Struggling with my faith and beliefs


#1

Good evening everyone,

I just stumbled on to here, looking for a wonderful community to share my love towards God.

But as I started reading several topics, the question came to me: Am I Catholic or a Christian?

My apologies if this is a rather silly question.
I have always been to a Catholic school as a little girl.
But they never really made it understandable what Catholism and Christianity is.
(I do think they should change this, have someone teach whom strongly believes in our Lord!)

Just like I also had my communion at the age of 8 and have the other known rituals like when I was a baby aswell.(My apologies but I’m not too aware of the specific terms used, as English is not my first language)

Anywho, I really would love to end this struggling with my faith.
So I hope someone would be so friendly and loving like I have seen on many topics-
To answer this question for me and hopefully offer some more insight on both.

Thanks in advance.
Many blessings!


#2

[quote="HopeAndFaith, post:1, topic:241919"]
Good evening everyone,

I just stumbled on to here, looking for a wonderful community to share my love towards God.

But as I started reading several topics, the question came to me: Am I Catholic or a Christian?

My apologies if this is a rather silly question.
I have always been to a Catholic school as a little girl.
But they never really made it understandable what Catholism and Christianity is.
(I do think they should change this, have someone teach whom strongly believes in our Lord!)

Just like I also had my communion at the age of 8 and have the other known rituals like when I was a baby aswell.(My apologies but I'm not too aware of the specific terms used, as English is not my first language)

Anywho, I really would love to end this struggling with my faith.
So I hope someone would be so friendly and loving like I have seen on many topics-
To answer this question for me and hopefully offer some more insight on both.

Thanks in advance.
Many blessings!

[/quote]

Welcome HopeandFaith,
In the start of the Christian religion all Christians were Catholic. The Creed which all Christians confessed confirms that we believe in one holy apostolic catholic church.

This is how it was for 1500 years until the reformation when a lot of people broke away from the church and started their own churches. They called themselves Christians and called us Catholics. However all Catholics are Christians. Whether or not all those other churches are Christian is a matter of opinion or debate.

Certainly a young person who's baptised in other "christian" communities is a Catholic and a Christian. But at some point they may come to deny one or more articles of the creed of Christians. The Creed was written to describe the bare minimum of what a Christian must believe in order to be regarded as Christian.

Here is a copy of the Nicene Creed

We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Most non-Catholic "christians" deny a belief in one holy apostolic catholic church, or else they completely change the meaning of the terms in order to argue that they believe it.
Denial of any part of this creed is a denial of the faith and separates you from the body of Christ.

So sorry this is so long this post. But I urge you to work through all the parts of this creed and ask yourself "Do I believe"? If you doubt any of these things ask for prayer and guidance from people here. The standard of knowledge is very high here at Catholic Answers and you will find many willing people to help and pray and answer your questions.

If you get to the end of the creed and believe then you are a Catholic and a Christian. If you deny any point, then you are neither Catholic nor Christian.
If you believe, or want to believe, then make further enquiry with your local parish. Appointed teachers will guide you into the fulness of the faith and prepare you for reception into the church.

As for your point about the struggle with faith. This is quite normal for all Christians and especially new Christians. Struggling with faith is one thing, but doubting is extremely dangerous. Doubt will destroy what faith you have.

For what it is worth, I regard you as Catholic. You were baptised and raised in the Catholic church, received the sacraments, went to Catholic school. From what I can tell you have made no conscious rejection of the Catholic church. Therefore I regard you as a Catholic and am eager to see you received back into the church.

All the best.


#3

Thank you so much for your response, it made everything a bit clear finally.
I really appreciate it! :)


#4

[quote="HopeAndFaith, post:1, topic:241919"]
Good evening everyone,

I just stumbled on to here, looking for a wonderful community to share my love towards God.

[/quote]

Welcome to the Forums. This is great place to come with question snand concerns. I've been here for some time and still am learning.

But as I started reading several topics, the question came to me: Am I Catholic or a Christian?

Let's settle this once and for all in your mind. A Catholic IS a Christian. In fact Catholics, along with our Eastern Orthodox Brethren are the original Christians.

My apologies if this is a rather silly question.
I have always been to a Catholic school as a little girl.
But they never really made it understandable what Catholism and Christianity is.
(I do think they should change this, have someone teach whom strongly believes in our Lord!)

excubitor has already given a good basic answer to this, The Creeds contain the basic set of beliefs. Another resource that might be good for you is a book, written simply, called "Catholicism for dummies". Don't be offended by the title. It is part of a whole series of books titled (whatever)...For Dummies. This book goes through the basic structure and beliefs held by the Church in an easy to read format. This would be easier than diving headlong into the Catechism.
Of course speaking of the Catechism, there is nothing better for getting the truth on any teaching than going directly to the Catechism. *HERE is a great online copy *. The nice thing about the layout of the catechism is that its layout builds off of the creed and has many references to supporting documents etc so you can delve as deeply as you want.

If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll find a search box, which has been a great help to me.

Just like I also had my communion at the age of 8 and have the other known rituals like when I was a baby aswell.(My apologies but I'm not too aware of the specific terms used, as English is not my first language)

The sacrament you received as a baby was Baptism, next would have come the Sacraments of reconcilliation (confession), followed by First Holy communion. After this you should have received the sacrament of Confirmation where, by the laying on of hands just as Christ did the Apostles and the Apostles did their successors, the Holy Spirit would have been confered upon you.

If you missed this last one (not uncommon) contact your local parish.

Anywho, I really would love to end this struggling with my faith.
So I hope someone would be so friendly and loving like I have seen on many topics-
To answer this question for me and hopefully offer some more insight on both.

I hope this is of some help to you.

As mentioned by "excubitor" contact your local parish they offer a program during the year for those coming into the church that might be useful to you as well.

Likewise don't hesitate to bring any questions you have to the good people here.

Thanks in advance.
Many blessings!

You are most welcome.
May God's Peace be with you

Peace
James


#5

You are a Catholic. If you received your First Communion or Eucharist at age 8, then to do that, you must have been baptized when you were a baby, which means you are a Catholic. As the other posters have said, that means you are also a Christian.

Rather surprised that your Catholic schools are not helping to teach you the faith - every school my sons have gone to has included Catholic Theology classes. They know the dogma of the Church quite well. Of course as their parent, it’s my job to show them the beauty and joy of the faith! And to live it myself so they see it’s not just for church on Sunday but for one’s entire life! Have your parents done anything with you? Do you go to Church as a family? They must not discuss their faith much, or you’d feel comfortable knowing that you are a Catholic Christian …

Well, I for one, am glad that you found us! Welcome to a great forum. You can learn a lot just by reading, especially the Apologists forum.

:slight_smile:


#6

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