I am questioning whether I even want to be Catholic or Christian at all


#1

So I have never had the best experience with my faith. From age 6 I wanted to be a priest but then I learned you had to pray a lot, and honestly with prayer I’ve found it boring and I don’t really get much out of it. With mass I also find it extremely boring unless I am doing something in the mass. As for my spiritual life I would describe it as nonexistant, I don’t pray really, and I don’t really like prayer.

When it comes to supporting the church I am 100% on board with it’s vision, and I do my best to support my priest in his ministry, if people want to conform to the Catholic faith I support them. I just don’t really live by it because I honestly don’t like or agree with a catholic lifestyle. When it comes to my faith personally I suck at being Catholic or even Christian.

I have been in mortal sin for the past 8 years, and I was confirmed in it, and I have committed innumerable sins. In addition I don’t really trust priests too much with my sins, I know they are sworn to never reveal anyone’s sins, but what if I receive a penance that makes me show my sins or seek help for my commonly recurring vices? That is my reluctance to confess.

Among other things I don’t like 90% of other Catholics. I find them extremely thin skinned and far too stringent with false purity, to the point that they consider the word hell a curse.

When it comes to vocation I have been told I have to either be a priest or get married. This really rubs me the wrong way, I NEVER want to be married, I find the mere idea of romantic love repulsive because it is your brain tricking you into reproducing, not only that but the amount of time invested into a base level relationship is ridiculous. I could spend those hours working on getting a masters degree or actually doing something productive. Plus I don’t really get the whole “no contraception” thing, I can see why no abortion as it is murder, but really? must I be a parent If I were to ever be married? The other methods of contraception prevent life from being created in the first place.

When it comes to the priesthood I have considered it, but I decided against it, because it would mean I have basically no time to myself.

And finally Catholic women, seems like every time I tried one of them before I decided against marriage at all I ended up just getting hurt before I finally just toughened up and said no more and killed off the side of me that even basely considers love. I still occasionally have to kill that off every now and then because I get lonely. But I like killing that off because I derive great strength and pride from knowing that I don’t need to feel loved to be happy, seems like a liberation from one of humanity’s greatest weaknesses.

These things make me question whether or not I even want to be Catholic or Christian, as I don’t really see myself truly accepting either and I am far too strong willed to even consider compromising with what I want and who I am, I learned the hard way that if you compromise with what you want in life you’ll never truly get what you want out of life.


#2

The priest is forbidden to require such a penance or condition on forgiveness. Begin by living a Catholic life, the Sacraments are vehicles of Grace. Pray, you cannot have a relationship with God unless you are willing to talk to him.


#3

You’ve covered a lot of things and you’ve put down a lot of things but you don’t want to change or Confess your sins so you can be freed from all of your vices. No one can force Faith on you. It has to come from you to want to know, love and serve God. You can stay in your present state or you can give yourself to God’s mercy and make a complete honest true Confession. But you MUST repent first. You’ve got to know and accept that what you are doing is wrong and your life will stay this way unless YOU CHANGE. As far as being bored with prayer, Mass, etc. that’s because you’re thinking of yourself ONLY and not giving yourself to God in a sorrowful state.

UNTIL you are honest with yourself and your life as it is nothing will change. God won’t force you into accepting Him. You have to make the first move and ask Him for the grace to feel sorrow and be truthful about your life. He is just waiting for you to throw yourself at His feet and beg for His help, mercy, forgiveness and change of heart.


#4

The thing is, I am able to feel sorrow, I am able to feel guilt, the inability to feel that isn’t what keeps me from my faith.

The thing that keeps me from me faith is the actual teachings on some of the matters I covered, the ones I find impossible to live with such as the teaching you must choose between being a priest and being married and raising children especially.

The thing is I know that no amount of my willpower will change the teachings, but I don’t have to live with them, I can choose not to be Catholic or Christian, and honestly that is what I am leaning towards. It is not that God is not present in my life, it is not that I don’t do good works, it is that teaching that gives me the most reluctance to even consider returning to Catholicity. It is that I have been abused in some way shape or form in every single relationship I have been in, whether that being taken advantage of for material gain, being strung along for amusement, or ultimately being manipulated to be humiliated. And they’ve all been “Catholic”.

That is why I decided against any form of marriage or romantic love at all. And the alternative is that I become a priest. My question is why is this a “must”? That is the single thing that gives me the greatest trouble among all Catholic teachings.

I am bored with prayer because it is prayer, and because I make my faith completely unemotional because of the tendency of people to rely upon prayer as an emotional support instead of a spiritual communication, making it more about themselves than God.


#5

YOU DO NOT ONLY have those 2 choices. I have MANY Catholic family members and friends who are neither married or Priests/Nuns. They are single Catholics and live their lives CHASTELY according to the Catholic Church and are fine.

You need to LET GO AND LET GOD come into your life and stop making excuses. Sorry for being so blunt but knowing, loving and serving God is putting God first, others second and yourself LAST! He must increase I must decrease.


#6

What is your passion, your joy? What interests you? Start there.


#7

Where did you hear or read this as a teaching?


#8

Well let’s start with the definition of roles in the church,

The traditional teaching is that it is the duty of those who imbibe upon the experience of marriage to provide offspring to be educated in the faith and brought into the church.

The traditional teaching of the duty of priests is to bring their parishoners to heaven, as they act as earthly shepherds and kind of “extensions” of Christ’s mission, which is to bring all souls to heaven.

