I'm a confused atheist


#1

First off, this might be in the wrong forum. I'm guessing. :\

So, I'm an atheist, have been for years. Suddenly the whole atheism thing isn't feeling right. I feel like I'm missing something, but I can't put my finger on what (I got into a good school, I love my job, I have wonderful friends). But it's not something I can talk about to much of anyone. All my friends are atheists. All the professors I'm close to (and usually talk to) are atheists too. Anyone I talked to, if they know me, would think I'm a crazy hypocrite.
I guess what's bugging me is this interest in God, and Catholicism specifically, having been an atheist for so long. I don't like it when I don't have a logical explanation for something. I don't have an explanation for this. And it's not like it's been one day, it's been almost a year of feeling like this. Seriously, I woke up one morning last December and thought "I should be a nun". Which is ridiculous of course since I'm an atheist, and that's like the extreme end of religion. But I can't get that line of thinking out of my head.
I looked into becoming a Catholic, but then I always stop short, because everyone I know would think I'm a nutty hypocrite to change my mind like that.
I don't even know what I'm talking about really. Just wanted to get it out... I'm just all confused. I kind of want to just go back to being confident and happy in my non-belief. It was easier.


#2

[quote="Pi314, post:1, topic:178751"]
First off, this might be in the wrong forum. I'm guessing. :\

So, I'm an atheist, have been for years. Suddenly the whole atheism thing isn't feeling right. I feel like I'm missing something, but I can't put my finger on what (I got into a good school, I love my job, I have wonderful friends). But it's not something I can talk about to much of anyone. All my friends are atheists. All the professors I'm close to (and usually talk to) are atheists too. Anyone I talked to, if they know me, would think I'm a crazy hypocrite.
I guess what's bugging me is this interest in God, and Catholicism specifically, having been an atheist for so long. I don't like it when I don't have a logical explanation for something. I don't have an explanation for this. And it's not like it's been one day, it's been almost a year of feeling like this. Seriously, I woke up one morning last December and thought "I should be a nun". Which is ridiculous of course since I'm an atheist, and that's like the extreme end of religion. But I can't get that line of thinking out of my head.
I looked into becoming a Catholic, but then I always stop short, because everyone I know would think I'm a nutty hypocrite to change my mind like that.
I don't even know what I'm talking about really. Just wanted to get it out... I'm just all confused. I kind of want to just go back to being confident and happy in my non-belief. It was easier.

[/quote]

Your post reminds me of one of G. K. Chesterton's quotes: "The center of every man's existence is a dream. Death, disease, insanity, are merely material accidents, like a toothache or a twisted ankle. That these brutal forces always besiege and often capture the citadel does not prove that they are the citadel."

Do not make the mistake of thinking that these questions you are posing are a mere accident - you wouldn't be asking them if there was no reason to - right?

I would strongly suggest that you read his book, Orthodoxy.

Do not let others dictate what you believe. Seek out the truth - not the regurgitated myths of those who proclaim to know it all.

Peace +


#3

Sounds like God is phoning you. Will you answer?


#4

Just start thinking about a higher power and let everything slowly absorb so you dont get overwelemed but your going to find this journey amazing!


#5

[quote="Pi314, post:1, topic:178751"]
First off, this might be in the wrong forum. I'm guessing. :\

So, I'm an atheist, have been for years. Suddenly the whole atheism thing isn't feeling right. I feel like I'm missing something, but I can't put my finger on what (I got into a good school, I love my job, I have wonderful friends). But it's not something I can talk about to much of anyone. All my friends are atheists. All the professors I'm close to (and usually talk to) are atheists too. Anyone I talked to, if they know me, would think I'm a crazy hypocrite.
I guess what's bugging me is this interest in God, and Catholicism specifically, having been an atheist for so long. I don't like it when I don't have a logical explanation for something. I don't have an explanation for this. And it's not like it's been one day, it's been almost a year of feeling like this. Seriously, I woke up one morning last December and thought "I should be a nun". Which is ridiculous of course since I'm an atheist, and that's like the extreme end of religion. But I can't get that line of thinking out of my head.
I looked into becoming a Catholic, but then I always stop short, because everyone I know would think I'm a nutty hypocrite to change my mind like that.
I don't even know what I'm talking about really. Just wanted to get it out... I'm just all confused. I kind of want to just go back to being confident and happy in my non-belief. It was easier.

