Maddening Doubts and Sadness

I am listening to Christmas music as I write this. Not the fun, cheery and festive songs, but the profound, inspiration spiritual classics. The songs like the First Noel, Come All Ye Faithful, Go Tell It On The Mountain Etc. Lyrics don’t get much more holy than this:

 "Mild, he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die.  Born to raise the sons of earth, born to give them second birth."

 These lyrics invoke times of childhood simplicity, times when God was at the centre of my life.  A time when I loved Jesus and despite my families breakup and being mercilessly bullied and picked on had a joy and hope because of my faith.

 However at the age of 15 I lost my faith.  There was a month of questions and doubts that no one in my life could answer.  (I did not know at the time that Apologetics existed).  However there was a sudden and clear cut moment when my faith left me.  It was the last day before Christmas holidays, last period.  I was sitting in technology class when I was telling someone about my faith, when in a split second I seemed to be emptied of faith and belief.  AND hope.

 I was depressed before, but now I was depressed in a suicidal sense.  Absolute despair of all of lifes dangers without hope to handle them. 

 Now, 12 years latter, and dozens of apologetics books which have been read latter (Hugh Ross, N.T. Wright, William Lane Craig, Josh Mcdowell, Lee Strobel Etc.).  I still have doubts which effect my life in profoundly sad ways.

For example:
  • I want to be a part of the Catholic church on a social level. But how do I remain honest and man of integrity when people may be afraid of my questions and doubts?

  • I want to eventually marry a Christian woman… Same problem as above.

  • I need faith, I need God in my life so much. I have a hard time without that hope and underpinning in my life. The passing time is heart wrenching. I will not be able to handle the deaths of people I love. I will not be able to handles life’s fears (I have alot), I will not be able to pursue a religious vocation.

    I am not sure what I am looking for by posting this. Maybe my goal is just to express my thoughts and feelings.

Ben

Faith is a gift, simply ask for it, because Jesus promised what you ask for you will receive. The most profound prayer is Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Pray in the presenced of the Blessed Sacrament, or in front of a crucifix, whenever possible.

I think a more intelligent, educated, well-read person is actually handicapped in matters of faith sometimes, because of the tendency to hinge faith to one’s own understanding and ability to explain it to others in a convincing way. The more we read and study, the more we become enamored of our own intellectual knowledge, and place our faith in our own intellect, rather than in God. I suppose there may be an issue of pride here. Perhaps this is what Christ means when he reminds us we need the simple faith of a child.

example: I am hopeless at math and physics concepts, even though I learned about them, and even the ones I understand somewhat I could not explain to another person. But I believe them because of the authority of those teaching, based on all the science and math study that has gone before. I don’t need to have the understanding of Isaac Newton to believe in gravity.

nobody is afraid of your questions and doubts. in fact in this forum, we relish tackling them (perhaps some of us, I know I am, are a wee bit guilty of taking pride in our own apologetics skills). so bring it on, at least you will be helping us.

I would add to what has been said- pray for faith. Faith is a free gift and you build up your faith over time.

If you have little or no faith- I suggest praying for simple intentions. Little petitions you know to be likely to be acceptable to God. You can pray for big intentions too, but they can be slower in getting answered. Whilst you pray for these intentions keep your eyes open to see prayers being answered. This will help you develope a supernatural outlook, and sseeing your prayers answered will bit by bit increase your faith.
I will offer a link to some posts I made which deal with this on an intellectual level- You may pick up some pointers.
But in the final analsis faith is a free gift from God, just keep asking until you get it.
Try this link- you will find several posts proving the existence of God, the true Church etc. I hope it helps-
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=40098&highlight=proof+gods+existence

[quote=benyjets23]… I was telling someone about my faith, when in a split second I seemed to be emptied of faith and belief. AND hope.

 I was depressed before, but now I was depressed in a suicidal sense.  Absolute despair of all of lifes dangers without hope to handle them. 

[/quote]

Wow, can you imagine others who really have no faith? At least you remember having it.

On the other hand, it could have been a revelation of a huge interior fault you had, and which you fell into at that moment.

Such a fault could be due to lack of charity.
Did you hold grudges towards any family members?

… despite my families breakup and being mercilessly bullied and picked on …

Did you hold any grudges or resentment towards the people involved? I would look into that if I were you.

Have you considered accepting the loss as a trial willed by God for penance and/or for the benefit of those who are lost?

hurst

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