I Need Help, I'm losing Faith!


#1

This may seem a bit long but please bear with me because I really need some help or advice.

I was brought up in a family with an anglican father and a catholic mother, I was placed in the catholic school system, I rarely went to church on Sundays .Oddly enough all the people I talked to in school maybe 1 in 15 actually practised their catholic faith. This is including teachers.

I never had a strong side when it came to my faith, but I never denied that there was a God.

I just recently started going to church again, and you wanna actually know what got me going back to church? Well I was watching the show desperate housewives one Sunday, and I remember seeing a priest talking to one of the “housewives” about her affair and saying that “If you die in mortal sin, you automatically go to hell”. And believe it or not this was a surprise to me, I did not know this, thats how out of touch I was with my religion. I went through baptism, first communion, reconcilliation and 11 years of CATHOLIC school I did not know this!

Anyways, my problem is, I started going to chrch I’d say about a month or so ago, and my faith felt strong especially after confessing my years of sinning, but starting a few days ago I started losing my faith.

I recently read that one can lose his salvation from one mortal sin and nt know it, and have no chance of heaven after that. This made a huge impact on my faith, I asked myself why would a loving God knowingly take away ones salvation after committing a mortal sin, By the way I got this information from reading about Peter and how he denied christ 3 times and was told that his salvation would be lost after denying christ and he would know immediatly whe God turns his back on him “He will hear a rooster crow”. This is what has me so upset, and doubtful. Maybe i’m just not understanding this but wouldn’t this be the same today, because I was reading that you can lose your salvation and never get it back, but why would the “all knowing” God do this if he “knows” that maybe this person will realise his stupidity and return to the church.

Peter, who denied christ and then realised he was wrong in doing so and apologised for his mistakes while on his knees lost his salvation at that very moment, and there was nothing he could do to reverse it.

The very fact that someone can lose their salvation from denying christ 3 times and then repents and still loses his salvation makes me think that there is no hope for me because I am struggling with a number of mortal sins and I end up going to connfession every week because of this. I can’t go one week without committing mortal sin, and Peter commited 3 and was doomed, I can tell you that for sure without a doubt I have commited more than three mortal sins.

Didn’t Jesus die for our sins, so that we could be absolved from ALL sins that we commit, what is the point of this if we can so easily lose our salvation, what is the point if there is a point in our lives where God can completely turn his back on us?

This is something that makes me feel like I don’t want to believe in a God that can do this to his children, and in church today when we were praying I couldn’t even say “I believe in the holy spirit, the holy catholic church” because I felt like if there is a God (it pains me to even type that “If”) saying hat I believe in him when I’m not sure that I do would be like a slap in the face to him.

I wanna believe and have faith but I am really struggling with this and now I feel like the holy spirit has left me our turned his back because i’m in such deisbelif, and it feels like no matter how hard I try to believe it just doesn’t work, and I seriously do feel like God was behind me but when I have these doubts he gave up on me. And I’m terrified of this!

Has anyone on this board lost faith at one point or another or felt the way i am feeling now, and anyone turned their back on God and then returned with th belief that he will forgive you? Can anyone offer me advice because I AM DESPERATE RIGHT NOW, I know that if I die in the state of unbelief that i am in now,no matter how hard I want to believe I WILL goto hell.

PLEASE HELP!


#2

As our Holy Father says, “Be not afraid!”

It sounds like you have a case of what is called scrupulosity. I think you might benefit greatly by reading this:

Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous Pay special attention to the tenth item!

Also, find yourself a good priest/spiritual advisor who can arrange some extra time with you. You are not alone. Even great saints experience dark times in their faith. I will pray for you.

Scott


#3

[quote=Steven87]11 years of CATHOLIC school I did not know this!

Anyways, my problem is, I started going to chrch I’d say about a month or so ago, and my faith felt strong especially after confessing my years of sinning, but starting a few days ago I started losing my faith.