[/quote]

Once God grabs ahold, I assure you, He's not easily shaken. I experienced the same thing as a Protestant, where He grabbed ahold of me and dragged me into Catholicism. It was one of the two hardest and most painful times in my life, the breaks in family relationships, the fears that I was going astray and going against God's will . . . torrents of fears, doubts and family clashes. Really bad. BUT the reward is INFINITELY WORTH IT. You cannot believe what it is like to really taste of God, to sink your teeth into His flesh, to receive the spiritual glories God has to offer His children. The light and beauty I have experienced through conversion has wiped all my tears away and I have nothing now but joy and fulfillment.

Like you, I too am feeling called to the monastic life. I used to say, "if there are two things I don't want to be in life, it's a teacher and a priest." So that's what God gave me to be -- or at least a religious, which is next door to the priesthood. I don't know whether I'll ever be a priest or not. Considering how God just loves to mess with my life, I'm guessing I will ;). I'm already functioning as a teacher at my local parish, and greatly enjoying it :o.

God loves us so, so much and He wants unity with us, intimate relationships with us because that gives our lives all the fulfillment we can have. All He wants is the best for us, and sometimes the best thing for us is the hardest thing for us to take because we are short-sighted . . . I own a pet guinea pig and sometimes I've offered her treats and she won't take them because her defensive reflexes have her wound up and she won't leave the box. There is no danger to her, but she's afraid to come out into the open. It's the same way between us and God. Sometimes He has something wonderful in store for us and we have to do something hard in order to get it, because that's best for us. Over time, my guinea pig has lost much of her fear because she's spent so much time among people. Her lifestyle is happier. In the same way, by doing what is hard we gain deeper unity with God and benefit very deeply from it. That's just a mini-scale analogy, of course.

When I was Protestant, I had a relationship with God but there was always something missing in it. Often I didn't really notice it, but Christ kept working on me and making that feeling of lacking grow, because He wanted me to have the fullness of Himself which is in the Catholic Church, rather than leaving me with pieces of what He is.

Jesus Christ said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and that is what is calling on your spirit. You are being called to spiritual light. You are being blessed in a very great way. God is bringing you to Himself, drawing you onto the path toward Heaven and He's a tough one to resist! And resisting isn't worth it anyway-- it only hurts us worse in the end. Jesus wants to be your personal friend and I think it's time you answered Him with some prayers.

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

He is standing at the door to your soul and knocking. God is blessing you and drawing you away from a life devoted to worldly things, things that pass away in a few years when people move or the economy changes or we die. He's drawing you away from all that so that you can have real life, eternal life.


#6

Get out your iTunes and subscribe to the podcast: “EWTN: The Journey Home”

The host and all guests interviewed are converts. Listen to the “reasons” of other athiests and those of other denominations and faiths as to why they chose to become Catholic.

Take your time. You’re not alone. There will be difficulty. Seek the truth.


#7

[quote="Pi314, post:1, topic:178751"]
First off, this might be in the wrong forum. I'm guessing. :\

So, I'm an atheist, have been for years. Suddenly the whole atheism thing isn't feeling right. I feel like I'm missing something, but I can't put my finger on what (I got into a good school, I love my job, I have wonderful friends). But it's not something I can talk about to much of anyone. All my friends are atheists. All the professors I'm close to (and usually talk to) are atheists too. Anyone I talked to, if they know me, would think I'm a crazy hypocrite.

