Unsure of where I belong

Sorry if this is in the wrong topic. I just joined here and am a little lost.

Not even sure where to start… Let’s go chronologically. :slight_smile:

As a baby my family was Catholic. I was baptized in the Catholic church as an infant. My family left by the time I was 5, mainly due to the individual church we went to, not necessarily disagreance with Catholic doctrine. The priest had been charged with molesting young boys and my family was very poor and they kept pressuring my family to give more money were the two biggest reasons.

We still always said the Catholic prayer and even went to a different Catholic church on most Easters. As time went on we did less and less.

I met my husband in college. We’ve gone through different levels of faith, lots of questioning each others beliefs and talking things over. It’s always been a very open conversation between us. We got married in a Christian, but not Catholic, wedding outside of a church (on my parents’ farm, actually). We had a son in January 2011. He has not been baptized.

My husband and I started going to the church near our home in December after being invited by a family friend. I’m honestly not even sure what exactly it is. I think it’s a branch of the Baptist church. But we started going and like the main pastor and the people we have met there. We were just rebaptized last week as part of the process to join the church. I didn’t even really question it that much. They explained their interpretation of Acts 2:38 and I went along with it. But when I read it myself, I am in agreance with the Catholic church on that verse. I can’t even figure out in my head how to read it the way they do without someone talking me through it. After we announced that we were baptized our families reactions were not good. Mind you, NO ONE in either of our families is currently a practicing Christian or goes to church (not that they don’t believe). My brother called me a born-again Christian and my mother-in-law asked in a panic if we were baptists. I honestly don’t care if my beliefs end up being in line with a more “out there” church or what other people think of my beliefs. But ever since I’ve just had a heavy weight in my heart. I’m questioning everything. I’m crying about this. I’ve been feeling a strong pull in my heart to go back to the Catholic church. I’m worried about my son (he’s now 1 1/2) not being baptized yet. I’m seriously in a panic over this. (I should mention I do have anxiety problems to start with) I’m in the process of reading the bible (currently The Message just do I can understand the main points, I plan to read the NIV next) and don’t want to make any more decisions until I’m finished. I want to practice what Jesus taught and not simply find a church that already fits our lifestyle. I want to fit my lifestyle around Jesus’s teachings, not the other way around.

If I were to decide to go back to Catholicism, what would need to be done? Can my son be baptized as an older child? Is my marriage valid? If my husband doesn’t agree with my views and doesn’t want to join, what are the consequences? I never went through first communion, so what would I need to do as far as the process of joint? I feel that God is pulling me in this direction and need some tender, but honest advice.

Thank you!

If I were to decide to go back to Catholicism, what would need to be done? Can my son be baptized as an older child? Is my marriage valid? If my husband doesn’t agree with my views and doesn’t want to join, what are the consequences? I never went through first communion, so what would I need to do as far as the process of joint? I feel that God is pulling me in this direction and need some tender, but honest advice.

abrigham,

You should discuss it with your husband and decide on a plan of action to determine what is best for you and your family. Church is too important to just let things go along without any decision. Be flexable.

Rob

You should look up a Catholic church in your area and set up a meeting to talk about these things with a priest. They will be able to answer all of these questions for you in much more detail than we will. The marriage will have to be convalidated. Usually an easy process if neither of you have been married before. You may need to receive first communion first though.

You should schedule a meeting with a priest ASAP and also talk to your husband about having your child baptized if that is what you want to do.

What might be helpful is to contact a priest in your local parish and fill him in on your situation. It’s awesome that you’re reading the scriptures, and the NIV is an awesome translation it’s very easy to read. Pray for the Lord to help guide you to where you belong. God bless you, and may you find your way.

I’m sorry that your family had an awful experience with the Catholic Church. Remember that the Catholic Church is holy because by his grace Jesus makes it holy just as he is holy. It doesn’t mean that all the members are always holy. And he did say that there would be both good and bad members in the Church.

I agree that you should contact a local parish and set up an appointment with the Priest.

Here are some links that I hope help you in your spiritual journey. You and your family are in my prayers. May God’s peace be with you.

catholicscomehome.org/

catholic.com/tracts/assurance-of-salvation

catholic.com/tracts/infant-baptism

sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home

catecheticsonline.com/Catechisms_Baltimore3.php

The Holy Spirit is calling you back to the Catholic Church. The next step would be to meet with a priest to discuss where you are in your faith journey and where you need to go from there. He will probably recommend that you join the RCIA program, which will start meeting in the early Fall, unless they have a year long program that you can start immediately. Your son most certainly can be baptized at any time. Your and your husband will have to agree to raise him Catholic and attend a few classes to understand the process. The priest will advise you on your marriage status, he will be in the best position to evaluate your situation. It is entirely up to your husband if he wants to join Catholic Church. He will be most welcome to join you at RCIA, but there no pressure for him to convert. RCIA is also very helpful for those who just want to learn more about Catholicism but still aren’t sure if they are called to be Catholic. The Catholic Church is the one true Church started by Jesus, Welcome Home! :grouphug:

Here is a web site designed especially for you. Browse a little bit and get an idea, then simply contact your local parish and ask. Advise them of your status and inquire of the process. Since you were never confirmed or received the Eucharist, it sounds appropriate that you would participate in the RCIA program, which is an introduction to the faith. “RCIA” stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. As to your son, an unbaptized person may be baptized at any time during their life, so no worries. The Church presumes that your marriage is valid, although it might need to be “convalidated” once in the Church.

