Hi everyone. I am frequently tempted to leave the Church due to a disorder I have which affects how I view myself known as borderline personality disorder. Please know that this is not the same as multiple personalities. But anyway, it causes me to frequently question my faith. What should I do besides pray when I am tempted to leave the Church? :shrug:
Holly: If you have not done so, you should go to a doctor.
Prayers for you.
Talk to a Protestant convert to Catholicism.
I’m sure that to many Catholics, Protestantism, especially evangelical Protestantism, looks very appealing. But those of us who have been evangelical Protestants all our lives can fill you in.
I don’t wish to denigrate my dear evangelical Protestant friends, and I loved growing up in the evangelical Protestant churches. I learned my Bible well (well enough to recognize it when I started attending Mass!), I loved the music and theater, and the fellowship was beautiful–I still miss the socials that didn’t include alcohol (sorry, Catholics–I’m four years a Catholic now, and still haven’t gotten used to alcohol at social functions).
But there are sores in the evangelical Protestant church, and these are hidden to those outside of the churches. Hearing about these sores could possibly cause you to abandon your thoughts of leaving the Catholic Church.
Pray fervently to Him, especially in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament! Pray for the intercession of Our Lady in your health and toward leading you closer to her Son. Pray the Rosary. See a doctor and pray, pray, pray.
How much do you know about apologetics?
Just like any temptation, it’s best to reject those doubts at the thought. If they persist after trying to reject them, then pray. I find that saying the Hail Mary when temptations come to be very effective.
holly, i am so sorry beyond words that you’re struggling with what i know is an incredibly painful disorder. when i was hospitalized for my past depression, anxiety and nearly fatal suicide attempt (all of which God has healed and restored me of completely), i was diagnosed with traits of borderline personality disorder—i didn’t fit the criteria for an official diagnosis, but i did have traits of the disorder, including self-harm, terror of being abandoned and extreme self-destructive tendencies. i’m not sure exactly how your borderline personality disorder could be related to you wanting to leave the church, so if you could explain that a bit more, i think it would be very helpful, just so i could know exactly what i can do to help you. i can definitely see how the disorder could be related in causing you to frequently question your faith, but would you mind explaining the process of what goes on in your mind and your heart a bit more? of course, if that’s far too personal, i understand completely. it’s hard for me to admit to people what i’ve been diagnosed with and that i’m on several medications, which is why i admire you so much for being brave and strong enough to reach out to people on here for help and to state that you have this disorder. please remember, holly, that you are not your disorder—this isn’t even a true part of you. it’s a personality disorder, but it definitely doesn’t define your entire personality or who you are as a person, and it definitely doesn’t define you in the eyes of God. He loves you, and we love you, and because we love you, we want you to stay in the Truth and Beauty of the Catholic Faith. before i pray for you, as i will definitely keep you in my constant thoughts for now, would you mind explaining exactly what in your disorder causes you to want to leave the Church, so that i know exactly how to pray? i will post my prayer here once you respond so that you know what words i’m lifting up to God with all my heart for you. holly, please don’t give up hope. i know how painful personality disorders can be, but i promise you that this doesn’t define you or your life or your spirituality or your relationship with God. please stay strong, and stay safe, and take care of yourself, and continue to pray to God and hope in Him. as soon as you respond, i will post my prayer for you on here. God bless you, holly3278, and please take care.
in the peace and love of Christ,
Go to confession or simply make an appointment and talk to your priest about it. Pray often before the Blessed Sacrament. Thats what I did.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
I’m sorry that you are struggling.
Try to find a good, holy priest that you can talk to about this…he may be able to offer you some insight and hope.
Perhaps you could keep some Catholic books on hand–a devotional, something by a saint whom you like, Catholic apologetic material,etc. The more I’ve read about my faith, the tighter I’ve held onto it…maybe it will help you, too.
Ask your guardian angel to keep an eye out for you and remember that the Lord loves you unconditionally…in your ups and your downs!
Lief Erikson, I am a novice when it comes to apologetics but I can generally defend the faith against some anti-Catholic things.
Do you have a devotion to any particular saint? Having one can be a great consolation in times of darkness. It’s like having that one particular confidante who not only knows what we’re going through, but has been there, and isn’t God.
An acquaintance of mine (from the Secular Franciscan meetings which I’ve been attending) wrote a book about St. Francis. As part of the preface he wrote,
Before embarking on the journey of compiling materials for this book, I thought of Francis as the happy saint. There he stands in gardens everywhere with birds on his shoulders and his hands raised in exaltation. Francis *was *joyful. He took great delight in creatures and creation, because they reminded him of the awesome grandeur of the Creator.
Along the way, I discovered that Francis also suffered terribly. He endured persecution from the moment he walked away from his father’s inheritance to the day he died; he was the leader of a rapidly burgeoning religious order. He was weakened by penances and austerities and wracked by disease and blindness. Revered by thousands in his own lifetime, Francis felt radically alone at times.
Strangely, rather than being disappointed, I was uplifted by this revelation. If the great Saint Francis was human, as I am human, if he struggled with the familiar issues of health and interpersonal conflict and still raised his heart to praise God, then I, too, have permission to be human and to love the Holy One in my very own human way.
Okay. Well, apologetics can really help shore up your faith. My favorite book is “The Case for Christ,” by Lee Strobel, and there are lots of other great apologetics books out there. Those can be a support, in times of doubt. Though I agree with the others here that raising strong mental barriers and praying are the best keys to self-defense against such troubles. I don’t know what should be done on the medical side of the situation, which clearly is involved and should be addressed, as I just don’t know enough.
Yeah, I try to read Catholic apologetics sites when I get the chance. I find them to be very interesting.