What do you do if you regret converting?

I converted to the Catholic Church almost five years ago, and unfortuantely I’ve spent the last six months or so regretting it. Maybe regretting is too strong a word. But I look back on my conversion, and I realize that I believed the Church was true because I **wanted **it to be true. I ignored what my professors and my pastor said about the Catholic Church, because I wanted to believe that the Church was true, and converted in spite of what they taught.

I still think it’s possible that the Church is true, maybe even probable. But I don’t think that it’s something that we can know with any kind of certainty. It’s sad in a way, because I used to really love the Church, but I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way again. On the other hand, it might have saved me from doing something really extreme, like dying for the Church. The Catholic Church may be the greatest thing ever invented by man, but if it’s invented by man, than it’s not worth dying for

And yet, I still wish that I could believe, the way I used to believe.

You should be part of the system you believe to be true, even if you don’t like where it takes you.

I read that even Pope Benedict encouraged his JW cousin for following her beliefs.

Dear Lucy, I hope you will find your questioning as a springboard for learning more about the Church as coming from the loving heart of Jesus.

vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p1.htm

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is available in full online.

May the Holy Spirit guide you, and help you to fully participate in the gifts of the Sacraments.

God’s kindest blessings to you. :slight_smile:

Maybe we should address why you harbour doubts and why you think these doubts cannot be abolished?

Faith comes from within. It takes faith to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. It takes faith to believe that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate. None of these can be “proved” to be true.

Faith is an act of the will. It is not a “feeling”.

Talk with a priest, or the Catechist who helped form you. These thoughts may be temptations from the Evil One to lead you astray. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you with this struggle.

"… if this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. (Act 5:38-39)

All institutions of merely human origin will eventually fail.

One of the strongest arguments for the divine origin of the Catholic Church is its persistance and growth in the world despite the attempts of those outside the Church to destroy it, the attempts of those within the Church (heretics and schismatics) to destory it, and the sometimes widespread moral corruption of its members and its leadership.

Well put Todd! If it is true that the Catholic church is simply a system of men, then the church should have fallen a long time ago. After all, we all agree that the Church is composed of sinners (even the saints). And yet… it has survived. How can this be possible if not through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

If you have doubts, that is perfectly naturally to be experiencing as a new convert. The devil is always prowling the world.

Especially during these times when we constantly hear about Father this and Bishop that… doing this and that in this whole child abuse scandal. But always remember that we ALL have our occasional doubts. Some last longer than a few weeks. But Christ has brought you to his Church and in this day and age, enabled you to have a variety of tools (phone, internet, catechism, priests, the ability to read etc…) to seek out the truth.

So if you feel strongly convinced that you want to leave the church you should ask yourself these questions: Have I giving the Church a chance to defend itself against the charges brought upon it? Have I talked to priests, looked at the Catechism or asked my objections here on Catholic answers and received answers that represent the true teachings of the church? You should be able to answer that YES, so that you can properly reject the church for what seems to you bad teaching. This is what we ultimately judge the church by. Not whether it’s members misbehave or act immorally, but whether the Church teaching is the truth and if this is the Church that Jesus established.

Please consider seeking out a thourough response from the Catholic church about your objections. Just remember that even after you leave the church, you can always come back to the fullness of truth.

Lucy,

Christ formed His Church from it’s beginning in Judaism. She’s been His for 2,000 years. How can your instructors, members of other denominations, level such a charge against the Church, that she was “invented” by man?

If that is true of the Catholic Church, what does that say about the various protestant denominations? Who invented them?

It sounds as though you were attending a Christian school that was saying the Catholic Church was wrong. Would I be correct in that assumption?

If so, perhaps you might be feeling some guilt and nostalgia, and like you were being disloyal to those who gave you positive things but did not agree with your decision to convert. This would be only natural.

Yet, something did drive you to convert. Was it of your own volition? Was it for a boyfriend or other person?