By the way I got this information from reading about Peter and how he denied christ 3 times and was told that his salvation would be lost after denying christ and he would know immediatly whe God turns his back on him “He will hear a rooster crow”. This is what has me so upset, and doubtful.PLEASE HELP!
[/quote]

Huh? You have a lot of questions here. And (fortunately) some misunderstandings. I sympathize deeply with the non-catechesis and absence of faith you were given in Catholic school.

But you can relax about Peter. I mean, he’s a SAINT – that means that his repentance was accepted and, as you know, Jesus selected Peter personally as the Apostle who would “strengthen his brethren” after he had denied Jesus and returned to his faith.

Clearly, the Holy Spirit is “shakin’ you up” because he’s doing something special with you and for you.

Do you own a copy of the *Catechism of the Catholic Church? *Do yourself a favor and pick one up. It has a good index and you can look up things by topic. Talk to your priest. You’ve made a good start by coming here.

Hugs.


#4

Steven,

Hang on! You sound so much like I was about 11 years ago. I came very close to leaving the church all because I never knew what the Catholic Church actually taught. After listening to Scott Hahn’s conversion tape and then praying to the Holy Spirit and saying “Show me the truth and help strenghen my faith.” With that, I have grown in my faith. I get information from Catholic Answers and buy many tapes from Saint Joseph Communications (www.saintjoe.com). It is amazing how many people have converted from other faiths and are now teaching us!

Since we are human, we have finite minds. We are unable to understand all there is to understand. I heard on Catholic radio about a year ago of how in the Bible it says even the holy man will sin seven times a day. For me this was reasurring. Even though I try to do good each day, we are human and mess up. Thank God for the gift of confession!

There is so much to share but for now, hang on, don’t give up and pursue to learn your faith. There is so much knowledge out there for us to learn. If you are in a parish that doesn’t have a good Orthodox priest that can help you truly learn your faith, it will be up to you to search out the information.

The Navarre Bibles have been very helpful to me to help understand what the scriptures are actually saying. With this I can’t decide for myself what scripture is saying but I can hear what the Early Church Fathers say regarding our faith and so many others. Also, a must buy is a Catechism of the Catholic Church. A priest told us in a homily that if you begin to read it about 15 minutes a day you could probably finish it in a year. The person you were at the beginning of the year is not who you would be at the end of the year. Maybe make it a New Years resolution to grow in your faith.

Remember, the more you grow in your faith the more Satan will try to get you to stop going to Mass.

God Bless,
Gail

"It would be easier for the world to exist without the sun, than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass."
Saint Padre Pio


#5

[quote=Steven87]This may seem a bit long but please bear with me because I really need some help or advice.

I was brought up in a family with an anglican father and a catholic mother, I was placed in the catholic school system, I rarely went to church on Sundays .Oddly enough all the people I talked to in school maybe 1 in 15 actually practised their catholic faith. This is including teachers.

I recently read that one can lose his salvation from one mortal sin and nt know it, and have no chance of heaven after that. This made a huge impact on my faith, I asked myself why would a loving God knowingly take away ones salvation after committing a mortal sin, By the way I got this information from reading about Peter and how he denied christ 3 times and was told that his salvation would be lost after denying christ and he would know immediatly whe God turns his back on him “He will hear a rooster crow”. This is what has me so upset, and doubtful. Maybe i’m just not understanding this but wouldn’t this be the same today, because I was reading that you can lose your salvation and never get it back, but why would the “all knowing” God do this if he “knows” that maybe this person will realise his stupidity and return to the church.

Peter, who denied christ and then realised he was wrong in doing so and apologised for his mistakes while on his knees lost his salvation at that very moment, and there was nothing he could do to reverse it.

The very fact that someone can lose their salvation from denying christ 3 times and then repents and still loses his salvation makes me think that there is no hope for me because I am struggling with a number of mortal sins and I end up going to connfession every week because of this. I can’t go one week without committing mortal sin, and Peter commited 3 and was doomed, I can tell you that for sure without a doubt I have commited more than three mortal sins.

PLEASE HELP!
[/quote]

First things first, God has welcomed you home when you made the decision to return to the Church and to begin attending Mass again. At least two people have given you excellent responses on this subject, and I especially endorse the comment about learning about the Ten Commands.

