I’ve been Catholic my entire life. I have wonderful parents who took me to church every Sunday and got sent to Catholic school. Anything to do with Church, i was involved in it. I recently started college, a Catholic one, and am having intense feelings of doubt. I have professors who are not religious at all, and are usually hostile toward religious talk in the classroom. Recently my English professor has been going off on the Church and how all religion is man-made. It is scary to listen to these people who have Ph.Ds and are very well educated tell me that everything which I have believed my entire life is just a figment, something which was created to satisfy man’s intellect. I got to mass everyday, confession weekly, and have been praying everyday. I have been doubting things like, why does God even exist, is religion just something which was made up to give mankind rules to follow, and is our entire existence not even the way we see it. I’ve had periods of doubt before, but never like this. Like I said, i’m trying to do the best that I can by going mass and confession regularly. I’ve been discerning the priesthood since I was a little kid and I’m just really frustrated with this situation…Has anybody had serious doubts about your faith and if so how did you deal with them? …The most frustrating part about this is that i can’t stop going to class like I could stop hanging out with friends who talked to me like this.
Your English professor’s PhD has nothing to do with whether or not religion is man-made. Beware of the common appeal to authority fallacy. There have been plenty of Nobel Laureates who have made all sorts of ridiculous false claims, usually (though not always) pertaining to a field they have never seriously studied. To be more concrete; someone’s vast and impressive knowledge of the classics of English literature has absolutely no effect on God’s existence. I recommend a serious study of Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophy as an antidote.
It may not be immediate, but prayer and the sacraments will help you through all of your doubts. Pray for an increase of faith, and God will give it to you.
God bless and don’t be discouraged by secular academia!
Your probolem is not unusual on many college campuses. My advice to you, is that you seek out the chaplain of the Catholic Newman center on your campus. Make an appointment to see him and tell him of your concerns, just as you have done here. He will be able to put your mind at ease and advise you how to proceed in countering these claims without alianating your professor and endangering either your soul or your academic career.
If your school does not have a Newman center, find the Catholic church nearest to your campus and make an appointment to see the Pastor or one of the parish priests. I particularly named the Pastor because he, in all probability is aware of student concerns such as yours and has experience in dealing with this problem.
Colleges professors are also just people, you know.
I know it’s unnerving when you should be able to trust them. Remember that even some of the most gifted and intelligent people aren’t college professors.
I have seven family members who have PhD’s and six of them are college professors in various colleges and universities. Some are Catholic, some are not. Only one of the six professors in my family is an atheist.
All of them are fallible human beings and like everybody, have their faults! Rather than being impressed by those who are rude enough to evangelize against God and faith in the classroom, one could feel sorry for them for their lack of social graces and rudeness in a lack of respect for others human rights and freedom of conscience. They need our prayers.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. Amen
It really doesn’t matter what they say, what they do, what degree of studies they have. No one ever told them or taught them about God, and therefore assumed that it must be make believe. Don’t let yourself be caught in doubts! I am certain you have felt many moments in your life where you have felt God close to you, and anything short of a miracle could not be better proof that God is up there, and that he is watching and loving you! Stay strong, don’t let others attempt to weaken you. Show respect towards your professor, and allow him to believe in whatever he wants, pray for him if you feel you should, but don’t let yourself get discouraged! Okay?
I hope this helped
Beware of false teachings. The Prince Of Earth will try anything to put doubt in your soul. Keep a Rosary in you pocket. Get a Brown Scapular, get enrolled, and wear it. Get a Green Scapular blessed and keep it in your pocket or wear it also. They are not charms, but will help you stay focused. The Blessed Virgin Mary has helped me over come my doubts. She has put me at the feet of Jesus.
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.
This is very good advice. I am grateful that the university (public) I attend has such a wonderful Catholic Church and Catholic Student Center across the street from campus. I haven’t had much problems with problem so much but I have had times where I doubted God and his existence but always came back with a stronger faith with prayer and learning more about my faith and so forth. God always shows He is there in some form or another when I had my doubts.
Another thing that you should do is to talk to the professor out of class time and tell him/her how what they are saying is insulting and offensive and that they should stop. If they don’t then you can go to the Dean of Student at the college and complain about how he is discriminating Christians and other religions in the class rooms, which is illegal and unethical by the way. If he/she is teaching a point related to the topic at hand with it is one thing but it is another thing altogether if he is giving his opinion of Christians and other religions in such a way like you have mentioned.
God Bless and good luck.
Don’t be intimidated by the PhDs, being well educated is just a sign that someone is well educated, nothing more. I’d second the excellent advice that other posters have given and I’ll keep you in my prayers.
Mother Mary, the scribes and pharisees were the intelligent men of their day … and how bad they were, how they were so against your Son. Please help romancatholic95 to persevere in faith and in every good work. May he/she pray his/her rosary faithfully every day for the graces he/she needs to endure his professors and their anti-Catholicism. Amen.
Stay strong, even saints have had periods of what they call aridity. The professor is wrong for doing what he’s doing and doing it at a Catholic school is outrageous. I have athiest friends and they don’t influence me one bit. I feel sorry for them and pray for them to find God.
Hang in there, you appear to be a person with very good values.
I’m going through a similar experience right now. Two weeks ago I had no doubt. Indeed, I was at a youth group where the pastor was saying about someone who’s seriously doubting God. The pastor’s answer was in the lines of ‘be patient’ and ‘God takes time to answer prayers’. And I was puzzled how I could ever really doubt myself.
Then I got myself into a series of debates with my friend. I must admit that my friend is better at physics and logic than me. So I either lost the argument or I had to resort to the “Faith as a hope and trust in things that I don’t see” defense. However: Remember that not all arguments against God are valid. Some arguments may be based on false assumptions about God or religion, like if somebody says that all religion is false because of crimes of some religious people.
We live in the 21st century. The writers of the scripture 2000 years ago didn’t have the apparatus to answer questions like the age of the Earth, age of the universe or origin of humans. Now that you are a scientist and you have the tools, it is your responsibility to use them and confront your core values with evidence. That includes your religious beliefs. Or you risk ending up as a divided, incoherent personality. You’re not a baby to believe blindly in something. Remember how Paul compares spiritual teaching to milk and meat? It’s time to grow up and chew the meat, to test for yourself and find out what is right the hard way.
Don’t worry too much about losing faith. Remember that if God exists and if afterlife exists, God will judge you based on your actions [remember the parable of the talents?] rather then your formal beliefs. Also I’ve read the parable of the lost sheep today [in Matthew 18]. It appears to me that the Lord is more happy about the one on sheep who’s not afraid to take risk then about the 99 sheep who stay safely in the flock.
What can also help to stop worrying is, do something good. Clean-up the forest. Visit someone who’s lonely. Volunteer in old people’s home. Or go out running. And in doing you might temporarily find some peace of mind.
You have my respect,
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.