Where did I go wrong?

I am 36 and I feel like my life is in ruins. My mom walked me away from the Catholic faith when I was a child. I went to many different faiths. I even tried to go back to the Catholic church and I didn’t feel welcome. Right now I am a practicing Methodist. Ok, I haven’t been back to church in months. I have had horrible things happen to me whether I have been in church or not and just plain gave up. I don’t know but some thing or some one is calling me back to my home. I don’t want to feel like the sinking ship any more. I want to live and be happy, but there is something missing. I was baptized in Fairbanks Alaska and did my first communion but never got confirmed. Where do I go from here? Please help me…

Hi,

You are always welcome to come home to the Catholic Church. But it is necessary to want to come back because you are convinced that it has the fullness of truth–not simply because of how you feel. You say that you left because you didn’t feel welcome. Feelings come and go. They are like auxiliary generators; they add thrust. They make good act better and bad act worse. But they do not determine the goodness of badness of the act. A ship using only such generators can end up running ashore or worse if it doesn’t have someone behind the wheel. It is the rudder and captain, not the generators, that determine the direction in which the ship ought to move. Our rudder and captain is our intellect and will.

When Our Lord said that the truth will make us free, He was speaking of using our intellect and not our feelings. That being said, there is no reason for you not to come back. The awareness that something is missing is the Lord’s hand on you. I suggest that you go to Confession and tell the priest your situation. After he absolves you, you may receive Holy Communion. Check in at a Catholic parish of you choosing and ask about receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. Just writing this, I’m getting excited about all this. This does sound like the working of God’s grace. Feel free to contact me privately by clicking on my name above. Welcome home!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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