[/quote]

you've come to the right place then! :) I'm a former agnostic... I also felt, for years, like there's something that's bothering me, but couldn't decide what it is. Now, I really believe there's a part in our hearts that only God can fill.

I guess what's bugging me is this interest in God, and Catholicism specifically, having been an atheist for so long. I don't like it when I don't have a logical explanation for something. I don't have an explanation for this. And it's not like it's been one day, it's been almost a year of feeling like this. Seriously, I woke up one morning last December and thought "I should be a nun". Which is ridiculous of course since I'm an atheist, and that's like the extreme end of religion. But I can't get that line of thinking out of my head.
I looked into becoming a Catholic, but then I always stop short, because everyone I know would think I'm a nutty hypocrite to change my mind like that.
I don't even know what I'm talking about really. Just wanted to get it out... I'm just all confused. I kind of want to just go back to being confident and happy in my non-belief. It was easier.

don't worry you won't be a hypocrite for changing your mind, even if other people think so. People change their minds all the time, because we dont have everything figured out since day 1 of our lives. I went through agnosticism, general theism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, and now i'm a Catholic! lol!!! But....it's been so worth it. Because finally, I'm a peace. It's a journey to get there.. don't worry what people would think, honestly! it will be worth it.

about not having a logical explanation for something... all I can say is, try to surrender this. We know so little about the world and things dont always make sense simply because our minds are too small to grasp them. But that DOESN'T mean that as a Catholic you'd have to be some sort of non thinking robot person. ;) a big part of our faith is understanding and using reason and we believe that's one of the ways we can come to God. With time, God helped me understand the faith better. But that didn't come right away, I wasn't ready, I didn't have any experience...

try to pray, even if it feels awkward/fake/weird at first. And feel free to ask any questions about God or the Catholic Church :)

God bless!


#8

I could have written that :smiley: basically the same thing happened to me!

I agree, once God starts leading you somewhere…it’s really hard to go back. It’s like teh point of no return. haha. ;D but it’s all worth it in the end… we just have to let go of our selves sometimes. Once we do, we find He is there.

God bless


#9

:smiley: I’m so glad He does pull us along like that! It’s magnificent how He works.

[quote=Monica4316]but it’s all worth it in the end… we just have to let go of our selves sometimes. Once we do, we find He is there.
[/quote]

:thumbsup: Yes. God doesn’t wait until we are in Heaven to give us Himself to experience :). The reward is here and there, unending.

“Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30, NASB)


#10

Strange first post, a little fishy of a story, if you consider what happens on these boards from time to time, and not going to point that finger at the OP regardless, just showing some reservation here due to the past in general here.

If the post is legit, it’s a simple thing to simply give in and think, even in a rudimentary level of understanding, there is a God, you may not know much about him, but you know he exists. The rest, there is plenty of time to grow into, for now, it’s a simple, easy decision to make, not a huge leap when it comes down to it at all, just for now, to uncomplicate things in your mind, just accept him, and grow into the rest of it all as you are ready for it. When it comes down to it, you already declared you do believe in God, just wording it here, trying to be honest with yourself.


#11

It’s great that you’re confused. Confusion is often the beginning of real knowledge and wisdom – at least according to Plato and Aristotle. I’m from an atheist family and surrounded by atheists, and am converting to the Catholic Church. I had to find out that I was dead wrong about quite a number of things, before getting to this point. It was wonderfully humbling, and really, it is better to be humbled by the truth than to take pride in false opinions.

I hope you choose to allow God to lavish His great love and mercy on you. :slight_smile:


#12

You may be confused, and you may not believe in God, but God knows you, and loves you very much of course and obviously wishes to claim you. God believes in who you really are and is calling you to be that person, your true self, God's loved child.
I thank God for His great kindness to you. How blessed you are!


#13

Its not strange at all. My own story is weirder, really.


#14

Agreed. I’ve heard stories and experienced things that are pretty extreme as well. I fully accept Pi314’s account.


#15

Hi! welcome to the forum.

