What should I be doing now?

I am 30

I was born catholic. Baptized, and confirmed.

I was married 9/21/09 but not in a catholic church

My daughter was born 7/7/10 not yet baptized

The last time I attended church was Easter 2010 as I only ever go on special occasions, when my family begs me. (I am so very ashamed of this now.) I didnt even make Ash Wednesday this year.

I feel as if I have disappointed people. A huge burden hangs over me.

This past St. Patricks day, my grandfather suffered a grand mal seizure out of the clear blue. An otherwise very healthy 76 year old. He came out of it as good as ever. He underwent extensive testing and everything came back perfect. Just so weird.

This has brought the thoughts of death and dying to my immediate attention. I now question my faith and very existance.

I am concerned that when we die…thats it…nothing else, we dont see loved ones, all is lost. Just…poof…gone. I cannot get these thoughts to leave me alone.

I really want and NEED faith right now. Thats the only thing I keep thinking. That faith will make it all better. But I cannot seem to find it, or even know where to look for it.

The tears wont stop…

please pray for me.

TB,

You should seek out a Traditional Mass center (SSPX, FSSP, ICK), speak with a priest, and go to Confession. Part of your misery is that your soul is in the state of mortal sin since you have separated yourself from the sacraments. Your loneliness is your soul missing its attachment to Christ, which is what it was created for. It is causing you physical, mental, and spiritual distress and it will not be resolved until you get your soul healthy again with a sincere Confession and regular reception of the sacraments.

Your fears of what happens at death are much worse than you think. Far from being an empty void, you are presently doomed to an eternity of agony. You are a Baptized Catholic so you have the truth. You must act on it.

Jesus provided us with a wonderful Sacrament of reconcilliation (Confession) that can get our souls “right” with God again. Find the nearest Catholic Church, go to Confession, do your penance, and rejoice! Then, begin a program of spiritual exercises to get you spiritually “in shape!” You can be a spiritual Olympian if you try! :slight_smile:

I agree, Confession and mean it.

God is the only thing that makes sense. If you think about it, we begin with nothing and develop in a network of connections which expands exponentially from birth to death. It contradicts everything in nature if that just stops suddenly.

If it’s faith you are seeking, then pray to Mary. Her happiness lies in bringing us to her Son. You can’t go wrong doing this. You need the Sacraments. Frequent Confessions and Communions would end the terrible anxiety you are now undergoing. Your soul, which was created to be with God, is pleading with you to rejoin the Church and unite yourself with God. You must be aware of this or you wouldn’t be on this site now.

Matthew Chapter 7 says it all, “Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.”

Find a priest who will hear your confession and afterwards know that all you confess is forgiven. Remember the poem “Footprints”

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Our Lord is always with you, whether you know it or not, waiting for you to ask, seek, knock. You should ask his Blessed Mother for help by praying the Rosary. Just start with a Hail Mary, it will get easier with time.

I wish I could figure out how to send you a pm. Your story is so similar to mine. I’d been away for about 22 years and in January, I felt like I just HAD to have faith. I believed in God, but I wanted more than just believing. If that makes sense. And above all I wanted that for my daughter.

I was baptized Catholic, had First Holy Communion and Reconciliation. I was not confirmed though. Fell further away from the Church in my teen years. Young adult years I met my husband, we had a civil marriage. Our daughter was baptized 3 months after she was born.

I need to get confirmed and have my marriage situation fixed. My husband is not baptized and isn’t at this time interested in RCIA or anything like that.

But my dear, your story sounds so much like mine. And since my returning to the church almost three months ago, I’ve been praying for people like you and me. Of course I will continue to do so.

The smallest step, was my biggest step. Making an appoint to speak with Fr. S at our church. And boy did I bawl my eyes out. I left afterwards beaming on a very cold sunny day standing outside the church praying as part of my penance and I felt so … … :smiley:

I won’t say it’s been all like that and easy but I am certainly glad I did it.

You’re in my prayers!