I heartily advise you to obtain a copy of Catholicism for Dummies and read through it. It is an excellent resource that will teach the basics of the faith. I learn something each time I read my copy.

One other thing: Most Catholic parishes offer what is known as adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is also known as “Holy hour.” What it is amounts to being in Christ’s true presence. Once the bread is consecrated by the Priest, it becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Thus, it is to be worshipped, as it is the true presence of our Lord. A sample of the consecrated bread, called a “host”, is placed into a polished brass fixture and set on the altar. The faithful may then spend time in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord.

Please consider going and just spending time in the presence of our Lord. With faith, and patience, you will be changed once you are convicted that He is there. Amazing things have happened in His presence, and I find it a wonderful place to pray or read scripture. The sense of peace is almost overwhelming. If your husband doubts, ask him to accompany you. It is the best kept secret in all of Christianity.

May Christ’s peace be with you.

Don’t worry about being in the wrong forum. There is no age at which a person cannot be baptisted. I’m not very good at giving advice,:shrug: but from the postings already on this thead are good advice. Welcome home. :angel1:

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I checked out the websites you all linked and will definitely be using them to help me. I’ve talked things over with my husband and he is willing to go through RCIA with me, but we plan to continue to attend our current church until we figure things out. I started reading “If Protestantism Is True” and the first two chapters describing the author’s journey is almost exactly what I’ve gone through in mine, except my anxiety hasn’t ever gotten to the point of me being suicidal. I think my heart is set on being Catholic, but I’m going to give my mind time to catch up and really study and make sure it’s right. I am worried that my husband will not want to be Catholic, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. I will continue to read, study and pray to God to show me the right path.

Go Catholic!!! It won’t be easy but it will be totally worth it.

God bless you!

I’m not looking for easy, just what God wants me to do. :slight_smile:

I think what bothers me most about our current church, other than the baptism thing, is they say good works will not get you to heaven because there is nothing a man can do that would ever be good enough for God. Basically, you just have to profess your faith publicly and you’re set. You don’t have to live a good life. (not that they promote living a bad life) But I don’t believe that. I think you need to believe in God AND do everything you can to do good, and when you don’t, ask for forgiveness.

I was excited about being rebaptized at first, but as it drew closer I got more and more anxious and I actually had an anxiety/panic attack that morning right before we did it, I just didn’t realize WHY I was so upset.

I feel really silly for just going along with everything and not really thinking it through. I DID think about it, but I was just like, huh, I guess that makes sense…

Your original baptism left an indelible mark upon your soul, so do not worry about any subsequent attempts. Regarding infant baptism, the Church has the power to bind and loose “whatever” on earth and in heaven. “Bible alone” assemblies reject the concept of Church and possess no power to bind and loose. Thus, if the Church states that baptism saves children, and the parents have faith that this is so - it does. End of story. Jesus did not leave us orphans! As well, Jesus healed a paralytic and forgave his sins because of the faith of his friends (Matthew 9:2-8). There is zero evidence that the paralytic had any faith at all! It is that same faith on the part of the parents that gives the baptism of their children its effect. “Bible alone” Christians cannot relate to such power, as they reject the Church in favor of their personal interpretation of the bible alone - which did not exist as we know it in Jesus’ day.

As to “works”, the problem with so many denominations is that they fail to distinguish between the works of the Mosaic law, which were simply rituals, and the works of charity that come from the heart, which James and all other NT writers mention. “Good works” or “Good deeds” are mentioned numerous times in the New Testament, in the context that we are equipped (and expected) to do them.

Read James 2:17-26, and you will see that faith without works (of charity) is dead. James specifically states that we are not saved by faith alone. Pastor is clearly overlooking this. The Catholic Church overlooks nothing in scripture.

I think you’re right. Sounds like God would like you to come home.

This is my advice: first - stop reading the Bible. Now, if you must, here is the Bible the Church uses in America. Just read the Gospels.

Contract a local Parish and you and your husband, in the fall, start going through RCIA. It’s once a week. That stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

Then you can both learn about the Church and both discern together what makes sense for you. This usually starts in September and goes on until Easter. This gives you time, information and a place to ask all questions. You don’t have to join anything.

Don’t worry about your marriage or any other thing. Just take this a step at a time together. No pressure. It’s like free religion/Bible class! I loved RCIA so much.

Your husband doesn’t have to decide anything yet and neither do you. Just go learn and find out and the Holy Spirit will lead you.

