthodoxy, Basically check that the person is on board with contraception, women priests, and homosexuality all of which are strictly forbidden.)

Have you gone to confession? The ‘examination of conscious’ I use is here: Catholic Examination of Conscience or there are many others online.


(Disclaimer: I am unsure of the complete authenticity of the latter linked website - if any part of such is out of line with Church teaching I reserve the right to be corrected.)


If the orthodox priest isn’t pastoral or compassionate and holds the letter-of-the-law over the spirit of the law so that you feel worse than you do now, find another priest. Sorry “orthodox” Catholics here. Jesus Himself wasn’t into orthodoxy and neither am I. I work with poor inner city adolescents and their families who break every rule (guidelines) the church has to offer and am a firm believer they will all get to heaven anyway. Welcome home. You are blessed that you have listened to His Spirit. I hope you come to know the Church as compassionate and full of love.


Hi ~

      i too am a cradle catholic .  I've been a catholic for 45 years but when i search this website i realize  how much i don't know.  A lot of things i've learned have been on here.  I learned so much in just one week.   You won't believe what a lot of people know.  They can quote scripture at the drop of a hat.  T's amazing to me.
      I told my mother i wouldn't want to be a born again christian while having having a debate with a lot of the people on here.  That person would lose every time.
      Get a priest and a church you like.
      Watch ewtn.
      Don't be overwhelmed.

                     Good luck.



While I definitely find myself sceptical of both 90 Minutes in Heaven and 23 Minutes in Hell, I can relate to the desire to have God a part of your life. I’ve come to this website for much the same reason: to share my experiences in a journey of faith seeking, and hoping to find a community, even if online, where I can share with others who relate.

I myself feel overwhelmed by how lacking I seem to be spiritually, and probably share many of your same doubts and concerns. I find these questions in my mind most often: How do I pray in a manner where I can feel connected to God? How do I control my thoughts (in order to make them more Christian-like), and how well am I expected to control them? How do I integrate religion into my life which has been built thus far on a foundation lacking religion?

Asking myself these questions can seem discouraging, but as I look over them I realize they might just be questions any Catholic might ask, regardless of how involved in the faith they may be. The point is, there will always be reason to feel like we “don’t know enough.” In fact, to feel this way means we are still seeking, and what more reason for assurance and hope could you ask for?


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