I have recently discovered a really interesting blog, “Conversion Diary”. The blogger documented her journey from atheism to faith. There are some amazing entries that demonstrate our human struggle to understand God and surrender to him. I suggest you have a look, you might find it helpful.


#16

Well, let me just say changing your world view, even radically doesn’t make you a hypocrite. It means you’ve changed your world view, and in this case specifically it means the Holy Spirit has come to you and revealed the truth to you. So I wouldn’t spend too much time worrying about that, if you want to avoid hypocracy then, if/when the time comes to convert convert completely and give your life to God, rather than being a cafeteria Catholic.

I’m glad to hear that it sounds like you’re being opened up to God. I would suggest this, stay open, try your best to drop whatever previous preconceptions you had about faith in God, and seek the truth, nothing but the truth. I will pray for you durring your conversion process, God bless.


#17

Wow! Lots of responses. Thanks to everyone. I'm not sure what to say.
This whole thing is confusing me, and I don't need confusion right now.
I'm trying to just come to terms with God existing, which is difficult after so many years of thinking otherwise. I mean, why would I feel this way now, but not before?
I'm a science major, I'm supposed to think logically and not believe what can't be observed. But I'm finding it harder to not see God in science, as backwards as that sounds.
It's been a year since I guess I started believing in God, and it's frustrating to not talk to anyone about it, not even be able to go to church because I'm so worried how other people would react. They'd consider it a bad thing, just like I would have a while back. But it doesn't feel like I'm being sucked into something stupid, it feels right.
Sorry if I ramble when I type, I'm pretty tired.

Question - what is meant by cafeteria Catholic?
I'm definitely going to check out that blog too :)


#18

A cafeteria Catholic is one who picks and chooses their beliefs. They are not in union with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Here is a great place to try and sort it all out.


#19

This about it in terms of someone going to a cafeteria, you know... "Well I like the beef tips, and desert looks awesome... But you can keep those vegitables to your self!!!"

Or in other words "I like eternal salvation, and the traditions are cute!!! But you can keep your moral teachings to your self!"


#20

[quote="Pi314, post:17, topic:178751"]
Wow! Lots of responses. Thanks to everyone. I'm not sure what to say.
This whole thing is confusing me, and I don't need confusion right now.
I'm trying to just come to terms with God existing, which is difficult after so many years of thinking otherwise. I mean, why would I feel this way now, but not before?
I'm a science major, I'm supposed to think logically and not believe what can't be observed. But I'm finding it harder to not see God in science, as backwards as that sounds.
It's been a year since I guess I started believing in God, and it's frustrating to not talk to anyone about it, not even be able to go to church because I'm so worried how other people would react. They'd consider it a bad thing, just like I would have a while back. But it doesn't feel like I'm being sucked into something stupid, it feels right.
Sorry if I ramble when I type, I'm pretty tired.

Question - what is meant by cafeteria Catholic?
I'm definitely going to check out that blog too :)

[/quote]

Sometimes things just change overnight and you can't figure out why. It's like falling in love with someone. It just happens and it feels right, you can't explain it in scientific terms but you know it's true. That's the best analogy i can find for God and coming to faith. :blush:

As for science and faith, you'll discover that the Catholic faith is also based on reason and logic. It is thus not against science despite what the media says. We can know God through his revelation AND creation - and this is what the study of the natural world is about. I have never studied natural sciences but have done some study on philosophy of science and I can confidently say that there is no inherent link between atheism and scientific knowledge. But I digress...

Definitely check out the blog, it is amazing, especially the early entries where she is discussing faith and doubt. She writes really well and has very interesting and intelligent insight. Here's a quote from today's entry, just to give you an idea:
It's worth noting, though, that this is really the least important part of my conversion. The only result of all this research was that it ruled out the notion that faith and reason are incompatible. Once that was cleared up, my conversion really began. And what I found is this: God is not something you prove; he is Someone you come to know. To know God is to know love. And love is not something you find in a book.

the website is conversiondiary.com/


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