Theologial and Philisophical advice needed please

Hey guys whats going on, my name is Brandon and i will probably fill in a little about myself later on, and I had a couple ( or a lot ) of questions I hope would get answered.

I turned away from the Catholic Church for quite a few years, but after sitting through some philosophy classes, and having a really good religion teacher this semester, I decided I was willing to turn back to the faith, mainly because it is the only religion with the most consistent views that correlesque with our nature, and our reason. I recently wrote a paper, about how the Pre-Socratic philosophers inadvertently readied us for a messiah, and that only strengthened my faith afterwards.

I want to be able to say I am a smart guy, but there are so many things I just fail to understand and I need some answers, I hope you’ll all be able to help me out.

I come from a terrible family life, like horrible, if you wanna know I’d be more than happy to share, it is however the core of who I am. Without it, I would not be as strong as i am, but also as vulnerable ironically.

I’ll try to put numbers beside my questions to help clarify if it’ll help you help me I suppose lol.

  1. My dad has done some pretty terrible things, and the catholic church says I need to forgive him. I would be able to do that, if he felt there was something to forgive. I know if i commit a wrong, then i can reason I did wrong, and if someone asked me to apologize I would. My Dad did some of the worst things possible, and after talking with him, he concludes he did nothing wrong. These are not in my opinion subjectively wrong either. What he has done would be frowned upon in all of society, he is completely objectively wrong, but he still refuses to admit he’s wrong, and I know deep in his heart, he truly believes this. How do I get over that? i know this is probably my pride here, but how can i forgive someone, whom truly believes they did nothing wrong. I think it’s silly Jesus would truly expect that, my heart says otherwise, but i still don’t know how i could forgive him. i want to, but just can’t do it

  2. I used to write poetry, I was told I was good at it, one of my poems got published, my name is the same as my poetry username, if you want a link, i’ll give it to you, however be prepared to be disappointed.

I kept poetry a secret because I had this irrational fear that my mom was going to mock me for it, and my sister. When something got published, she hated my poem, and tol me kids can’t write like that. We got into a fight, and she mocked what i wrote. I have pretty much decided I will not write again, and that hurts. But that poem was me really digging at my most crippling insecurities, and what i was afraid I was going to become. To see it used against me frankly turned me off of it forever, and I could never tell her that. i just find it hard to forgive as well.

I don’t have a very hard time forgiving strangers, this is because in my opinion. Strangers, are called to love you, but that’s difficult, so I can understand if some are mean. Family is a different matter. They’re supposed to be the ones who would never try to hurt you, have your side, support you. I have their best interests in mind, even though I get angry at times, I know I would never say anything truly hateful, or truly try to hurt them. I am going to move out as soon as possible. And when I do, idk if I’ll eve be able to truly forgive them in my heart. I can say " oh yeah I do " but i don’t know if I’ll feel it.

  1. Do I need to confess before I truly call myself a catholic again, I can’t stand the people who call themselves Catholics, but don’t practice the faith. So I do not want to be a hypocrite. I can not attend church, I live with my mom, and we don’t have a car, and if I left every Sunday morning she’d put two and two together quickly, and I don’t want to go through that when she does.

i only receive the Eucharist 5-7 times a year at school, and only confess twice a year, but those are not my pursuing it, thats the school doing it, so I don’t feel they count. I feel I should only call myself a Catholic when I go and do it myself if that makes sense? Is that correct?

  1. My final question goes out to anyone who knows a lot about Philosophy. There was a philosopher called Socretes, and he was a smart man. He said, before we determine what we should be, we should ask what we are. I Have no idea how to sit down, and evaluate myself as a person. Figure out my heart and souls make-up. Does anyone know what Socretes meant? If so could they maybe tell me what questions I should ask myself, so I could sit down, and ask honestly.

I am asking these questions for two reasons. I pretend I have inner peace, but I know I don’t I want to be able to look at myself and say, yes I understand what I am now, and I can live life saying I love everyone, I may not like them, but I’ll love them. I want to love myself as well, with these grudges, I know deep down i can’t.
I’ve also wanted to ask a girl out for a while, but I feel, without knowing what I am, i will only hurt her like my dad hurt my mom, and I don’t want to do that. i get misty eyes thinking about this, I don’t want her to say yes to a project whom loathes himself, she deserves more than that, ( if she said yes ) I need to know myself before I put her through anything.

Sorry for the long read, I hope you’ll all offer wonderful advice.

