Where do I start?

Hi,

After reading the forums for quite a few months now, I have got many new insights and my faith becomes stronger as I iron out my doubts about the my religion.

Well a bit about myself; I have been raised catholic starting from baptism all the way up to marriage. During my late teens I lost my faith and was most inclined to atheist ideals, so I lost faith in God or didn’t care much about it.

I have always been a truth seeker, so in my 20s I accidently bought the wrong book. Might as well start reading it as bookshop was closed. That book changed everything for me about God (The Road Less Traveled by M Scott peck).He showed me a different way to look at the world I had never known, its an amazing book. From then on I was a theist, but still had my doubt of course but closer to God.

Late 20s things aren’t going so well I’m having a hard to in my life so started reading in search for God. Was nowhere near catholics or similar religions. Started with buddism convincing at first did’nt work well. Then read up for Islam even worse wasn’t working.

Ended up with christianity read up on The third Jesus, was up the wall very interesting, searched for some non catholic websites some were very good some different. In between to test my faith read ’ The god delusion’. What a load of garbage, I thought; my faith was even stronger made me study The Bible. Loads of things I didn’t understand so turned to my non-catholics christians, it was too literal for me 'sola scriptura didn’t add up for me though somewhat helpful. And last this forums made me understand even more made much more sense to me 2000 years still going strong.

Now I don’t go to church I have theory but no practice. Where do I start I feel embarrassed going to church don’t know why. I have a relationship with God and he is everywhere whats the point. I pray but not sure why, He knows what I am thinking. Why should He make my prayers come true and not other people? seems unfair, I am just one for billions of people who probably need more help than me.

I’m stuck please help!

I wish I could :hug3: I hate giving advise. I will give you my thoughts. I am happy about your journey. I don’t blame you for being nervous or embarrassed. I wish I could take you to Church with me. I love going to Church but it has taken a long time. Is the embarrassment because you don’t know what to do? If that might be the problem, don’t let it worry you. I have noticed there are those who participate saying every response and every song. Others don’t. They worship in their own fashion. It is all good.
Maybe this site might help How to Attend Mass

Well, I would start out by visiting a few of the Catholic Churches in your area. When you find one that you feel comfortable in you can call up and make an appointment to meet with the priest. Explain to him what you just told us. I would think that it might be good to prepare to make a confession since it has probably been a while. The priest can give you an “examination of conscience” pamphlet to help you prepare. The reason I would suggest that you make your confession as soon as you can is so that you can begin to receive the Eucharist. I personally feel so strengthened by the Blessed Sacrament.

When you have been away from the Church for a while, it is easy to feel stuck and not know how to get back on track. It seems hard to take that first step but after you do finally take that step, the next one and the next just keep getting easier. Especially once you are again receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist - it is truly supersubstantial food for the journey!!!

The Holy Spirit is working in you, because you are still inquiring after all this time! I was not a Christian for the majority of my life, but I felt this ‘calling’ to go to church, I had no other reason at the time, everything was going good in my life, but it persisted for years. It sounds like you are getting the same calling. I started reading books on Christianity; 'A Case for Christ, ‘Catholic and Christian’ and Church History books. I gravitated toward the Catholic Church. I started attending Mass and would sit in the back because I didn’t know what was going on, but I felt a comfort there and kept going every Sunday till I entered RCIA. So, go to Mass, sit in the back, and see if you find that same peace.

Thanks for all the replies I know quite well what i have to do in church. I only go for baptisms funeral marriages reminds me of my childhood. I feel I don’t deserve it maybe.I have talked badly in the past about the church i am guessing don’t want to be judged. What would others think of me now. Married 8 years so that was my last confession.

This is nothing in the big picture, I know people that had been away from the Church for 15+ years, committed many sins and were afraid to come back to the Church. When they finally returned, they were relieved, and wondered why they waited so long. Christ wants you to come back, he can forgive anything that you have done, and it is probably the only way you will have true peace in you life!

Maybe there is a catholic hotline you can call to get advice.If you live in nyc,visit the archdiocese website.

Sorry I was trying to guess:o I told you I didn’t like giving advise. :(None of us deserve it but God gave it to us anyway. He is waiting for us to go to Him. I agree with another poster the Spirit is working on you. Guess He thinks you deserve it:)

I am glad to have you here on CAF!!! Continue to ask lots of questions and be a seeker!!!

Going back to church after a long break is a strange experience. Trust me. I know from experience. But while you think that everybody else can “tell” that you said bad things about Catholics, religion, God, etc… they can’t. They are not watching you. They are not looking at you. Maybe there are people around you that are feeling the same way!!!

