Help! Doubting

I was raised presbyterian (Church of Scotland) and when I came back to Christianity aged 17 it was in this presbyterian and other evangelical protestant forms. All the same, I was always interested in early Church Fathers and the more mystical/contemplative theology of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

I am in the process of converting to Catholicism, having finally taken that step with confidence. All the same, I can’t help having doubts that were drummed into me through years of Pope-bashing presbyterianism.

Firstly, I am concerned about one of the main catalysts for my conversion. My fiancee, who was a Pagan/Wiccan when we first met, has decided to become Catholic. She began re-reading the Bible after meeting me, but decided to become Catholic instead of going back to her own Lutheran roots. One of the reasons she has given for her conversion is the significance of Mary in the Catholic faith, which seems to make Catholicism seem less male-dominated than many protestant churches. I am so glad that she has accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior. All the same, there is this little voice at the back of my head that says, maybe Satan couldn’t tempt me with something so blatantly demonic as Wicca, so he’s leading me into a compromised form of Christianity so that I can fall away later.

Also, I have found my tinnitus, which I was largely healed of after praying with some of the members of my old Anglican church, has come back. This is probably more due to having flown to America recently to visit my fiancee, and logically I know that, but again that little voice tells me the Lord is withholding His blessing until I come back to Him. I also notice that the Catholic Church seems to pray for temporal suffering to help us to attain a heavenly reward, rather than praying for the healing of the sick. As I have known the healing power of the Lord in the past, it worries me that maybe this is an excuse made up by Catholics to explain why the Lord doesn’t work healing miracles within their Church.

Finally, my dad raised the whole history of paedophile priests and cruel nuns in the magdalene houses with me the other day. He is a non-practicing member of the C of S. I tried to explain that the Church is a perfect guide even though the people in it don’t always follow its guidance, and that things have changed now. I can’t help wondering, when one looks back at the catalogue of disasters in Church history, massacres of heretics, compromise with Constantine, riots over the elections of early Popes, the inquisition, the crusades, the wars of religion, etc. etc. whether a Church that so consistently seems to be filled with such awful people can really be such a good guide after all? In my mind, I relate it back to the Calvinist idea of the Elect, the Church’s teaching makes some to be saints, but others just can’t take the teaching and turn into complete devils, it’s a polarising teaching, whoever is not for us is against us. All the same, it seems odd that the Church doesn’t seem to get any better at preventing these problems.

Nothing in the Catechism, or the Decree on Justification from Trent, or in any of the theology or doctrine that I’ve read actually makes me think that the Catholic Church is wrong. In fact, all of it is basically what I believed before. The ‘sola scriptura’ approach of my evangelical Christian brothers is in fact quite a twisted reading of the scriptures in my experience, while the Catholic Church represents the more obvious meaning of the words and teachings of Jesus and His disciples. I have no real reason to doubt. All the same, I have this nagging voice telling me that Catholics are not among the Elect (which I know is nonsense). How do I silence it?

As you keep studying the faith, light bulbs will continue to come on, really gets exciting.
Everyone has doubts about different things, but as you continue to study the doubts will be all but eliminated.

My mother was healed of cancer at a Catholic Healing Mass. I know of other people who have been healed also.

My uncle molested me and he is a paedophile. They are everywhere and they disguise themselves. They are (hopefully are now no longer?) in every religion, not just ours as some people might like to make you think! :mad: I have had this argument with my father in law (Scottish Protestant background, who actually is a non believer but HATED Catholics when i met him.) many a time, (and my husband before he was my husband.) My FIL didn’t have one nice thing to say about us! But I married his son in the Catholic Church! **na na na na na **:D:

Don’t take everything to heart… Go with your heart and ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide you in your new journey and ‘welcome!’ :smiley:

The Lord never works healing miracles within Catholicism? I take it you’ve not heard of a little place called Lourdes then? :ehh: But then I don’t suppose your Presbyterian churchfolk would have told you about it.

In a few words - a century and a half’s worth of regular miraculous cures at one of the world’s most famous Catholic shrines - dedicated to the Virgin Mary no less. Evidenced by hundreds of people actually leaving their no-longer-necessary-crutches hung up at the shrine itself.

Take a trip there if your tinnitus is bothering you - it’s only in France so you don’t have to fly.

The phenomenon, by the way, is repeated, though somewhat less frequently, at other Catholic Marian sites such as Fatima and Guadalupe - even places that are ‘unofficial’ and still under investigation by the Church such as Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Of course if putting yourself in the hands of the Blessed Virgin bothers you you can go for the entirely biblical figure of St Jude Thaddeus the Apostle (not the same person as Judas Iscariot, of course). Known as the ‘saint of impossible cases’ for the many miracles he has worked.

Look in most newspaper classifieds and you will find a load of notices simply saying ‘thankyou St Jude’. Each of those ads represents a miracle or favour that has been worked through the intercession of the good Saint.

In summary - whoever told you that miracles never happen in Catholicism has been feeding you a load of anti-Catholic bunk, and don’t ever let me hear you say anything like it again! :tsktsk:

To answer your question, pray that the confusion will be lifted from you and that you be given a clear heart and mind.

You do raise a lot of concerns here and I don’t know if anyone can answer them all here, so I would like to offer some points to ponder, if you will, on some of them.

I know that Mary can be a stumbling block for a lot of people. Just remember that Mary does not want anyone to stumble because of her, she only wants every one to come to her son, Jesus. As Scott Hahn has mentioned in one of his talks, and I will not get it entirely word for word, “The word honor in the 4th commandment hovers close to glorify…, and we are called to imitate Jesus.” I would also like to point out that there are others who view the Catholic Church as too male dominated, and thereby would like to see the ordination of women.

As far as healing, there is prayer for and healing that does happen in the Catholic Church. We have a whole Sacrament dedicated to healing, Anointing of the Sick. I would also encourage you to take a look at places of healing such as Lourdes and Medjugorje. Let me also give you a different perspective on suffering. The Catholic Church teaches to accept your suffering, to humble yourself, as Jesus did in the Garden of Gesthemane. Suffering can help burn away pride as you accept it and use it to glorify God.

As far as pedophile priests, the Church has taken steps to correct this. Priests are human and sin just like everyone else, the Pope goes to confession at least once a week. I would also point out that there is pedophilia going on in the American public school system, I heard more than what has gone on in the Church, but I can’t give a point of reference. I don’t want to point a finger away from the problem but I want to give a comparison.

I hope this doesn’t raise anymore confusion.

If Satan’s tempting you to Catholicism, then he’s converted.

I would like to offer you a copy of my book. It’s on my supernatural conversion from agnosticism, to Evangelical Protestantism, to the Catholicism. So far the feedback I’ve gotten is great. I think you would find it a real encouragement.

Please send me a private message if you’re interested. I think you’ll be happy you did!

I wrestled (and to some extent still wrestle) with these questions too. :wink:

Best of blessings on your journey!

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