Not Catholic - Feeling Extreme Guilt and Anxiety

Well, as you may see from the title, I am not Catholic and am feeling extremely guilty for it. I have been raised a non-demoninational Chritian for the 18 years of my life and feel guilty for not being raised Catholic. It actually started when I started dating my girlfriend, a devot Catholic. At first I really had no opinion, but after dating for sometine (btw we have been together for a year now), I really started looking into the Catholic faith. I attended Mass with her and her family and started asking questions. I started talking to her parents about pretty much everything dealing with Catholicism. I have been studying and talking to the local Priest and Deacons about converting, but have missed the cut and I will be moving very far away from home for college. So, there is some issue with that, but am planning to join RCIA as soon as I can. Until that point, I have an immense ammount of anxiety whenever I read about religion, talk about, or even think about it. I know that the Holy Spirit has been tugging on me to do this and that God is working through my girlfriend. Only to make things harder, as said before, my family is non-denominational. My dad was raised Catholic, but I guess turned away. He says he will support whatever decision I make, but will not help me in the process. It is also hard for me to look to my girlfriend or her parents for help because they moved across the country recently. I also have not been baptized, which only leads to more guilt and anxiety. I long for baptism, the Eucharist, confession, confirmation, and everything else in the Catholic faith. I long to be Catholic…

I just don’t know what to do besides wait and study more, but the longing is killing me. Also, my parents are talking about getting me baptized and I know that the Catholic faith recognizes other Chirstian baptisms, but since I am going to be starting RCIA when i head off to college, I don’t know if I should wait and become a Catechumen or join baptized. Even though I am not baptized, I have studied both non-demoninational Christianity and Catholicism. The reason I am going to convert is because I have studied so much. I really do not understand how everyone does not see the Catholic Church as the once universal church as Jesus intended. So, I am stuck and really do not know what to do… Any help would be amazing…

Just two quick comments.

  1. Keep on the path you have mapped out. I know it’s difficult to wait…but at present, simply trust the Lord.

  2. Consider that being baptized at your parent’s church would be a great blessing and comfort to them. I’m sure they would be very happy to see you baptized sooner rather than later. To know that you go off to college having taken this step.
    In short, going ahead and being baptized in your parent’s church would be a very loving thing to do for them - and would (I think) give you a sense of peace for having done this.

Hope this helps a little

Peace
James

My friend, you should not feel guilty or anxious. You are on a journey of faith. It is where you end up that is important, not where you began. It is hardly your fault that you were not raised Catholic. You are an adult, or nearly so. You don’t need to follow your parents religion, or lack thereof.

You may be too late in this year’s RCIA process to enter the Church at the Easter Vigil but you can still be considered a catechumen, a student of the Faith. You should be on a reading and prayer program which includes the Catechism and the Bible.

This may seem a minor point, but you should remember that the Catholic Church is The non-denominational Church. The protestant churches are all, to some degree, short of the fullness of the Faith. (Please note that I mean no disrespect to Protestant Christians as individuals.) For that reason, I cannot recommend baptism in a protestant church if you intend to become Catholic. Wait to join the Church that Christ founded. Talk to more priests about this.

Please do not get baptized in the non-denom church. It is valid (assumed it is done properly) but since you want to be Catholic you should be baptized in the Catholic church. The same rule applies to taking ‘communion’ in Protestant churches - it is not allowed.

Waiting will not kill you, time goes quickly, and when the day of your reception comes you will be so happy. Waiting for baptism will pay off, trust me.

Plus, no reason to feel guilty. You are on the right path. It is not your fault because you were not raised Catholic. Nothing to feel guilty over.

Good luck and welcome home :thumbsup:

I can understand, I wanted to become Catholic when I was sixteen, but I had to wait two years till I was eighteen to join the Church lets just say, its was worth the wait! Please don’t get baptized at their ‘church’ wait to do so in God’s one true Church, it will be worth the wait, and besides, there’s something called Baptism of desire, God sees your good intention to want to become Catholic, your obedience to wait to get Baptized in His Church will be what pleases Him, will pray for you! God bless!

Another bright spot for you to consider is this: I fell away from the Church in my early adulthood. My daughter began a search to find God in her 20’s. After trying various churches, she recalled that I had told her of her Baptism in the Catholic church. She started RCIA and I thought to myself, " She will never accept all that the Church teaches, this will all come to a screeching halt and soon". I was wrong. She wound up inviting me to attend RCIA with her, and since she seemed so happy, I did it, just for her! That reawakened my heart, my soul, my conscience and I wound up repenting and have never had another doubt that the Catholic Church is the one that Jesus intended for all Christians as he promised to be with us always, until the end of time. Perhaps your dad will wind up having a similar reawakening, too.
If you know where you are going to college and when, you could contact the parish where you will be living, ask for some guidance re: RCIA, study, reading material, waiting to be Baptized in the Catholic Church, etc.
God bless you on your journey. Be at peace in the love of Christ and He will lead you home to His church.

