First of all, blessed Christmas
I guess I have a weird question. Ive became a Catholic in summer 2013. However, as I think about it, i dont REALLY believe in Jesus. I like Christian philosophy, I like the lifestyle, I try to live as if I was a christian. I try to be good, I go to church, ive been praying rosary daily for half a year now.
On the other hand, i dont believe that other religions are false. Im not really sure wether things really happenened like they are described in the Bible. I just like that idea, but Im not completely persuaded. I wouldnt be able to defend these ideas to my friends.
The problem is that i studied social anthropology where we had courses like critical interpretation of religion etc… So for me, Christianity is something that works for me and gives me confort. But I dont feel a need to persuade other people they are wrong if they believe something else.
Catholicism is just a lifestyle for me. Is this a sin? What am I doing wrong? I do really believe that there is a God, but i dont believe people are able to describe him properly. For me, Christianity is just an attempt to describe him that works for me. But why cant i REALLY believe Catholic story is the TRUTH?
First of all, blessed Christmas
I had a similar problem when I quit drinking in 2001 and AA re-introduced me to my Higher Power. I had serious doubts that there was a God, esp since watching the other members who had no problem having a tree, or another member, or the group itself as their “higher power”.
Anyway, I prayed and prayed for a long time- many many months- before God finally gave me the grace to realize that there MUST be a higher power, using the following reasoning: I am definitely not the higher power. There are many powers greater than me. Out of all these, therefore, there MUST be a “Highest” Power. This is God. This “logic” worked for me, but I can only say pray, God will give you the answer. (Seek and you will find, etc…)
Today I have no problem believing God exists, because of so many supernatural and miraculous things I’ve experienced since then, both personally and in the writings and stories of the saints.
Thank you. In fact, i do believe in the supernatutral. It surely does exist.
What is my problem- im not sure wether Catholic “theory” is the whole and the only truth. I can see it does have nice and truthful parts, but im not sure if it has more truth than other religions etc.
I dont believe it is possible for us to understand God and thats why it is difficult for me to believe that catholic doctríne is infallible.
First, I just want to say, baby steps, since you recently became Catholic. First get securely grounded in your Faith. I see you have the will and desire to do so.
“Comparative Study of World Religions” really messed up my mind in school. Now I try to forget almost everything I was taught in that class! (Note to parents: Ground your children well in the Faith, prepare them for when they go off to college and are exposed to the secular side of society, even in so-called Catholic colleges.)
Techno, I can only say PRAY for the truth to be revealed to you. I sincerely begged and prayed for four years to know the Truth between Catholic and Protestant. One thing that helped me immensely was Eucharistic Adoration. Go see Jesus and talk to Him.
There are excellent apologetic books out there that will help you much more than I can…I used Patrick Madrid’s “Surprised by Truth” series as well as Tim Staples, Scott Hahn.
I hear you. I don’t think it is possible for us to know God fully–our minds can’t begin to comprehend the immensity that is God.
Maybe if you study on the history of the Church, read the Church Fathers and get some apologetic literature. I wish I could help you more, but don’t fret-- the “big guns” will be here shortly, I am sure, LOL. You are asking the right questions in the right place.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas. I am praying for you to find your answers.
Maybe you just haven’t yet recognized and/or admitted to yourself that you already are believing the Catholic story to be true. Truth is what we’re divorced from in this world in one capacity or another; truth is difficult for us to accept; truth, ultimately, separates us from the world, we’re born with a proclivity for preferring things to be the way we think they should be, and not necessarily for accepting the way things are. Catholicism demands that we put Truth first, above all else, a daunting and yet worthy and beautiful lifelong struggle. And Merry Christmas
Also, consider that the Catholic faith affirms that other Religions (even non-Christian ones) have some element of Truth in them…just not all the Truth. I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said that when he was an atheist he had to be closed minded because he had to believe that ALL religions were false, but when he became Christian he realized that in some sense, all religions have some Truth, even though the fullness of Truth resides in Christ.
The Catholic church does not teach that other religions are false, See statement from Vatican II, it simply states that the Catholic Church has the entire fullness of God’s revelation to man. vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html
Any Catholic who goes around teaching that other religions are false is directly contradicting Church teaching.
This is probably going to be too black and white for you…you’re female and European, and I’m male and American…that’s a pretty big gulf to cross…but here’s my take on your situation:
Either Jesus rose from dead or He didn’t.
If He didn’t, then pick which every philosophy makes you happy. But if He did, then everything else He said and did (including building His Church upon Peter) become incredibly important.
So, what do you think? Did Jesus rise from the dead or not? :shrug:
How in the world can you wish everyone a blessed Christmas without Jesus Christ being real?
You do know what Christmas is, right?
It’s not about a tree or gifts or “cheer”.
It about the Savior. If He did not exist, you wouldn’t be writing these words.
I’ll pray for your awakening.
Jesus, God, IS. And He’s waiting for your acknowledgement. He never forces Himself on anyone, but He indeed, is waiting for you to accept Him. He created you. He loves you, and He is waiting.
Merry Christmas, Emmanuel has come.
I agree with Sandraaustin, take small steps, center on Jesus. Without Jesus there is no Catholic faith! Jesus is the head of the Church, and we the Church are his body. A body has no life without its head. I was an agnostic for the first 47 years of my life, and I was not fulfilled until I had faith in Jesus Christ, then the Catholic Church made sense and my life made sense!