God bless you and your family abundantly.

Anxiety is not from God. Jesus gives peace to the soul. The first words He spoke after His resurrection were “Peace be with you” to a woman. He brings peace wherever He Goes and wherever He is and to whomever He encounters.

The soul that knows Him knows His peace.

Do the thing, go to the thing where you find peace. Your soul will tell you. It has a peace meter built in by God and there is no conterfeit for the peace of Christ.

Jesus commands His followers to “Be not afraid”. He says, “Be Anxious over nothing”. It is all in the Bible.

Sometimes when you feel anxiety you have to think of His command to you to not be anxious or afraid and will yourself not to fear. Jesus will give you this power, to use your will to not be anxious.

Then as you go along your path and things present themselves to you where you need to make decisions use your peace vs anxiety inner sense to allow the God of Peace to lead you home.

Blessings.

Mary Queen of Angels, pray for us.

Dear Abrigham, first Welcome :slight_smile: this is a great place to ask your questions for a start and just to write down one’s thought sometimes helps clarify them.
1.On the contact a priest point that many have suggested :thumbsup: absalutely.

2.On the feeling you have don’t worry too much right now about whether or not you did anything right or wrong in God’s eyes as far as being re-baptised or anything like that because when we do things without knowledge we are not held as accountable for our actions as if we had full knowledge . From what you have told us it sounds like you are both seeking God and that is good because He is holding His arms wide open for you. You have not rejected the Catholic church out of knowledge of your own.

  1. Speak to your husband about what is on your heart and be patient.

  2. Finally I have to say something about the Bible translation you are reading because I work in a non- denominational ( mainly protestant) Christian Book store and have for 2 years and have had to do alot of study on all the translations.

-. First do know that the only complete Bibles are the 1611 King James and the Catholic Bible or a Protestant bible that includes the Apocrypha like the RSV with the Apocrypha attached. I am just giving basic facts here. When the KJV was compiled the King himself made a decree saying that if anyone took out those books that are in the Apocrypha there would be a penalty of death…it was pretty serious. It was only in the 1800s that a printer left those books out of later KJVs . The complete bible has more books in the OT some that are rather important. I am going to leave it at that.

  • Second know that the Message is part of the movement of very easy Bible’s to read to try to get people into the word but honestly no even semi serious Bible scholar uses it because it is ONE man’s translation , this site biblegateway.com/versions/Message-MSG-Bible/ gives a fair synopsis of the genesis of this Bible translation. The irony behind that is that if you read his reasons it is actually very similar to some of the reasons the Bible was translated into one common language back in the early Church days when we were given an official Bible as translated by Jerome- called the Vulgate- it was in Latin which was the common language across the Roman Empire.

Also know that since the new -2011- NIV translation ( which is ofcourse not a complete Bible and is what is on the shelves today) came out which has more ‘inclusive’ language many Churches have steered away from it and gone to the Revised Standard Version ( which you can get as a complete Bible in the Catholic Edition from Ignatius Press or as a Protestant version and add the Apocrypha) . NOT the New RSV because that too includes ‘inclusive’ language. Or they are picking up the English Standard Version - ESV as the new respected version.

The thing about the NIV, RSV and ESV is that they had about 100 translators each working on them and they try to balance word for word and thought for thought translations.
Why would I be concerned about reading a translation that is only by ONE man - because how do we know that he didn’t translate to suit his own particular theology?

Honestly if you want to just get the gist of the Story - the big picture so to speak you are better off reading a book called A Father Who Keeps His Promises by Scott Hahn , It is a very easy read and will take you from Genisis to Jesus and show you “God’s Covenant Love In Scripture” and then you are better off when you really get into a proper Bible.

One final word about which ever Bible you pick …don’t get woowed by all the pretty packaging…the options are truly mind bogling these days. :smiley:

Thank you for this verse! I almost want to take it to my pastor and ask him about it, but I’m not confrontational and I’m sure he knows of it already.

:thumbsup: You got it…we are all fighting the good fight , picking up our crosses and following Jesus just like He told us to DO. No instant saints here we try but we stumble and then throw ourselves at His Mercy:D and He picks us up like the little children we are.

:thumbsup:
If I may also suggest a totally non confrontational way of learning more for you and your husband in the privacy of your own home that does not require more reading… Start watching The Journey Home on EWTN. It airs on Mondays at 8pm here is a link to the web site where you can look at some pod casts and also see the list of upcoming guests. ewtn.com/tv/live/journeyhome.asp For me it was great to hear the story of other people’s issues they struggled with as they started to seek a deeper truth.

Thank you for your input on the translations! I downloaded the 1611 KJV and I can’t read it. Haha I then downloaded the Catholic Ignatius one and it’s much better. I will work from it for now. :slight_smile:

I referenced it only for your edification, so you know that to exclude the works of charity is error. You need not confront pastor, only know in your heart that not every denomination has it right.

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