I feel like my faith is very weak


#1

I believe in the Trinity, I believe Christ died for the remission of sins and rose again. However, I’m not sure if I “believe” really, because I do have doubts and just have days when it feels like there’s nobody there. Other days my faith in God will be stronger and I won’t have any problems, really. I just feel like I’m away from God, and that I have too many doubts every now and then. If you guys could please help me deal with this, I would really appreciate it. Sorry for making such a post, but I feel like I just need to talk about it. Thanks again,

GNM


#2

Is there a specific reservation? Is the struggle historical, theological, or philosophical?

Do you consume any spiritual content/media versus secular?


#3

How is your prayer life? Do you have a scheduled time?
Prayer by definition is conversation with God. It is a lifting of our hearts and minds to God.
Having doubts about your faith is normal. Communication is necessary for the building of any relationship. Time communicating with God, in other words prayer time, is essential to building that relationship.
If we could do everything our self, we would not need God. One prayer is a simple. “I believe. God, help my unbelief.”
One of the best times for prayer is first thing in the morning. It doesn’t need to be very long. Start with 15 minute a day meditating on the readings from Mass for the day. You may want to begin praying the rosary and ask Mary to intercede on your behalf as you meditate on the life of Christ. These are just starting points as prayer moves from the “must do” list to relational. Allow yourself to simply listen and talk to God as you would a friend. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Jesus said that Our Heavenly Father would not deny the Holy Spirit to anyone who ask.
Another time that people set aside for prayer is 3pm, the hour of Our Lord’s Passion. Find the time that works for you.


#4

I don’t really pray often enough, I pray my Rosary but I’ve sort of forgotten about it lately and I need to start praying it again. I am going to set aside some time each day for Prayer, that sounds like it would really help my relationship with God grow.

Is there a specific reservation? Is the struggle historical, theological, or philosophical?

Do you consume any spiritual content/media versus secular?

I feel like it’s mainly historical. I’m in the Old Testament now, and some of the stuff in Genesis/Exodus I had a hard time believing, almost, even though I know I’m supposed to. How the story of Moses’ mother floating him down the Nile was the same as a Babylonian king Sargon story, and how the flood story with Noah is the same as the Babylonian flood story. These are just some I remember.


#5

I notice that you have just begun your conversion to Catholicism. A major difference between Catholicism and fundamental Christian denominations that are strictly sola scriptura is that you do not need to neglect your intellect. The Bible is written in different literary genres for different audiences in different historical periods.
The truth of Scripture is less in its literal interpretation, than the Truth that it conveys. What is the author trying to say? Here again is where to ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The first college I attended was a Catholic College which required one Theology course that I never took. I did however take the orientation to the class as part of the Freshman orientation. The most freeing statement I heard was that reading Scripture was to not look for the answers, but for the questions.
It doesn’t really matter whether or not Job was literally swallowed by a whale. The message is God’s call to repentance and his mercy on those who answer the call. Like Job, many of us are reluctant to initially step forward in obedience to what God asks of us.


#6

I don’t know if you want my thoughts, but here they are :o

I agree that the OT can be more difficult to accept. I like to start with a few other truths and make the scenario contextual.

There is historical evidence for events in the NT as well as the development of Christ’s Church - such as the writings of the historian Tertullian or the writings of Ignatius of Antioch. I also like Irenaeus of Lyon.

So, if we know the Church is true (and we believe her teachings), and we believe the Church was established by God, and if we believe the NT is true, then what of the OT?

Is Jonah difficult to contemplate? Sure it is. But since we believe the Church to be true, I am OK with Jonah even if the debate of literal versus symbolic is centuries old.

I have heard that certain denominations rely too much on intellectual discussion and look for absolute proof in their approach to scripture. These are important and are not wrong to utilize. However, perhaps it’s not an “intellect-only” or “intellect-first” exercise.

We consider the truths of the Church and the weight of sacred tradition as given to us over thousands of years. It is a contextual approach.

That said, I would focus on the Gospel for awhile. I wouldn’t let Jonah come between you and God.


#7

Part of the RCIA process IS some historical background, but it’s primarily to fall “in love” with Christ. That’s why we cover salvation history and save other topics for later in the process.
For now, write down you specific questions so that your RCIA Director or your priest can recommend some good articles, books, commentaries that speak to those specific points.
Bear in mind, that the closer we come to Jesus, the more we anger the prince of lies.
He’d like for you to give up on conversion. Just be aware, be faithful, and most importantly, ***go to the Holy Spirit in prayer.
Peace. ***


#8

Thank you for rephrasing what I was saying. I did realize after it was too late that I typed “Job” instead of “Jonah.”
One of the questions that is posed to Job’s questioners is whether or not he was there when God laid the foundation of the world. I know that I was not.
Could God have created the world in seven literal days? Absolutely. Scripture also says that a thousand years is but a day in the sight of the Lord. God created the world. I don’t read Scripture as a science text. There’s no need to debate Creationism vs. Evolution.

The important point being made is “we consider the truths of the Church and the weight of sacred tradition as given to us over thousands of years. It is a contextual approach.”


#9

OP - Your concern regarding this possibly reveals a deeper reality in your soul… What is the reason you are anxious about not believing such and such? Because you think it’s true, therefore you ought to believe it. But maybe your feelings sometimes differ from your thoughts… Maybe you feel afraid of the dark, though you think there’s nothing there.


#10

My answer to your main question, that of Supernatural Faith, is that it is a gift, and as such, it really depends on God. However, we can dispose ourselves to it, and the best way to do that is to develop a vibrant prayer life, and to consistently increase the amount of sanctifying grace in our souls by living a Sacramental life.

Now, Faith is a gift which gives your intellect the *ability *to assent to revealed truth. We learn about revelation so as to know what to assent to, but we can’t truly assent to it without Faith. Some people may have an opinion that something like the Trinity is true, but yet they can actually lack Supernatural Faith in it.

As to your question about Genesis and Exodus.

Frankly, a lot of people hear bits and pieces from the scholarly community about things like this, and then presume they can have an opinion on it that is informed. IMHO, scholarly nuances like this should be reserved to scholars who have proper training to really analyze the question. The rest of us basically pick a scholar and choose to agree with him. This can be more or less ad hoc. It can also be a matter of not seeing the forest for the trees.

My humble suggestion, therefore, would be to keep an open mind, and to first and foremost work on the most important thing: which is becoming a Catholic and being able to live a Sacramental life. As you progress, you can choose to study scholarly questions about the Bible in greater depth, but I think it is unwise to think you should answer these questions before pursuing becoming Catholic.

While we should always be open to using our intellect and to learning things, we should also learn to discern knowledge that is purely theoretical from that which is practical, and we should be more willing to know practical things than theoretical ones, especially if this is called for by our state in life. Desperately wanting to know things beyond our state in life, for pure reasons of curiosity, can be an imperfection or even a sin.


#11

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