Help my lack of certainty


The last day or so I have been having HUGE panic attacks. They are so bad that they remain through the day and I can’t even sleep.

The fear I have is not having a sufficient amount of certainty that I won’t go to hell.

I see alot of evidence that says the Catholic faith is true. I believe in the faith and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the faith being true. If I follow the teachings, avoid sin, and love God, I can be assured I won’t go to hell.

The problem is though…I feel like I don’t have enough certainty that the Catholic. It feels more like a gamble.

Now it is true, that nothing in life is certain. For example, It is uncertain that if I sit in a chair, that it won’t break. Its a very high probability thing, so it doesn’t cause me that much distress.

What I ask of all of you to do is give me good evidence that I can trust the church just like I can trust that a chair won’t break if I sit in it.


You are having panic attacks and irrational fears. I suggest you seek the help of a local spiritual director and a qualified mental health professional.


Via the grace of Faith and Baptism (and the other Sacraments too) Jesus gives us new life - indeed true life!

We have the “certainty of hope”.

And we walk by faith not by sight.

"Our Christian life…stands on the soundest and safest rock one can imagine. And from it we draw all our energy, precisely as the Apostle wrote: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4: 13).

…(St. Paul) himself wrote: “I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me”; in other words, until the Day (II Tm 1: 12)"

~ Pope Benedict XVI (from an audience on St. Paul)

Ones emotions or even ones “panic” etc can yes disturb the waters of ones feelings and bring confusion -but let one hold fast to Christ and know that emotions and irrational thoughts etc are the measure.

In the midst of all storms and all of life - hold fast to Christ -he loves you - and with Our Lady “Star of Hope” as consolation and help.

It is important to seek medical care and spiritual care in such experiences.


So can we have certainty that he will give us peace if we trust he will give it to us?


So can we have certainty that he will give us peace if we trust he will give it to us?

Yup, pretty much.

(It’s good to go to Confession, obviously. And try not to murder anyone. Be good and obey God, and keep trying whenever you fail.)

Here’s a good prayer for you, what they call an aspiration. You can say it whenever you are feeling bad:

“Jesus, I trust in You.”

You might also want to look into some of the longer “Act of Hope” prayers, because some of them have very soothing teachings about hope and trust in God.

God does not desire us to go to Hell. He wants us to be happy with Him forever, and that is exactly what He created each of us to be. He has already gone to great lengths to make that possible, in spite of our wicked acts and disobedience. He will continue to do great things for you, if you will even barely let Him.

If you will try to not go to Hell, He will definitely do the rest.

The more you focus on loving Him and doing His will, the less you will have to focus on fearing Hell. It’s like becoming a cook first because you don’t like being hungry, and then later focusing more on good food than on its lack.


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