I’m turning 17 this December and I feel like I’m losing my faith. I’ve had a pretty hard life, not as hard as others, but a hard life. I live with my grandmoter and she’s very religious. Over the past year though, I’ve seemed to lose my faith. I don’t pray as much anymore, and I don’t like going to church at all. I feel bad because I know my grandmother is happy when I do participate in going to church and such. I’ve just become very open minded and I feel that being Catholic, I have to fear a lot of things. If I listen to certain music, I MUST repent…etc. I don’t want to feel like this. I just want to believe in God and have faith and not have to be scared of going to hell anymore. Help?
The best advice I can give (part one) is to start focusing on the 'thou shalt’s instead of on the 'thou shalt not’s. Being Catholic is not so much about avoiding certain things as it is being loving and charitable – you think all those dinners Jesus had with prostitutes weren’t near occasions of sin? Don’t be afraid of hell, work towards getting into heaven.
And listen to whatever music you want. Remember Matthew 15:11 – It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one. I’d expect this to hold true for the ears too.
Part two is: you’re seventeen. Making your family happy is great and all, but you have your own life to live, and it’s about to kick into high gear. They may have a hard time letting go of you (in more ways than just going to church with them) but in a way it could be even more disappointing to them to see you not growing up and thinking for yourself out of fear.
I think there’s a danger of maybe being overly-scrupulous…viewing every little thing as a sin. I’m not saying don’t worry about sinning here - just don’t think that your not giving God pleasure even in the small things you do.
Absolutely. There are walls in the Catholic Faith. We can’t go out and get laid with whoever we want, we can’t go out and get smashed, we can’t go out and do drugs.
However, they are walls of a playground - they are there for our protection. God doesn’t want anything for us that isn’t for our own benefit.
I’d say, stick around here for a while, ask plenty of questions, learn about your faith a bit more.
I’m 17 to, by the way, I was an atheist for a while. It’s not as satisfying as you might think.
Hi, I am 20. After recently comming back to the Church from a LONG absence, I can say that while being a real Catholic might limit some things that you could do in life, the things you can do are so much better. I don’t know what music you listen to, but I LOVE metal, alternative rock, and pretty much anything with a hard guitar. The 10 Commandments don’t say “Thou shalt not jam out to Metallica”. If it did, I would probably cry, but that’s besides the point. Instead of focusing on all the negatives and the sinful things that you can’t do (and shouldn’t want to do), focus on the bright aspects, like how God loves us all so much that He sent his Son to get tortured and killed for us. If you are tired of viewing God as the God of Judgement, try looking at him as the God of Mercy, Love, and Joy. I actually switch between the two to try to keep myself sharp. Best of luck to you, and don’t worry about how your family views your Faith. It isn’t between them and you, it is between you and Jesus.
Actress, I kind of feel what you’re going through. My husband is very very religious and he’s a heavy metal guitarist. He was in the monastry at a point. I’m not religious the way he is. I think taking things step by step is ok. It’s the willingness that counts. Sometimes, you’d feel pressured from all the religiousness around you. You may feel you’re not Catholic enough or you’d probably just drop the whole thing and be rebellious. Just be all you can be and say a little prayer. God doesn’t judge you according to his wisdom of the world but to your wisdom and understanding.
I am 22 and just came back from a long absence from the Church as well. Perspective is important. Focus on love and charity. Pray that God will lead you to where he wants you to be. I often pray at the beginning of Mass for help focusing my mind and helping me listen to the parts that are most important. It is ok to not be perfect, it is the trying that matters. God is amazingly merciful. Continue to go to Mass and pray that you will benefit from it. Sometimes it can put a spin on a new week you were not expecting. Remember that you are God’s child and he cares greatly for you, no matter what path you take. My prayers are with you.
You know, I think what matters in life is to Love God firstly and then love your neighbour, the people who are in need. Be a good Samaritian and you will find happiness. I have “lost” my faith a few times and still question a lot of it. I am new to these forums but find that some of these posts are so “overthetop” and condeming that it assists you to start questioning and losing your faith.
Stick with Church, go to Mass on Sunday, have fun, laugh, smile, don’t be too serious and don’t be scrupulous. I think alot of young people do loose their faith at one point or another, but when they come back, they are stronger in the faith. I think it is part of finding out who you really are, without the bonds of your elders, maybe a rebellion. But stick to Mass, it gives a lot of strength. In the past I have gone to Mass for a period of 18 months with no desire to go or be there at all, but looking back it helped me more than anything during that difficult time.
Hope some of these ramblings may help.
Are you involved with any of the ministries or fellowships at your Parish? Rolling up your sleeves and getting involved does wonders!
Don’t let the devil in the door. Notice how you slowly want to withdraw as you are not happy with all the “rules”. You are overthinking it. Don’t blame Grandma - she knows all too well how slick the slope can become.
Continue to participate in the mass, understand the gifts of the sacraments, enjoy the readings, join the service ministries to help bring you more fully in a relationship with the church.
My son is 19 and enjoys peer ministry, retreats, co-ed softball, and many other activities with like minded, Christ centered young adults and leaders. They give each other much strength to help understand “dem rulz” in today’s pop culture of doing whatever you want -regardless of the consequences.
Keep your faith close, and your faith filled friends and activities even closer. God Bless.
See, the only thing that I do like peer ministry…etc is starting my confirmation this fall. I don’t have time for anything else. I have xc running, school, spring musical, winter show…etc. really i just want to enjoy mass and not have to worry about how every single thing I do being ‘wrong’ or things I think be ‘wrong.’ am i making any sense?