I am trying to hold on for dear life. I am in the middle of RCIA. Mentally and factually I agree with the CC. But I do not feel I love for it. It feels like the CC makes rules just to make them. I feel like if I do anything that I may want to do or not do, it is a straight trip to hell. I am just confused. Did anyone feel this way in RCIA? I am thinking about not going back. THIS IS NOT TO BASH THE CC. I am looking for ways that people were/felt closer to God while being Catholic.
I grew up being taught that Catholics were going to hell because they were Catholic. My dad was baptized Catholic, but was “born again” in the Marine Corps and subsequently raised my sisters and I to be Protestant. When I first started dating my husband (who is Catholic), I knew that if we were married, I would probably have to convert. A year before we were engaged, I went through the motions of RCIA mostly because I believe that it is important that parents are one in everything including religion. I figured that the core Christian beliefs are held by both Protestants and Catholics so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal to convert. I’ll be honest, my heart wasn’t completely in it. HOWEVER, now…I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC!!! :extrahappy:
I feel complete. I was in the same situation as you, where I oftened wondered why we had to do this or why we couldn’t do that. So, I bought the Catechism, and joined this forum so I could get my questions answered. To me, a lot of the “do’s and don’ts” make total sense. IMHO, it isn’t that the Catholic Church is creating a bunch of rules so we can’t have any fun. Most of the “rules” are meant to help you put God first in your life as well as to remember God in everything that you do. On a non-spiritual level, one reason why the Catholic Church makes sense to me is because if you believe that Jesus was the son of God, then the first Christian church was the Catholic Church and has been around for 2000 years.
I found that once my heart was truly in it, that’s when the love came. The prayers, the mass, the holy days, traditions…they all help you develop a closer walk with God.
I hope that this helps a little bit. I’m currently reading a book by Scott Hahn called “Reasons to Believe.” It might help.
I think that maybe you are just reading the wrong things. Yes there are many rules but they exist for our benefit. But I suggest reading the works of the Saints and going to Adoration as much as you can try to find God’s love for you in the Sacraments… it will make more sense then. Do not worry and trust Him. Spend time with Him in prayer. And although there are many rules, it’s also centered on grace and God’s mercy.
God bless hugs
I too am in the middle of my RCIA and still have many questions. I think that is normal. We shouldn’t be mindless robots. It can feel like the CC has many “rules” but unlike some other churches, these rules are set out for us in the Cathechism of the CC. Another book I found VERY helpful is “The Seeker’s Cathechism” by Michael Francis Pennock and is published by Ave Maria Press. It has the main points of the catechism in a Q&A format and can be read in a day. If you have questions about why things are a certain way in the Church, your RCIA team should be able to answer those for you and help you learn to find those answers for yourself.
I don’t always feel RAH RAH RAH about the Church. It takes work, even when you believe the message. Things that help me feel closer to God are doing the daily readings, praying(I find it takes a lot of practice though), going to mass(It gives the readings more meaning to me), going on this site(even though I am new here), coming to RCIA with lots of questions & taking notes while I am there, I also attended a retreat(just 1/2 a day).
A few members of my RCIA team tell me that one of the reasons they help with RCIA is to help them stay strong in their faith. So I think everyone has to work at their faith formation.
Don’t worry, If I have learned anything in RCIA, it is God is loving and there is hope for ALL of us. No one is perfect. The RCIA is not the end all & be all of our faith formation. It is just the beginning. In my opinion, keep going and receive your sacraments. You deserve it!
I suppose faith is a bit like marriage (or any long-term relationship for that matter). You do go through ups and downs, and periods of feeling the opposite of ‘madly in love’, either with the Church or with your spouse or child or whoever. But you stick with them and come through the other side and those low periods pass.
In essence, you are still (as most of us are) something of a ‘child’ in faith/spiritual terms - still at the stage of figuring out the rules. Keep learning, keep trying to seek out the deeper meaning behind those rules that are so pesky.
when i was in RCIA, i was pretty gung-ho about the CC. i did have to switch from one parish to another when the first RCIA teacher exhorted “us women are making a lot of progress towards becoming priests”, but once i found a decent parish everything was ok.
it was not until after RCIA that i began to feel like you do now. man, it felt like all i had to do was breathe and i’ll be doomed to hell. it took a few years, with ups and downs, but i stuck with it and those feelings eventually wore off. i think it was/is a test from God that needs to be struggled through with the mindset of CHOOSING the CC. also, the devil doesn’t want you anywhere near a church (let alone the CC), and so he will certainly do anything he can to dissuade you. once i was through this period, things really picked up and i have been feeling much more at home in the church. my suggestion is to make friends with someone else in RCIA, or someone you know who is a good Catholic, and try to use that friendship for encouragement and support, and to grow in the “good” feelings associated with being a member of this community.
hope that helps…
Everytime a baby starts wailing during Mass, even though it is annoying, I can’t get too annoyed since I recognize my own fits of restlessness and sin in those baby’s cries. It seems like I live in the Crying Room.
Perhaps as you grow in your faith, your feelings about the ‘rules’ will fall away. I’ve found that I’ve internalized these rules. Basically, they’re an extension of Christ’s “Two Commandments”.
The rules exist because we have a way of trying to go easy on ourselves. (‘well, this isn’t really a sin…’) If you feel overly constrained with them, perhaps there’s a leaning towards being scrupulous? I find most if His yoke light and easy to bear.
Thank you. Everyone gave me something to think about.
For me what is central is my living to give encouragement and love to others.
And to live the Sacraments. It means a lot to me to go to daily Mass and be close to Jesus, and to pray for my brothers and sisters of this world.
That is, you can come from the direction of fear and law, or you can accept the commands of God to love others and self, and God above all, ie, live from love. I live from and in love. Not a sentimental type, but wholehearted.
If you read Matthew 25, verses 31-40, concentrating on what Jesus says about love of others knowing that to love others actively is to love Him…then you will live the law without it being fearsome, but with creative, wholesome love.
Warm regards and prayers, Trishie