I hope this is the right category, I wasn’t sure where to post this. I have an aunt who is a nun. I’ve always had a great relationship with her and she’s always been very supportive of me, especially with my ongoing illness, and since my mother died. Recently she visited me in the hospital and I started talking to her about the scandals in the Church and how I’m struggling with them. I was hoping she would have some words of encouragement for me, because I feel kind of lost in it all, and I’m trying to be a good Catholic. But what my aunt said really surprised me… she told me that the Church is just a “container” that some people use to get to God, but that all religions are just man made.
I’m 21, I’m an adult so obviously I can choose to believe what I want and not listen to my aunt if I don’t agree with her, but what she said really devastated me. I never realized she didn’t believe in the Church. She does belong to a really modern congregation but I still thought she was a regular Catholic. Now I feel really dumb and naive, and kind of disillusioned, because she’s a spiritual director and I’ve always asked her advice about spiritual matters, especially since my mother died.
Its been about 2 weeks since this happened, and I don’t seem to be getting over it. I find that I alternate between doubting my faith, being angry with my aunt, and have so much trouble praying. I used to say a rosary every day, and do about 30 minutes of meditation, but now I’m struggling with praying at all because if its all just a “container” like my aunt says, then are my prayers worthless? Am I just wasting my time? Like what’s the point of being Catholic, or any religion at all, if she’s right? A lot of the time now, when I try to pray, even if I pray to God to help me deal with this, I just start crying and feel like I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t. I really love the Church and I want to believe in it. Its helped me a lot through my illness. I know I could go talk to a priest about this, but I’m scared he’s going to tell me the same thing as my aunt and then I will feel even worse. I’m not sure what to do, I just feel so terrible.