If you converted for reasons totally your own, perhaps some in-depth study of the Ask an Apologist threads might yield an answer to the particular issues of doctrine that you are struggling with. If you converted for someone else and don’t feel steady, you might also discover for the first time how to make your conversion truly your own.

We can know with certainty - Jesus said “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.” He promised to send the Holy Spirit, and He promised to be with the Church always till the end of time. Hopefully this (explained in greater depth by better apologists than me) will help you lay to rest the “uncertainty” doubt and the “invented by man” doubt.

As regards feelings, well, we can’t always trust them. They can give us information, but it’s the will that decides, the will that commits and carries out the commitments it made. Feelings can be fickle and they can even lie to us at times. They can also be useful and good. But they can’t be the sole barometer for our faith.

It could very well be that you are going through a “dark night of the soul” where God is allowing your faith in the Catholic Church to be tested by not having the feelings of consolation that it originally brought. If this is the case, and you can remain faithful and trusting, you will come out on the other side with stronger faith and it will have been worth it. I’ll be glad to pray for you. :blessyou:

Dear Lucy,

It is sad to learn u regret embracing the catholic faith. The Church was, indeed established by men, and perhaps it aint worth dying for, like you said. However, the Catholic church has lived on for almost 2000 yrs, unlike even some of the nations in the world.

It is a brave thing to say you would have given your life for the Church, but what the Church wants, what it teaches, is to live life according to the Commandments conveyed to us through Moses, and according to Jesus´teachings…not to die for it. The Church, us, we are all together one family, one body…you wouldnt stop loving your entire family because one member , or perhaps the entire household, have gone astray, would you??.

You also said the Church is true because you wanted it to be so. But the truth is not always what we mite want it to be, is it??. So I believe this a matter of Faith. Perhaps you should ask yeself if what you r really after is the true Faith or any other faith or religion that befits your ideals, … If Truth is what you seek, then place yourself in the hands of God and stop looking for your own truth and ask him to lead you to where THE Truth really lies. A very similar thing happened to a young priest almost 500 yrs ago, Martin Luther; unlike yourself, he decided he DIDNT want to believe that the Catholic Church was true, just because he didn´t agree with it anymore. …so he went after his own truth, causing a painful division inside of the church which many Catholics still mourn over.

The devil has always been skilled in placing doubts in the human mind, no wonder “devil” means the “the one who divides”. But you are not alone in this Lucy, just ask The Holy Spirit for guidance, surely you will find your way home, to where you belong.

Cheers n God Bless u

I’m not Catholic but what might be called a potential convert. I recommend being patient. (Almost) any Protestant will tell you that you can worship God within the Catholic Church. So, continue to do that, continue to read the bible, pray, etc. I don’t see any reason why you must run away. Most Protestants will caution you to pray only to God however.

Be a good Catholic, a loving Catholic, one who loves God, and you’ll be a good Protestant as well. Mostly what you’d miss out on is good bible study, kids programs, and social stuff - the Protestant Churchs really beat the pants off the Catholic Churchs on these.

It’s normal to go through a bit of a come-down after a conversion experience. That means it is time to begin the hard work of persevering in your faith and growing closer to God. Don’t be afraid to study more on the topics that bother you. It’s possible eventually you will move away from Catholicism, but you may also find your faith is ultimately strengthened by this. In the meantime, pray, study, participate in the Sacraments, and interact with your fellow Christians.

Forgot to ask this in my first post, Lucy, but was there an event or situation about 6 months ago that served as a trigger point or catalyst for the doubts you began to experience? Because you indicated you’d been OK with being Catholic for 5 years, so I wondered what made it change.

From what I understand…It appears from Lucy’s words that the pivotal fact in her joining the Church was in wishfully ignoring the objections of Pastor and Protestants on the basis of a wish rather than a conviction. This indicates that she perhaps didn’t wholly convert, that her faith was not a radically informed choice. In such a situation, a person can no longer sustain that fragile base but needs to truly and deeply explore and understand the truths of the Catholic Faith if he or she wishes to remain. If the foundations aren’t sound, sooner or later the building totters.
With God’s grace Lucy may be able to strengthen and rebuild her faith on a firm foundation of true knowledge and faith, but that is doubtless not an easy task and one that her heart does not seem to be in now.

