I hope this is the right place for this thread. I am a 17 year old cradle Catholic trying to catechize myself. This is the primary reason why I joined this site. What has been bothering me is a huge disparity between study and real time. I mean, one minute, I am just reading Ratzinger quietly at home, taking in and digesting something about the Trinity when I decide to check if there is anything new on CAF. And it is usually the same topics that are not actually dogmas, more on the periphery, but nonetheless important. I am sure many of the posters here can guess what I mean when I talk about hot button issues, I would rather leave it as that in case I might accidentally drop a bomb and the thread deviates mid-way without many answers to my questions.
I honestly hate the Internet; it is my prime source of information, but it never fails to tire me out with the feeling of a bunch of people screaming inside my head. CAF is much better compared to other sites in civility and content, but one minute I feel assured reading a book, learning about the Faith and I get shaken up going online and witnessing people talking in real time. Now, this is confusing and discouraging enough for anyone who is just scratching the surface of the creed in study, let alone someone who is at that point this young. And I really do not go out much or consume much media, and so I do not know much about the world. I am increasingly scared that the world is a hostile place and I will be forced to put a shield up every two seconds of interacting with people. I am afraid of telling people that I am Catholic. Actually, the majority of us are Catholics in my area and school, I am just afraid people finding out that I am practicing and orthodox.
So, how much time should I spend studying the “issues” while trying to study the basics. I know I should not attempt to talk morals with only a rudimentary foundation, but I feel a sense of urgency. Still, I do not want to give the impression of obsession. I know that the Church is not obsessed so much as the culture is with these things and, in a different place and time, the Church could be going up against completely different things just the same. But, I really wish that I could know what to say if I am singled out and that it is for something fairly normal, like, say, the Trinity or Mary. I am not expecting to be able to pull an answer out of a manual in my pocket or a phone app and satisfy whoever it is, but, at least the Trinity or Mary are topics that are not emotion-driven to a frenzy and, though they may take time to discuss, can be civilly discussed over coffee or something.
One last thing that concerns me with these issues, I am not only socially inept, but take little stock in pathos. I tend not to give to emotions or that to others really, I am usually stoical or melancholic as part of my disposition, rarely passionate about even the things I do take seriously. I am afraid of being considered cold or without compassion. It is not that I like to hurt people, it is not like I hold every position I do because I like it or it is somehow easy or advantageous. It is even awkward for me to rent religious books from a public library: I approach the desk when I need help, look around to see if anyone familiar is around, write my title and author on a piece of paper and slip it to the desk lady to look up rather than tell her the title and author myself. I can only imagine how it would be to try to defend the Faith on the spot and in a tense situation. I have heard and read in a couple of Catholic sources that, during the earliest centuries of Christianity, a rumor existed around the empire that the Christians were cannibals. Sometimes I wish it were accusations of cannibalism over those things that I dread. But, how much should I let them worry me and how much should I spend studying those issues in depth? In one more year I will be in college and I feel unprepared for the world.
Sorry for the long post, any answers are welcome and prayers are always good. If I need to clarify anything that was not clear, sorry I am writing this when I really should be sleeping, I will do that tomorrow when I can. Thanks and good night. Pardon any typos, please.