Welcome home to the Church! I am also a new sheep brought back to His flock. It’s great to hear that a philosophy teacher helped bring you back. Philosophy and Theology also helped me rediscover the faith, and since the flame of your faith has been ignited by inquiry, you have an enjoyable road paved by books ahead. The Lord made you inquisitive, and he is using your interests and talent to bring you closer to Him. Thank you for this open and honest testimony, and for your humility in asking for help. I will do my best to answer your questions.

  1. Forgiveness is key. It’s one of the Beatitudes. But it is difficult, because it requires us to overcome our pride. You are already aware of this. You mention pride. But patience is also a Beatitude. The Lord said to live in the moment, each day has its own trouble, therefore we should not worry about the past or future, only now. This is important, because our Lord understands that forgiveness can not be done overnight. It takes time. The first step of forgiveness is letting go. Forget the past. What your father did in the past, whether he admits his wrongdoing or not, needs to be forgotten. Does this mean you forgive immediately? No. Your anger will still be present. But letting go of the past will allow you to focus on the present. This way, you will be able to confront your father in daily situations, that is to say, in small steps throughout the day, without the weight of the past. This will allow you to see your father’s wrongdoing as small mishaps rather than an accumulated mass of resentment, which will make it easier for you to respond to them with patience. Patience will lead to calmness. Calmness will lead to gentleness, and gentleness will keep your pride in check and allow you to see the reasons behind your father’s wrongdoing, because this ability to see the motives behind the action is key to empathy. Once you are able to detach yourself from pride, you will see beyond your father’s mishaps, and see the hurt that drives him to commit these wrongdoings, and then you will be able to fully forgive, and to love. Of course, this takes time, and it is important to pray for Christ to keep your patience strong and for him to help you lift your cross when you fall.

  2. I would love to see this poem. I’ve studied poetry and taught it to a high school class once, if you feel the need to write poetry, you should, regardless of whether or not people will ridicule you for it. The students in my class wrote beautiful poetry, students who have never been formally trained in the craft composed verses that mourned and celebrated their innermost pain and joy. It is safe to say that if your faith was strengthened by a philosophy class, then poetry might be a calling from our Lord.

  3. I admire your concern about authentic faith. Yes, you need to confess. Not because it is mandatory, but because it is necessary for the health of your soul. I understand that right now it is difficult to expose your faith to your mother. Your faith is a new and treasured gift, and you want to hide it and keep it safe from ridicule in the hope that it will grow. In time, with patience and prayer, your faith will overcome this fear of ridicule, and those who you fear might ridicule you will, with the grace of God, admire your humility and be drawn closer to the Lord because of it. It is a blessing that your school offers mass and confession. If you truly want to participate in these sacraments, then yes, of course it counts, and you should thank the Lord that in this difficult and wondrous time of conversion you have the opportunity to obtain his sacraments in an environment that is comfortable for your fragile faith.

  4. The key to this question can be seen in a quote by Saint Augustine, "“You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.” We are created by God, and our purpose is to serve his will, not by force, but by our own choice. The key to discovering God’s will for us and to obtaining the strength to follow it is to abandon pride and embrace humility. Look how you abandoned yourself here to ask for help. You discarded pride and acted in humility to obtain help for strengthening your faith. Look how you have said that you feel it is right to forgive in your heart even though it is difficult to do so. Look how you have said you wish to live your faith authentically. Look how you have said that you are willing to not approach the woman you feel affection for because you fear you can not be the kind and gentle man she deserves. You have tapped into your conscience, you have looked inside and outside of yourself simultaneously to understand what you feel is right and how to apply these moral truths to daily life. Through humility, you have established that you yearn to forgive, to turn your pain and happiness into poetry, to live your faith authentically, and to love fully. Knowing yourself begins with these truths. If they have spoken to your heart, then they have been made known to you by the Lord. With prayer and patience, He will help you fulfill these truths, and make His will clearer.
    I hope this has helped. May the Lord be with you on your journey.

I’ve studied poetry and taught it to a high school class once, if you feel the need to write poetry, you should, regardless of whether or not people will ridicule you for it… It is safe to say that if your faith was strengthened by a philosophy class, then poetry might be a calling from our Lord.

That is something I would love to study, That being said, i near positive it is not a call from God for me, I just don’t have the " it " factor when writing, idk how to explain it. It used to help, but now it doesn’t do anything for me anymore.

I am the kind of person who connects dots because of buzzwords. My mind is a mess, but one word, just makes me go " omg I see the light now "

Just a few moments ago someone asked me " so you’re working now? " and I though oh yes I am. At home i have too many distractions, and work, I can sit down, and actually think just thinking alone has really strengthened my faith and has helped me put two adnd two together on lots of things that have been troubling me. I may take a philosophy class in the Philippians, just to get away from my home, learn about myself in a new culture and truely forgive.

That would be amazing

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