I’m doing this for me mostly, not to preach but to relieve personal suffering. Everyday I think about hell. I know God is good, and he loves, and that love will last forever. Jesus died for us all so we could be in paradise. And other than that, I don’t know much about religion. Not that I don’t know what the Church teaches, but I just don’t KNOW. I have faith in certain things, such as the real presence, Mary as our mother, and the ultimate victory of God and His people. I doubt certain things, such as eternal hell. I’m going to be honest, I am considering not being a member of the Catholic Church anymore. If anyone has any advice as to why to stay (besides I will go to hell if I leave) I am all ears. I love the Church, but it might be causing me pain. I’m in pain. I don’t think it will last, though.
Well, first off, it sounds like you’ve got a bad case of worrying about Hell. There’s a big difference between “Gosh, I wonder what’s the deal with Hell,” and “Nooo! I can’t stop thinking about Hell!”
This is pretty common for people in certain situations. For example, there are some people who just have a personality that worries about things.
Then, of course, there is the possibility that you’re as nerdy as I am, and that you tend to obsess and worry about whatever interesting problem has just come up.
Sometimes it’s a symptom that you’re trying to improve your spiritual life and be more virtuous, so your conscience makes you worry.
Sometimes it can even be a sort of spiritual oppression or depression, where you just don’t see any way out and you obsess about Hell.
I don’t know you, so I don’t know if any of the above are your problems. But please consider the emotional portion of your worry about this problem, because obviously there is a lot of hurt and worry in you. Sometimes philosophical musings and interesting information just don’t cut it, if there’s emotion or events in your life causing the problem.
So remember, your name is Hope for the Dunedain, but keep some hope for yourself! (Heh, I assume you’re a Tolkien fan, anyway…)
Generally speaking, if you’re having some kind of sad or fearful emotional experience, or if you’re depressed, you should keep on doing what you’re doing and not make any sudden breaks. Church may feel like it’s causing you pain, but isn’t it overall a stabilizing influence for you? If it makes you get up in the morning and get out of the house, then even secular things can do you some good when life is gray.
If you believe and understand that Christ is Goodness and Truth Himself, and that the Church is true and good, and that the Church is God’s own source of goodness and truth, then obviously you should stick with it. Turning away won’t make truth less true, and it would be going from a good thing toward something that is less good.
Do you have anybody you can talk to? Have you tried talking to your pastor, or going to Confession?
What parts of Catholicism make you want to leave? Also, if you leave, where to?
Thank you for your reply! It was spot on, and yes I am a fan of Lord of the Rings, you were the first person who got my name! (Most thought I was a girl named estel haha). Yes, I think I will “stay”, although I don’t think I will ever really leave God. And yes, I have people to talk with, and I’m trying to limit confession as I’ve been a bit scrupulous (going almost everyday for a time). However, I think confession and talking to my pastor would be a good idea. Thank you very much, your reply helps greatly.
I guess it’s more of my miss-perceptions about hell that made me want to leave. Also, it’s hard for me to not sin at times, and I feel terrible after. I do love the Catholic Church though. Thank you for your reply.
Burning in hell for eternety is hopefully a false teaching. Hang in there. I will pray for you.
Sadly, leaving the Church will not make Hell go away.
God Bless and ICXC NIKA
In life, we get dirty. But then we take showers/baths and are clean again. Are you going to leave life because you keep getting dirty? Or are you going to take a shower/bath and live another day?
Of course you’ll shower, right?
In our spiritual life, we sin (get spiritually dirty). But then we have confession (the spiritual shower/bath) and are clean again. Now, are you going to leave Catholicism because you keep sinning? Or are you going to confession and live another day?
Something to think about.
True, thank you.
Live another day. Thank you for your reply.
Fighting the good fight builds character. This does not mean you have to live in daily fear. Consider making an appointment outside of confession with a priest you feel comfortable with. Use the time wisely and be perfectly honest with him about your doubts and feelings!
There is MUCH to learn about our faith. I don’t know if you use the Rosary, but offer these feelings up… praying the Rosary alone brings me great peace and comfort. This is Mary’s Rosary and SHE is our mother. Our Mother, the Mother of God is most compassionate and comforting.
Finally, if you are young, you will find that age will lesson some of your struggles. The Catholic faith isn’t always easy to follow, but it comes with more tools than any other on earth… even Middle Earth:thumbsup:
This might cheer you up…
"Go not to the Elves [Catholics] for advice, for they will say both yes and no!
-a modified jest / saying from “The Fellowship of the Ring.”
Thank you for your encouraging and true post. And yes thats a good quote haha
Bearing sufferings here on earth patiently, lovingly, and for God, while living a good Christian life, beats bearing the torments of Hell for all eternity. A moment of mortally sinful pleasure or moments of mortally sinful pleasures while on earth just aren’t worth it–it is better to suffer faithfully in this life and avoid the eternal torments of Hell. God bless you.
Couple things that help me. I know I sin and I wonder if I keep sinning, then have I really repented? I desire to repent, but I sin, and I beat myself up. Read Romans 7:14 on through Romans 8. Sounds like Paul had the same problem. That’s why we need a savior. We are never going to be able to do it totally right ourselves. We believe Mary was sinless, but that’s because of a special grace that God gave her. We don’t have that, the Popes don’t even have that. So, realistically I will always sin.
So I think you have to land somewhere between the right side thinking there is a big score sheet thinking God is ticking off every sin we commit and the left side thinking that we have an “assurance of eternal salvation” no matter what sins we commit because we are “saved”.
Know that God loves you and knows your faults, but your sins can be forgiven through confession. Pray that you can always RECOGNIZE all your sins and put your hope in the Jesus who died FOR YOU so that you won’t have to deal with that checklist.
Honestly, I’m not there yet - still leaning to the right, but I am getting closer to the center !
Thanks for all the replies here.