I deal with guilt and anxiety a lot as well. when it hits me, I make myself realize that they are functions of the brain, NOT functions of the soul. they are fear-based, and fear is simply a function of the brain that occurs to make a person seek safety, whether by fight or flight.

The fact that you are seeking God is all you need to know. THAT is what God recognizes and why the Church teaches things like baptism of desire, etc. If you were (God forbid) to get hit by a bus today, you would stand before God and he would say " You searched for me and I have searched for you. Welcome."

Carry on and be of good cheer. God will not abandon anyone who searches for Him.

I just want to add my words of welcome and emphasize with everyone else that you have no reason for feeling guilty. You may also wish to examine the concept of baptism by desire - in very very short form, that the fact that you are seeking to enter is in your favor. The idea was originally that if people seeking baptism died before they could receive it, their desire could suffice. That is unlikely to happen, of course, but you may gain some peace from knowing that your serious desire to enter the Church in some sense joins you to her already.

So basically, don’t worry unduly about delays. Don’t encourage them, of course, but there is no need to worry that the process isn’t instantaneous and starting RCIA in college is a great plan.

As for getting baptized by non-Catholics while planning to become Catholic - I think it would best just to talk to the priest you’ve been talking to about that. I would be surprised if he recommended that, but I’ve been surprised before.

I love this advise because its caring of your “birth family”

No need to feel anxious or guilty at all. You are on a journey to the One True Church! Go to Mass when ever you can and say the spiritual communion prayer. Do your parents know that you want to enter the Catholic Church? I would have to agree with others not to get baptized in a protestant church. You should talk about that with your priest. You say you have been studying and discussing Catholicism although I’m not sure how long. I have heard of people that did not have to go through RCIA after talking things over with their priest. In any event…God Bless and prayers for you.

While this seems like a nice charitable thing to do, the other thing to consider is that it may not be appropriate or at least somewhat disingenuous to be baptized in a church you do not intend to be a member of. Baptism often confers membership and communion in a body of believers. If you get baptized in your parents church with the intent to become a Catholic, it could appear as a lie even if you do not intend to deceive. Just something to think about.

But you certainly should have NO anxiety about not being baptized immediately. There is the baptism of desire if you pursue baptism in the Catholic Church as soon is reasonable.

God bless, and welcome! We are blessed by your faith and your presence.

If there ever was a post that I could relate to! :slight_smile: My fiancée is Catholic. I was raised Methodist but fell away. My Mom is now a big time non-denominational evangelical. My entire life, I had so many questions. Why when I would go to the Baptist Church down the road would I find something so different than my Methodist Church? Later in life, I used to love going with my Mom to her church. Everyone there was very on fire about their beliefs. But, I just never felt at home. I always felt like something was missing.

After I got engaged Christmas of 2012, I randomly picked up a book on Catholicism, “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic.” I was blown away. So, I read another book and another and another. Well, it was too late for me that RCIA season as well. So, I had to wait over a year. It was a blessing because now I am even more excited about entering the Church. :slight_smile:

Don’t feel guilt or anxiety, these are not of God but of the Enemy trying to get you off course. God works in mysterious ways. God is working to bring you into the Church. Just go to Mass and endure your wait with patients and humility for Our Lord. Remember, in the early Church, most waited two years to be Baptized while they received Catechesis.

To that point, I think you should wait to be Baptized in the Catholic Church. While the Catholic Church would recognize your Baptism, think about it this way: You know the Catholic Church is the fullness of the Faith. In the Church, a Priest or Deacon is the ordinary administer of Baptism unless it is a state of emergency. There is a process setup exactly for people like you, RCIA. If you are Baptized in the evangelical church, that church will not view Baptism in the same way. To them, it will be just symbolic, symbolic of your acceptance of a belief system that you do not hold as correct. By waiting, think of how wonderful it will be to receive that most wonderful sacrament that washes you in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil! If you really feel strongly about becoming Catholic, I personally think it is important that you wait. But, this has to be your decision alone.

This is quite true…I hadn’t thought of that aspect.
Still - the OP does indicate that at least his dad knows his intent. So there need not be any deceit involved.

But that said - I bow to the majority in this…It seems that it might be best to just wait.

Peace
James

Thank you so much everyone, your advice and guidance has been a large help. I will be talking to the Priest as soon as I can. I cannot wait to be home. Again, thank you all so much.

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