what do I do about THIS?

I wrote a paper during my final semester at an Episcopalian high school, for a theology class, in which the assignment was to artistically depict one’s image of God, following a very difficult personal incident in my family, in which I declared “In God, the Lord, Our Father, I have no belief.” Js like Francis Farmer! Except I didn’t mean a word of it, I was just mouthing off and spewing out my father’s (formerly Anglican/Catholic) atheistic scienteering dogma. Nobody knew I was in distress, and, as I was known as for scholar, I was taken at my word. I took years to realize that the minister who ran the class was shocked and that it went around among all the teachers, and that I was held to and by and for my silly words, I was a good writer back then and it sounded convincing.

For a long time I have beat my head against the wall about this, and I finally realized that I could, and needed to, repent of these words.

Which I have done.

But I still feel held to them by those who read them back then and (?) helped to send me along the course that followed.

I realize I need to let this sink in for a little while and that maybe the Lord will work it out in my life and mind through my repentance, according to my present state of belief, I have finally begun to unleaven the 50 years of careless lassitude preceding and following this incident, and am becoming alive to the vital importance of repentance and also of forgiveness as real acts of moral justice in and for oneself and others.

I felt the need to turn somewhere and turned here. Apart from waiting on the Lord, who, I have heard it said here, could make me righteous and lead me to church (I still don’t/ can’t attend) in an instant, is there anything else I should be doing? How great of a sin is this, in the Catholic view, and what about all the teachers who condemned me without having any understanding at all of the pain underlying those words? and still do? I’m still haunted by the pain.:(:mad:

This is so sad! A sorry reflection of those terrible times when so few took Christ seriously :frowning: and I am so sorry that you have suffered as a result. At a religious school, that paper should have set off alarm bells which would have called the adults in your life to talk with you to help you understand God’s goodness.

What is your status? Are you a Catholic (in communion with the Pope)? Or are you Anglican? In which were you baptized; in which did you receive Communion?

The best thing for you to do is to go to the church you want to belong to (of course I think it should be the Catholic Church!) and ask a priest there what you need to do to be received in or to return.

You are not the only person who has found himself in this situation, and most if not all priests have experience dealing with it. I do hope you will be able to overlook the sins of those who were supposed to help you so as to be anle to return to God, Who can and will truly help you.

Look I also in a moment of utter despair cryed to Heaven and to GOD to hear me.

40 years later I know that He did. Many stupid things I commited meanwhile and now I think I finally understand a little better what it is all about.

What to do meanwhile?
Attend mass, read the Bibble AND the Cathechism. Join RCIA and be received in His Church. If you are baptized once received the sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation will wash you and lift your burden. And the Sacrament of the Eucharist will feed your soul with the manna from Heaven to give you eternal life.

And for that event? You are sorry for it and feel remorse and are truly repentant.
The Catholic Church has a term “Perfect Contrition” look it up GOD sees your heart.
Do not despair. May you find peace and solace in Jesus.

Peace :thumbsup:

I’d have suggested going back to your former school and having a chat with the teachers or writing a different version of the assignment with an attached letter of explanation for all of them to read. However, you mentioned 50 years of careless lassitude. Doing some math, I’d guess that makes you about 65+ years old and the teachers have retired and/or passed away by now.

The only other thing I could suggest is actually going to church and speaking with a member of the clergy about the incident and possibly returning to church.

I’m sure many, many, peeople have done something similar and regretted it later. I was Atheist for many years and Pagan before that. I, too, have said things like “I don’t believe in your God!” or " I don’t need an imaginary friend in the sky." When I came back to Christianity and decided to become Catholic I was upset by my previous words and opinions. Once I am able, I will be going to Confession and trusting in the mercy of the Lord. Even if you do not wish to be Catholic, I believe God will forgive you if you sincerely ask.

Thanks, it helps to understand that this is a common issue. I watched the Hollywood film “Francis” about Francis Farmer, a 40’s Hollywood actress whose mother put her in a state hospital, where she was given a* lobotomy*–just after getting out of the state hospital myself!!! So I carried a particular fear over that paper as it was part of the association in my mind with her story, and magnified it in my mind.
I am in my early 50’s.

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