The second point is that of Peter. I do not know your source for claiming that Peter lost his salvation, but whoever wrote that is wrong !! Peter was chosen by the Father to be leader of the Apostles after Jesus returned to Heaven (see Matt 16:14-18). The second point about Peter is that the sin that you have been told caused the loss of salvation was forgiven by Jesus, and at the same time Jesus affirmed Peter as the leader of the apostles, despite his doubt expressed on that night. (refer John chapter 21 where Peter was affirmed by Jesus "Simon son of Jonah, do you love me… feed my lambs… feed my sheep).

I am not surprised that anyone would feel disillusioned if faced with such an inaccurate portrayal of Peter. It would be enough to cause all sorts of doubts in a mind that has not learned to discern the Truth.

I can appreciate where you are coming from because I had a faith crisis last year, despite the fact that I attend daily Mass. I did not doubt God for one minute, for that was not the nature of my crisis. During the time of the crisis I was supported by my Parish Priest who understood the issues as I had been presenting them to him. For me the issue is that of remaining in the workforce, and it is difficult for me when people who say they are “Christian” say things like “You will get a job, God told me that there is a job around the corner for you”… I hope you get the picture as to why there was a crisis. This crisis could have led to a loss of hope in God, but in the end, things came to a head and even if the problem was not resolved in a satisfactory way, I have obtained some peace of mind.

God is not harsh, except when we are fully deserving of being punished. So do not give up, do not lose faith, and I also suggest that you read the Psalms.

MaggieOH


#6

Steven,
I hear your pain and I will pray for you. I’m new to the faith, but I read and try to learn all I can. Reading and learning is very important. Talk to your priest. It sounds like you’re judging yourself a bit harder than Our Father is.

Hang in there and come here to talk if you feel you have nowhere else to go. There are so many wonderful people here to help you! Don’t condemn yourself to hell without finding the reasons you are doing so. As I said, I’m new to the faith…I struggle every day with the beliefs I’ve held for many years…but once I learn the Church’s teachings and reasonings it doesn’t seem so difficult to turn a sin into a blessing of understanding. And with my understanding I tell a friend who maybe thinks about it and it’s sort of a snowflake in an avalanche scenerio. At least that’s what I’m hoping.

Don’t lose the faith, Steven. As a person who is just finding it, IT is a wonderful thing to have. I don’t have any Bible quotes to send you, all I have is a big hug:blessyou:and hope that you hold on to the faith and learn more about it. Knowledge is the key to the lock you have placed on your heart. Oh, and with that, the key gets a little stickey when you first put it in the lock…just keep jiggling it…it works.

God Bless you Steven!
M


#7

God is indeed loving and merciful…He forgives us when we seek Him.
He knows you are seeking Him.
Our catholic faith gives us the great blessing and assurance of the sacrament of confession (which is,by the way, a very BIBLICAL sacrament!)

Trust in God.
Hell is for those who willfully reject God, and stubbornly remain in the state of mortal sin.

You DO have free will don’t you?
Try not to allow your “feelings” to confuse your ability to make conscious decisions with your free will.

You sound like someone who is trying to make a conscious decision to follow God.


#8

I remember reading that Peter lost his salvation from a website of a different religion… I just wish I could remember what the name of the religion was, it was a evangelical website… The exact site I read this from was evangelicaloutreach.org/onesin.htm

Does this website not believe in repenting? Are Catholics the only religion that has the sacrament of repentance.

That evangelical website mentions the unforgivable sin, which the believe is simply words badtalking the holy spirit, which I have done!!

When I was younger I didn’t know this was an unforgivable sin, I blamed God sometimes for my problems in my life and said “I Hate You” I was told that the unforgivable sin is dieing without repenting and knowingly regecting christ, but “blaspheming the holy spirit” sounds more like saying hateful words which I did!!! Blasphemy is defined as hateful words am I not right? I suddenly feel sick to my stomach.


