[quote="anruari, post:3, topic:317190"]
The question of the link between Faith and reason is indeed an interesting one.
The official teaching of our church in fact is that Reason is essential for a meaningfull faith.
Both of our 2 last Popes have taken great pains to illustrate this point.
We are required and responsible for the education of our own conscience.
That is not to say that the poor in spirit: those with a blind faith are unable to receive their salvation, but more that a faith based on and utilizing reason is a fuller, richer faith.
taht does not mean we should take our own path, ignoring the trail blazed ahead for us by the Saints and validated by the Magisterium - on the contrary, the Church, in the authority of the Magisterium has pointed to many great thinkers who have gone before us and recognised the Divine revelation of their Sainthood. In doing so she lifts the works and writings of those Saints to an especially prominent position and encourages us to read them - even when not everything they may have said is considered orthodox!
Approachability of Priests and the Clergy:
I feel for you deeply here. I myself have been hurt by approaching one priest with a thorny issue, looking for honest debate and hoping to be educated. He cast me aside and told me if I couldn't blindly accept the teaching in question I wasn't a catholic and not to approach him for Holy Communion.
I would point out that in my experience that was an extremely rare and unfortunate event. My normal experience is for Priests to be very aware of their duty as Pastors of Souls, and as Teachers. Sometimes they need to set an appointment to sit down with you and address your issues but they have a duty and responsibility to do so. To fail to do this is a total dereliction of their duty. If one priest doesn't have time he must find you another priest, deacon or suitably qualified person who can help you.
That said. Sometimes it's easier to seek and approach a priest who has especially made himself available, or to seek another person with the responsibility to teach. A Deacon, or a Brother or Sister in a teaching or missionary order.
There are regular catholic missionary events in every Diocese. At hose events you will find many people who will be very happy to sit down with you. address your most immediate concerns and direct you to a suitable Spiritual Director to help you in the longer term.
If you want specific questions answered, then go to your Parish priest and explicitly say you have a range of issue and would like some Spiritual Direction. Can he provide it or recommend a suitable person.
This approach makes it clear that you are serious, but willing to be handed on to someone with a particular gift in this area. If your locality has Permanent Deacons, or a Monastery or and active Opus Dei movement or Neocatecumen movement he may direct you to one of these organisations, depending on his relationship with them and the nature of the issues you have.
In the mean time, if you have specific questions I will be happy to try to answer them. Just send me the question on a P.M. or post it publicly and PM me with a link to that post. I promise I'll get back to you.
Thank you for the links, I shall ask about for somebody equipped to answer my questions, which I'm going to have to gather up into some organized fashion before I present it to this person, who I hope is friendly and who doesn't have a dismissive demeanour. God Bless you.