Struggle with Faith

I’ve been struggling immensly with my faith recently. If some of you read my other posts, you’ll know I have been suffering immense anxiety and have been drinking as a result. I’ve been reading alot of straight-bible literature as well—you know the really aggressive bible literalists.

I’m having these terrifying thoughts, like if I were to become a real follower of Christ I may need to abandon my family(who I’ve let down all my life, despite their infinite love and kindness) because they didn’t raise me in God. We were convienent Catholics, missed mass alot for other worldly reasons. Also that maybe my pull back to the Catholic faith is just me “wanting” to be a Catholic, when really I should move away to an uber-christian community so I can truly find God. As in, me becoming a devout Catholic is a worldly, and not Godly pursuit.

I really don’t like this. I thought religion was suppose to save me from sin but when I go to an AA meeting I get this thought that “this isn’t nessecary,all you need is Jesus and prayer.” I look at the other people with suspicion, that they’re trying to fool me in some sense because they want to get Sober for selfish reasons.

I ask God for forgiveness, that’s all I pray for, and yet everytime I do pray I get these thoughts that everything I’m doing is wrong, and I need to get out of here and work on a farm or something while reading the bible throughout the day until I figure things out. I’m really afraid to pray nowadays.

I need someone to give me some advice, someone who’s struggled with anxiety and perhaps insanity when it comes to fully accepting the Catholic faith. Sorry for ranting, but your help is much appreciated.

The first thing to remember about the Catholic faith is that, unlike Protestantism, its truth does not depend on your feelings. You may wake up in the morning and feel bitter and confused and isolated, but the visible Church is there no matter how you feel, and by the authority she was given by the Christ, she has the power to confect and administer the sacraments and to teach in His name. The body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord is present in the Eucharist no matter how you feel. If you need further assurance, learn about the many Eucharistic miracles that have occurred throughout the history of the Church.

Second, remember that the spirit of God brings joy and peace. Anything else is not of God and may even be of the Evil One. The faith of your family is not of your concern, so be at peace and pray for them and help them however you can when you can.

Third, the Catholic Church is where you need to be. It was established by God. You cannot get more uber-Christian than that! :thumbsup:

An alcoholic puts ethanol into his system because he thinks (at the time) it will be good for him (maybe by relieving the anxiety, or quieting the chaos he feels). When he wakes up the next day, he realizes the promises of the bottle were empty, and he is no better off for his drinking. But he drinks again (and it does him more harm than good). And again (and it does him more harm than good). And again.

The Catholic Church, on the other hand, offers something else - the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When you consume the Eucharist, you are not putting your faith in the promises of a bottle, but in the promises of Jesus:

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. I am the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.
[RIGHT]John 6:54-58[/RIGHT]

That’s a better deal than you will get from the bottle. And it’s something you can’t get outside the Catholic Church. The Bible alone cannot give you that. No protestant church can give you that.

Right now, it sounds like the Catholic Church is the best thing you have got going for you. Don’t give it up for more empty promises.

Now, you must know that you were not born only to suffer what you are suffering. Your purpose in life is not to be confused, anxious or lost. Your purpose is first to realize that there is a God; that He created you only because He loves you infinitely; that He sent His only Son to redeem you from all of your mistakes, and that He wants you to be eternally secure, comfortable and at peace in His Kingdom with Him. The Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, is the sure way to obtain this.

But, you must also properly address your anxiety concern. Your rational self came here seeking help. Ready to accept help. Your anxious self might never be ready to make such a decision. I can only suggest that you seek medical advice and make sure that a medical problem is not causing most or all of your difficulty.

In the meantime, rest assured of my prayers.

I second the need for medical help. Your priest should be able to direct you to an accredited counselor. Make an appointment and speak candidly to him about the situation, and your confusion. As the OT states, “The physician too prays to the Lord that his diagnosis may be correct and you shall be healed.” This is one of my responses to “Job’s comforters” who claim that any illness we experience is a result of poor faith.
Years again, I learned about an organization within the Catholic Church called Chablis. I have never actually seen any Chablis groups. It is a collection of individuals struggling with alcoholic addiction, like AA. Focusing on the Eucharist, they strive to replace the “Cup of Damnation” with the “Cup of Salvation.”

The Catholic Church balances Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. None stands alone. While God does work mightily among our non-Catholic brothers and sisters, do not overlook the miracles he has worked through the saints. It is our non-Catholic brothers and sisters who separated from the Universal Church that Christ established. It is easy to find groups who disparage mainline denominations as well. Christ prayed for unity, that all might be one. How, then can separation follow God’s Will.

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