I’m not sure where this goes, but I’ll post it here.
So long story short, I have been going to a local parish for about four months now. I am coming from Buddhism, but I was raised Protestant.
The problem I am facing is that I do not seem to be connecting in any real way to the Church. I have prayed on this issue but it hasn’t helped. When I first discovered Buddhism about four or five years ago everything naturally clicked. It seemed to fit my personality and my own personal beliefs system.
I’m struggling each day. Aside from my devotion to saint Jude, every other prayer I say seems insincere and fake. I attend mass on a weekly basis, sometimes twice a week and attend RCIA. The feelings I get from mass are good, but afterwards, when reading theology it feels like I’m trying to force something on myself that isn’t me.
What should I do? I came with sincere intentions, but it just doesn’t seem to be working for me. Any advice is appreciated.
It doesn’t seem to happen like flipping a switch from on to off, but more like a rheostat that can be tuned from low to high. Relax, be prayerful, read scripture, the fathers, the saints, and the catechism and don’t be so anxious. The Holy Spirit will lead you in the speed God desires for you!
As a protestant, my curiosity always goes to the question, “What do you think of Jesus?” Do you believe His claims, and do you believe what Christianity claims about humans (that we are sinners in need of a Saviour)?
It seems you are heading (back?) toward Christianity, what was it that started you back from Buddhism? What about Buddhism clicked for you? I teach as a philosophy prof at a local college, and teach comparative religions, so this is interesting to me in general. I ask about what clicks for you so that maybe you can be lead in a similar direction, only within Christian practice. So if meditation clicked for you in Buddhism, perhaps Christian forms of meditative practice may resonate with you.
Are you baptized or waiting to be, since you said you are still attending RCIA?
There are a few things here. I would say thanks God you are coming home to the Church. That in itself is a major decision for you.
Having been of different religion before, it is always a challenge to be at home, to feel connected as you phrase it. It is a new environment and humans as we are, your experience is normal and you certainly are not alone in experiencing this.
My advice would be, and probably this is what many Catholics who are older in the faith would tell you, that we should not depend on feeling. Many saints, Mother Teresa was one, who felt as ‘disconnected’ as could be with God for most of her adult life. If she was to depend and to use her feeling as a measuring standard, probably she would have long gone from what she was doing for the Church.
It calls for perseverance knowing that what you are doing is the right thing. So do continue to do what you are doing, remembering that the mass is the summit of worship and like they always say, when you are your wit end in all this, perhaps you may see a little light of God gently enfolds you.
May God bless you in your journey of faith.:console:
You say Buddhism connected with your personal belief system but Catholicism is not. Perhaps you’re trying to bend the Church into your belief system and it’s not clicking b/c it’s your way and not Gods way. In order to follow Christ we all have to “crucify ourselves to the world” by picking up our crosses and following in his footsteps. You’re on the right path, continue to seek for answers and pray w/a sincere heart, God WILL answer you Maybe start going to adoration on a regular basis and spend some quiet time praying and reading. I started going to adoration for an hour a week regularly 2 years ago and my spiritual life has become so much deeper and more intense! In fact, I’ll be leaving in about 10 minutes to go for my regular hour, I’ll pray for you! Good luck on your journey, remember that you have a big family on earth and in heaven praying for you and cheering you on