May the dear Lord guide and bless her.

Thanks for your responses. It’s getting late, and I’m not sure how much I really want to reveal, so I’m not going to respond right now. I’ll probably get back to you tomorrow.

When you wake up to read this, I’d like to pass on some wisdom I’ve learned from personal experience. It was researching history that made me understand that professors have been misrepresenting what happened throughout history. Many historians have a bone to pick with the Church because they personally have chosen to be against it. We have atholic friends that take the position against the Pope, against restrictions on same sex relationships, premarital sex and many other gravely sinful acts. Why? Mostly because it’s the in thing to do and probably because they have sin on their hands and don’t want to admit they’ve committed grave acts of sinful behavior, like be a catalyst for abortion. I personally know people like I describe.

Further, I’ve studied formal history and through my own personal, much deeper look into history, research have uncovered seriously view changing historical facts that do not jibe with the modern historian balony that they call history. Further, you need to have a better understanding of how history is written. Ever heard of the word “conjecture”. A researcher finds documents and from those documents piece together a “story” they end up publishing and call it “historical fact”. Truth is, depending on who portrays the history depends on the view.

The Catholic Church teaching is a much deeper and ancient faith, Protestantism is very young in comparison. That I can prove. But depending on the agenda of the recipient depends on whether they will accept the facts. Further, turn you life over to Christ and engage in daily prayer and bible reading. This will give you the strength you need.

I’m editing to add that like marriage, conversion is similar in that now that you’ve made the committment you must think in terms of not the infatuation and love affair but now the daily grind, carrying your cross. It’s time to eat meat now, not just the milk. So maybe you should get involved into reading the ancient church fathers and other sources of history that have a different perspective that does not pivot upon selling books for college, money and fame.

I will pray for you tonight. I know how you feel. Believe that.

PAX

This is a common problem among converts- the newness of the faith wears off, and they’re faced with the reality that the cross- though beautiful because it is the means of salvation, is still the cross- an intentionally inhumane means of execution. I always try to encourage Catholics, while they are excited about the Faith, to pray that they may stay faithful to the Church when the emotional desire to do so isn’t there. When you find yourself feeling as you do, it may take all you’ve got- but ask God to help you understand why you converted. Ask God to help you learn to embrace the Cross.

Hi Lucy. Sorry you’re going through a rough patch in the road. Sounds like you have a few missing links in your education. That’s all correctable :wink:

what changed your mind

What’s really going on behind that comment?

Correction Lucy. Jesus started the Catholic Church. That’s all provable. ALL and I mean ALL the Protestant world, is 100% invented by dissident men. We know exactly who started each and every group and when it was started. NONE obviously were started by God and they DID scatter the sheep. Here’s how Paul puts it in a warning

Rom 16:

17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.

Paul said this to the Church of Rome in his letter dated ~54 a.d. 16 centuries later, Protestantism was invented, by breaking from the Church of Rome. And they went into serial division from each other after that. And Paul condemned it in advance.

You will again. Just Ask away

That’s another good point, Lucy. Have you ever read up on St Paul of the Cross’ theory about the “dark night of the soul”?

The general idea is that God occassionally draws back from us and allows us to go through periods of doubt and tribulation… a passion of faith if you will… during which we struggle to find God and redevelop our faith. The end result is that we hunger for our faith again and actually grow closer to God and better as human beings and servants of God as a result.

Perhaps you are entering your first “dark night of the soul” and God has plans for you in this. Trust God, Lucy, He is all good and knows what is best for you.

Pax et Amor Christi tecum (peace and Love of Christ to you)

Well, Jesus did found one Church and that Church is the Catholic Church. He also promised that the Gates of Hell would never prevail against His Church:

Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
(Mat 16:15-19)

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