The above posts all good council for you Tinkerbell, Take that first step back to God, only you can respond to that actual grace He is offering you, He is right there waiting for you to respond, He loves you and wants you back…you have to say yes to Him, even though you feel he isn’t there for you, do it, show him your need and His gifts will flow, that is why he gave us the gifts of the Sacraments the gift of faith, the gift of redemption and forgiveness, justification and in the end salvation.
All to help us to grow in his holiness in his love and his life so that we will forever happy with Him for Eternity. God bless you and your little family with his love and peace, :)Carlan

to clarify, many -including I- have had the same thoughts and still do. doubt is part of life as is death. being ashamed is not the same as guilt. acknowledge that you need help and need to move towards bettering oneself, but do not be ashamed. that is a step towards falling.

Try reading up on Saints. various individuals who came from your position (or worse) to being a leading Faithful.

also, at times of these feelings…do not address them! try addressing the issue on your own time (preferably mid day after you have eaten=my opinion). so if these fears began without your desire focus on something else. Prayer, a hobby, music, etc. For me sports helped a bit as did work (but that last one for sure is dependent on the type of work and person). forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=500043

the idea of addressing the idea or thoughts when you want to is to grab some form of control over it. instead of having it control you…really not fun.

look into why you want faith. if you’re purely doing it to get into heaven and be without fear for death, then it may be suggested to look elsewhere. examine reasons for faith. study the word faith as well. some think it only means “to believe”, but is so much more.

what ever you do, don’t stop. it’s a trek that rolls all over. hold fast and keep going. pause when rest is necessary, but discourage yourself from moving forward is not helpful.

I love you all

Your encouragement is inspiring

I am really looking forward to my journey

Praised be to God!!! He’s calling you. So many around the world are praying for conversions of sinners especially during lent. I was called during lent too. Call a priest, get yourself to confession…the Holy Spirit is prompting you (sounds like he is hitting you with a 2x4…:))
“I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you” Ezekiel 36:26

and again let me say…Praise be to God!!

Apparently God touched you, to return to Him.

You must put your life into order according to the Catholic faith.

  • talk to your wife about your thoughts

  • go to your local parish, and ask the priest how you can convalidate your marriage and baptize your child.

  • this will open the way to a good confession, and a full life as Catholic man.

welcome home!
you have faith
it was God’s gift to you at your baptism.
you will find the greatest comfort turning to him first
simply ask him to direct you
the asking is called “prayer”
we will look for you and your child on Sunday morning
we have been waiting for you, we need you

Your story is similar to mine as well! I’m the same age as you and just came back to the Church a few months ago, during Advent, after being away for more than 10 years. In the years in between, I had major family problems, lost my faith entirely, got married in a civil ceremony, etc., etc.

Confession and convalidation (bringing your civil marriage into the Church) are the only things keeping you away from being in full communion with the Church. And they are both SO easy to fix. If you’re nervous about going to confession, find out if a parish in your area is having a Lenten penance service this month. Lots of parishes do these services during Advent and Lent because so many people need to go to confession during these times. It’s a liturgy followed by a brief homily and a group Act of Contrition, and then the priests (usually the parish priests and a few visiting priests) set up different confession areas around the church and you can pick which priest you want to go to.

My first confession after being away was at an Advent penance service, and it calmed SO many of my fears about confession, especially seeing as I’d been away from the sacrament for so long. I thought my confession would be really long (I brought a list with me :eek:), but even with the confession and then talking with the priest it only took a few minutes…after which the priest said “Welcome home” and gave me a big hug. I did my penance and walked out of the church feeling light as a feather.

Convalidation is really easy, too–my husband and I just had our ceremony two weeks ago. All you have to do is meet with your parish priest and explain the situation. He’ll walk you through the normal marriage paperwork and set up a time for your “wedding.” It doesn’t have to be a full Mass and it’s usually very simple. You just need two witnesses (they don’t have to be Catholic), but you can invite anyone you want. Our ceremony was very small and only took 10 minutes, but it was the best 10 minutes EVER.

I’m praying for you and your family as you make your way back to the sacraments. Jesus told his disciples so many times, “Do not be afraid.” Trust that the Holy Spirit is leading you back. Welcome home!

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