‘What was from the beginning, what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life–
for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it
and proclaim to you the eternal life
that was with the Father and was made visible to us–
**what we have seen and heard **we now proclaim to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.’ (1 John 1:1-4, NAB)
Our Catholic Christian faith is not centered on an idea or some abstract spirituality or a nice way of living, it is centered on a man named Jesus Christ! This man made some amazing claims; to know the Father, that he was sent by the Father and ‘if you have seen me you have seen the Father.’ Jesus speaks in the very Person of God. And John is writing in the above scripture passage that, he (and others) are witnesses to Jesus’ teachings, miracles and most importantly his resurrection from the dead!
When I became a Catholic Christian, this is what drew me into the Church. The witnesses over two thousand years who were willing to die for their belief that Jesus was who he said he was and that he truly rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
So ladybug 25, have a Merry Christmas, pray and read the New Testament! Center you prayer on Jesus, and all the rest of your Catholic faith will much fuller!
I struggle with my faith, too.
It’s all just so incredible that it can be quite hard to believe.
Well, thats it. I don’t know for sure if it really happened. Probably yes, but how can we know for sure? None of us was there.
This might seem heretical, buts its what ive been thinking about.
And another thing I dont understand is the concept of death on the cross. Why was it necessary? God could forgive us without it.
Ive read some explanations about someone else paying for broken window. But relationship is not a thing that can be paid by someone else!
If I argue with my dad, how can my brother’s death make my father forgive me? It just doesn’t make sense.
Im sorry if this thought upset you.
Anyway, I will take your advice and i will continue to pray and go to mass regularly.
Your post makes me sad I will pray for your struggle.
I think at some point you step out in faith and perhaps that is the element you are missing.
You say you believe in God but don’t think men can properly describe him. I agree, but perhaps consider that God has described himself to us, at least partially.
Thank you everyone. And the questions I asked above are for all of you, not just for Randy.
I know that the Church teaches that there is a bit of light in other religions. Its just the question of how do we know that the Catholic Church has the fullest truth?
Of course, it is led by Holy Spirit. But how do we prove this? Is it really so?
There are a number of good books that dig into what we can know with confidence. Here’s one that was written by a police detective who investigated the accounts of Jesus’ resurrection like he would investigate a crime:
When I entered the Church I guess I didnt believe fully either. It was just the best option for me. I was tired after researching all different religions and I felt at peace in Church. I also had Catholic friends and this is a predominantly Catholic country.
Ive been praying and going to church for some time before my confirmation. But still, Catholic faith was just the “relatively best option” for me. It wasnt “the truth”.
I hoped this would change as I formally enter the Church. But exactly the opposite happened. Very shortly after confirmation I entered what st John of the Cross calls Dark Night of the soul. My whole life- not just the spirituality turned upside down. The more I tried to pray and do good deeds, the further I went from God. The less I believed. Eventually, I practically became an atheist.
After a year and a half of complete darkness and depression God is slowly pulling me back to himself. But it feels like building my faith from the very beginning. As if those years of searching didnt even happen.
Now my soul is split. Half of it feels God in a deeper level than before but the other part is still away.
I tried to talk to our priest when this process of me becoming an atheist started but he didnt really understand me and literally he said “i wouldnt bother with this right now. Just pray and it will be ok”.
So I know I should pray but is there anything other I can do? I really need and appreciate your prayers.
Thanks Randy. I see that foreword is written by Strobel. I have his book at home and it was one of the first Christian books I read. It convinced me back then. I just didnt take Strobell seriously after I discovered he is a creationist and didnt find his book about creation scientifically accurate.
But I guess the book about Jesus is fine.
So I I will read it again.
I think you know your answer, you are fighting it.
The peace that brought you back? Christ.
It was the “truth”. Truth is, it’s doesn’t live in quotation marks. Pilate said “what is truth?”
He was gazing upon truth when he said it. It was an acknowledgment that he could bring himself to accept the truth, because he was afraid. Deathly afraid.
You will certainly be prayed for. That’s what most of us are here for, not simply to make friends, or to debate and discuss.
The fact that you have posted on THIS day, is witness to the fact that Jesus is holding out his tiny hand to you. In this moment.
As Jon said, step out in faith.
Look, when we marry, we can’t predict how our spouse will treat us 50 years down the road. We can’t predict if we will live tomorrow. We take it on faith. If we can place our faith in mere humans, why would we not place our trust in the Creator of all?
The doubting Thomases demand proof. You are here seeking answers, and struggling.
That’s your proof dear one.
God is calling you. You hear Him. He doesn’t wound, despite how humanity continually wounds Him.
He doesn’t judge harshly, despite how we judge others.
He doesn’t demand, despite how we demand things daily, like we have some right to.
He only loves. Accept that love. Know that you are a child of God, His precious creation, His daughter, His friend, His gift to the rest of us.
None of us know how to speak when we are born. None of us are born with the ability to pray perfectly. Worry less about your prayer. It will come. Begin to listen, pray with your life.
The prayers will flow eventually. And it will be a two-way convo.
In short, it’s Christmas. The Savior has come to your heart. Throw open the doors!
**“Come Lord Jesus, enter the hearts of the faith, and kindle in them, the fire of your love.” **