#9

Rest assured, that as long as you are repentant, there are no sins that can not be forgiven. All of Christianity, more or less, believes that if one repents your sins can be forgiven…but only Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy have an actual sacrament of confession. (Protestants generally believe that they can simply confess even the gravest of sins directly to God and be forgiven).
The Church, which has been given the power to forgive and retain sins (Jn 20:21-23)…and she promises us that there are no sins that God will not forgive through her.

Consider this:

  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. * (1 John 1:9).

And from The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
CCC#1446:
Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded eccelsial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.” [Tertullian, De Poenit. 4, 2: PL 1, 1343; cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1542]
Read the entire Catechism if you can…I’m working through it myself. It’s available online at usccb.org/catechism/text/index.htm. (And don’t forget to spend time reading Sacred Scripture as well!).
God bless,
In Christ,
Tyler


#10

Steven - you cannot commit a mortal sin and not know it. There are certain conditions which must be met for a sin to be considered “mortal:”
[list]*]The act must be of a gravely evil nature (ie, a violation of one of the Ten Commandments)
*]The act must be committed with complete free will (not compelled by outside forces)
*]The person must have full knowledge of the sinfulness of the act at the time.[/list]Even very serious sins such as murder might not be mortally sinful if these conditions are not met.


#11

Steven87,
Buddy, don’t lose it, and stop listening and reading evangelical sites. You’ll get a different answer from every one you see. It’ll drive ya nuts just as sure as you’re sittin’ there readin’ this :smiley: .

The very fact that you are repentant of all your sins shows that you are not guilty of the unforgivable sin. Which BTW is actually called “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” and consists of attributing a miracle of God to the devil. This is from the context of the very passage where Jesus talks about this sin. So stop worrying about something that you probably haven’t really done. God knows, we rack up enough real sins w/o making up new ones to make us feel unforgivable.

Take courage from the FACT of your confession and remember what the good priest said to you at the end. You are absolved…those sins are GONE. Doubt comes to everyone…(hey I’m no :angel1: ) but God is faithful even when we are idiots. He loves you my friend and will never let you go. Keep in mind that your very return to the faith is a work of the Holy Spirit in your life and it wouldn’t’ve happened if the Lord wasn’t calling you. You heard…you’ve answered… Read the story of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32 ) and KNOW that that is YOU (and me!). Note that the Father didn’t wait for the kid to arrive, but rushed out to meet him while he was still a long way off and threw his arms around him and kissed him…that’s YOU dude! Bear also in mind that Jesus said that the angels rejoice in the presence of God whenever a sinner repents. You are the cause of a very serious angelic party in heaven, so let some of that forgiveness and JOY loose in yourself, okay? Man you can’t even imagine …
Have faith in God…you’re His now and He will never abandon you…EVER.

So Merry Christmas my friend. You just got the best Christmas present of all!!

http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/candle3.gif

Welcome home! hug
Pax vobiscum


#12

Michael(Church Militant) that was beautiful!:thumbsup:

I love you guys!

Steven, hang in there, buddy! Know that you are loved. I’m glad you’re here and hope, wish, and pray for you! Don’t give up on the faith! It’s the greatest thing there is. God loves you more than you know.

Peace be with you!
M


#13

Steven,

Peter repented, read where Jesus and Peter were talking and Christ asked Peter 3 times, ‘Simon, Son of John, Do you love me?’ What did Peter say…“YES!” Now, how can a person who thinks they have lost their salvation say this? If Peter lost his salvation, hung his head in shame, he would have been like Judas and hung himself.
Judas was sorry for his sin and threw the silver pieces back to the Chief Priests, but Judas DID NOT go back to Jesus and asked for forgiveness. Peter DID return to Jesus…see the difference Steven? Judas died physically and spiritually, Peter lived physically and spiritually to even become the First Pope!

The only unforgivable sin is NOT to let God work within you, becaue that IS the work of the Holy Spirit. (I heard this from the Homily on ETWN’s Mass sometime during the past 7 days). You could also be experiecing the exit of the outward joy you have because God IS testing your faith.