So where do the single people fit in? What? Oh they just pray like any single other member of the congregation and contribute their earthly possessions to the good of the Church, just like every single person that is married or a priest.

Well if you look at every single catechism ever, there are two options on vocation, marriage or priesthood.

The role of the catholic man according to pretty much the entire church lies firmly in priesthood or marriage.

You see this everywhere, if you look at how many single people there are in the church that don’t get married or become a priest at some point in their lives it’s a percentage less than %1

This also has to do a lot with why the Church is shrinking in many big cities, there are more and more people that find the idea of this expectation and teaching on the role of the catholic man oppressive because women expect more and more, and thus there are more and more men that don’t want a relationship or priesthood.

The Culture of Life the Church promotes focuses on family.

I don’t have a problem with any of this, but I do have a problem with the fact that there is almost no teaching on remaining single for your entire life and not being a priest, and that literally everyone expects me to father 8 kids or dedicate my life to the church.


#9

Each and every one of us whether single, married or called to a Religious Vocation MUST know, love and serve God. We must also give of our time, talent and treasure so as a single Catholic you can do all of that without being married or being a Priest. SERVING God is for everyone no matter their status in the world.


#10

I do serve God, In my good works, I give alms, I help people I come across, I visit the sick and the elderly, and I help raise money for charity all the time. I suck at being Catholic in every regard except that. Helping people is probably the one thing I do right in terms of faith.


#11

We don’t have what is needed to help you here. You need to set up an appt. with a Priest and sit and discuss this with him. There’s a lot of things that you need to ask a Priest and also a lot of things , suggestions and even material to read that a Priest could help you with. I’d suggest that if this is really important to you set up an appt with a Priest ASAP.


#12

How old are you?
And your negative attitude towards women is something you’ll need to work through, regardless of your religious affiliation.


#13

Sounds to me like “who you are” isn’t a very happy person right now.

I’m not sure “what you want” either. I will say a person who doesn’t like 90% of other Catholics, strongly dislikes prayer and doesn’t do it, and has been in mortal sin for 8 years certainly doesn’t sound like priest material. I suppose if God could convert St. Paul, he could convert you, but the picture I’m getting from your post is that you’re just spiritually dead and full of your own self. The whole post is I, I, I. God doesn’t seem to come into it anywhere.

I will take the fact that you even made the post as a sign of hope. I would say that you should start first with a good confession, a humbling of yourself to God’s will, and regular prayer even if it’s just three Hail Marys a day. As for your vocation having to be either a priest or get married, that’s not true. You can still have a fruitful life in the Church as a single layperson (many saints have done just that) and also, I don’t think you’d make either a good priest or a good husband until you have a major, big time, attitude adjustment and start thinking of God and other people before your own self. I will pray for you.

God bless.


#14

It’s a good start.

Try to build on it with confession and a little bit of prayer.


#15

Let me ask you a question. Do you have any relationships in your life that you value?

From your OP, it sounds like you consider any time you spend developing relationships—whether developing your relationship with God through prayer, or developing a relationship with a woman with an eye towards marriage—to be nothing but a waste of time.

Yes, relationships take time, energy, and effort. But they are not worthless. Quite the opposite. Indeed, those relationships will last into eternity when all our “stuff” has turned to ash.


#16

Insulting 90% of the Catholics who are likely to respond to you isn’t a great idea…what say you?


#17

So, if you were to boil down Christianity to its essence, and what do you end up with? Love of God and love of neighbor. Do we love our neighbors because they’re nice, nifty, awesome people? No, we love 'em because God loves 'em.

But you seem to be very inwardly-directed, and that’s standing in the way of every meaningful relationship. Whether it’s you + God (prayer is boring), or you + a wife (ewwww), or you + children (who wants to be a parent?!), or you + a flock (really? I’m expected to pray AND serve to be a priest?!)---- there’s nothing that inspires you to transcend your own preferences and be part of something bigger.

And some people live like that. But you have to not look at it as today, or tomorrow, or the next day… but you have to look at it in terms of where that path will take you 40, 50, 60 years from now, and figure out if that’s the person you plan on being when you die. Because there’s no guarantee anyone will ever break through that shell, or that you’ll be willing to open that door to anyone— because we’re all creatures of our habits.


#18

So, while I don’t know how old you are, I expect you’re under 30. Maybe even under 25. You still have, presumably, more of your life in front of you than you have behind you. It’s up to you as to what that quality of life is. If you’re making a million dollars a year, you can use some of that money to fill holes and pretend that things are okay… but we live in an affluent enough society these days that people are figuring out earlier than ever that no, money doesn’t bring happiness. If you don’t have a zillion dollars in your bank account, you’ll try and fill those holes with other things— some of them will be corrosive to your health, and others will be corrosive to your soul.

Don’t worry about the priesthood. Don’t worry about a nonexistent wife. Don’t worry about a nonexistent family. Right now, you’re not in a healthy place to consider any of those things.

If you’ve got a strong will, then prove it, and use the power of your strong will to turn yourself into a person who makes a positive impact on the world around you, so that when you leave the world— because we’ve all got to go sometime— you’ll be able to point to how you’ve made things a better place for those around you with your love and service to others.


#19

THANK YOU Tis_Bearself. You said exactly what I wanted to but couldn’t out into words.


#20

From that quote alone, I don’t think you have met too many Catholics.


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