Hi, I’m new to the boards. I’ve been having some trouble lately dealing with the afterlife. It’s something I never really thought about until about a week ago.
I’m 18(19 tomorrow ), I went to Catholic school for 13 years and was taught about heaven, hell and purgatory, and for the most part never questioned it. Well, for the last about 4 years, I’ve lost touch with the church. I haven’t attended mass many times and I’ve rarely prayed. Yet I’ve kept God in my life to some extent, occasionally I’ll find myself just talking to him or looking to him for strength when things get a little rough.
But recently, I’ve had some time on my hands and I’ve started wondering about the teachings. I guess because I tend to apply logic to most things rather than faith and beliefs, although I admire those who can rely on their faith. But I started questioning the teaching of eternal life. I started fearing death and it really shook me. I didn’t want to just die and that be it. Tears came to my eyes as I pondered the idea of being just a lifeless body buried in the ground. I had no idea what to do. I was completely lost.
But then I went into my mother’s room and looked at a very common picture of Jesus that was on her wall. I was still scared, but I just looked at the picture. Something strange happened, something I still don’t understand. Everything else became a blur except for his eyes, everything seemed to stop for a single moment. It felt like a weight had literally been lifted off my shoulders. I always thought those who claimed to have this sort of religious experience were just lying or crazy for whatever reason(immaturity I guess.) But this was as real as it gets. It was as if the fear was just removed from my body. Now, I have a re-newed faith in God and I went to go back to church and get closer to God.
Despite this, unfortunately, I still have a feeling of uncertainty. I don’t fear death like I did, and I don’t doubt the teachings of the Catholic church. But I cannot fathom everlasting life, nor can I fathom only living for 60, 70, 80 however many years. I’m going to talk to a priest at my church later on this week, but I’d like to hear some others perspective on this. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.