Please DO NOT go by the 'warm and fuzzy feelings you have had in the past month or so." God let you experience these feelings to let you know you are on your way back to Him, BUT there are times WE ALL go through that the feelings will subside and then we remember those feelings and THEN we go by FAITH. (St. John of the Cross calls it The Dark Sleep of the Soul).
WE ALL GO THROUGH IT!

Make EVERY attempt to continue on with your struggle.
You are loved!
Write me a PM!

Be strong,
God IS with Us!
Edwin


#14

[quote=Church Militant]Steven87,
Buddy, don’t lose it, and stop listening and reading evangelical sites. You’ll get a different answer from every one you see. It’ll drive ya nuts just as sure as you’re sittin’ there readin’ this :smiley: .

The very fact that you are repentant of all your sins shows that you are not guilty of the unforgivable sin. Which BTW is actually called “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” and consists of attributing a miracle of God to the devil. This is from the context of the very passage where Jesus talks about this sin. So stop worrying about something that you probably haven’t really done. God knows, we rack up enough real sins w/o making up new ones to make us feel unforgivable.

Take courage from the FACT of your confession and remember what the good priest said to you at the end. You are absolved…those sins are GONE. Doubt comes to everyone…(hey I’m no :angel1: ) but God is faithful even when we are idiots. He loves you my friend and will never let you go. Keep in mind that your very return to the faith is a work of the Holy Spirit in your life and it wouldn’t’ve happened if the Lord wasn’t calling you. You heard…you’ve answered… Read the story of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:11-32 ) and KNOW that that is YOU (and me!). Note that the Father didn’t wait for the kid to arrive, but rushed out to meet him while he was still a long way off and threw his arms around him and kissed him…that’s YOU dude! Bear also in mind that Jesus said that the angels rejoice in the presence of God whenever a sinner repents. You are the cause of a very serious angelic party in heaven, so let some of that forgiveness and JOY loose in yourself, okay? Man you can’t even imagine …
Have faith in God…you’re His now and He will never abandon you…EVER.

So Merry Christmas my friend. You just got the best Christmas present of all!!

http://pages.prodigy.net/rogerlori1/emoticons/candle3.gif

Welcome home! hug
Pax vobiscum
[/quote]

Steven, I agree wholeheartedly with MCOLE and Church Militant and so many others. Welcome Home. God bless you and please accept His blessing, His grace and His forgiveness.
I cling to Hope in God and His promise. Even though I am so weak and constantly need the wonderful Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.
Let’s each pray for each other and our families.
Newman60


#15

[quote=Steven87]I remember reading that Peter lost his salvation from a website of a different religion… I just wish I could remember what the name of the religion was, it was a evangelical website… The exact site I read this from was evangelicaloutreach.org/onesin.htm

Does this website not believe in repenting? Are Catholics the only religion that has the sacrament of repentance.

That evangelical website mentions the unforgivable sin, which the believe is simply words badtalking the holy spirit, which I have done!!

When I was younger I didn’t know this was an unforgivable sin, I blamed God sometimes for my problems in my life and said “I Hate You” I was told that the unforgivable sin is dieing without repenting and knowingly regecting christ, but “blaspheming the holy spirit” sounds more like saying hateful words which I did!!! Blasphemy is defined as hateful words am I not right? I suddenly feel sick to my stomach.
[/quote]

Steven, Fear not. And the thing about Peter losing his salvation is a way the evangelicals use to justify not following Rome. "If Peter was the first Pope and he denied Jesus and lost his salvation, then … " I used to use those lies before I converted and fount the truth. As far as yelling at God, I think he is big enough to take it. Paul was a persecriter and murder and totally trashed Jesus, but he was convered. I teach my CCD kids three rules to live by:

  1. GOD LOVED YOU.
  2. GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU.
  3. THERE IS NO SIN GREATER THAN GOD’S FORGIVENESS.

As for “blaspheming the holy spirit”, that would be turning your back on the holy spirit and being too proud to seek forgiveness. Your postings sound repentant in nature.

My dear friend, please see a priest, go to reconcilliation, ask God’s forgiveness and what ever happened in your life that you blaim God, tell him you forgive him too. He does love you.


#16

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