As for saying bad things about the Church, denying God, etc. God forgives you. He wants us to all come back to him. Even if some of us have a bumpy road back. He wants you to come back.

You DO deserve to be Catholic.

Say lots of prayers. If you feel up to it, meet with a priest. Go to confession. Pray pray pray. The Holy Spirit will help you 'cause he is already working on you (like another poster said).

Adrift, it’s just the devil talking a bunch of nonsense.

He want’s you to feel like you are unworthy to stand in God’s house like you have no right to be there. He wan’t you to be embarrassed about your past and uncomfortable in Church. The devil especially wants you to feel like you are unworthy of God’s attention, as if you are taking something away from others more needy than you. The devil doesn’t want you in church. The Devil want’s you to feel insignificant, like one in a billion so why would God care about you…

Let me tell you something bud… He is God. He created the universe. He could answer all the prayers in the universe like <SNAP!> that and not even break a sweat.

And He died on a cross for you. He willingly let people nail his body to a tree so that you could not feel the way you do right now. Are you gonna let his death go to waste with all this “Oh, I’m just a nobody, why would God care about me” stuff? God cares enough about you to die for you. And he did. All this woes me stuff is just the devil talking, not God.

I say look the devil right in the eyes, flip him the bird, and walk straight into the nearest Church for Mass tomorrow morning.

-Tim-

Is it ok to attend mass even if I have doubts about my faith? If I find the courage to go not really sure what you have to do or say in confession it been years, list of sins is really long.

YES!!! Please attend mass. Even if you have doubts. Talk to God about your doubts— tell him that you are feeling. I also find it helpful to talk to Mary, too. I say a lot of prayers for her help.

As for the confession: I can’t tell you what to say or what not to say 'cause that is private, but there is nothing wrong with going into confession and saying “bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been YEARS and YEARS since my last confession---- and I have no idea where to start.” Leave it at that and the priest will help you.

It is okay to admit that you have been away from the faith. It is okay to admit that you have doubts. I have done and had both (a lot) and that is okay.

to answer your title question, service is the answer
look for someone to serve
we see Jesus in the face of the poor and needy, not only the materially poor but spiritually poor, and what you are looking for is Jesus.
that search will send you in directions that help you know him more and more–the bible, worship and participation in the Christian community

Start by personal conversion. Conversion is a daily matter. I still convert until now.

You can start by hearing mother Angelica, she will bring you back to catholic faith. The one and true catholic faith, sweetheart.

youtube.com/results?search_query=mother+angelica&aq=f

And you can start by reading a book, called catholcism, by george brantl, to get to know more about catholicism, just as the book suggested.

startcatholicism.blogspot.com/

And you can go to confession, to express sorrow for your sins, not only once, but frequent confession…

And lead a new life.

That’s how you get God to be close to you.

Oh and, pray the rosary and the divine mercy chaplet.

montfort.org.uk/Writings/MSR.html
ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm

Little office of the blessed virgin mary
liturgies.net/Liturgies/Catholic/LittleOffice1.htm

Pray much, that’s where to start. St. Padre Pio prayed the rosary 17 times a day.

You can browse this site to get to know more about catholicism, and the catholic church
everycatholicblog.blogspot.com/

Read the works of the saints. They are available on everycatholicblog for free. They will help you.

And I will pray for you.

You can get counsels from me if you want, just contact me through private messages

Welcome to the CAF :wave:

The part above stood out for me. Yes, God is everywhere but in a Catholic church Jesus is present in the tabernacle. Go there and talk to him. And yes, God knows what you are thinking but that is not prayer, it is not communication. He wants you to be in a relationship with him, not just aware of His presence in the universe. That is why we pray. Ultimately, it should become a loving relationship between God who is your father and you - his son (I’m assuming you are a man but please correct me if I’m wrong). And don’t worry about other people needing Him more than you do. I’m sure there are those in desperate trouble out there but that does not mean He would prioritise them over you. God doesn’t work according to our capabilities and understanding. We are all equally loved.

Good luck on your journey and I hope this forum proves to be helpful.

May God’s Peace, Love, Mercy, Healing, Graces & Blessings be with you and to all!

“There is a story that St. Augustine was walking on the beach contemplating the mystery of the Trinity. Then he saw a boy in front of him who had dug a hole in the sand and was going out to the sea again and again and bringing some water to pour into the hole. St. Augustine asked him, “What are you doing?” “I’m going to pour the entire ocean into this hole.” “That is impossible, the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made” said St. Augustine. The boy replied, “And you cannot fit the Trinity in your tiny little brain.” The story concludes by saying that the boy vanished as St. Augustine had been talking to an angel.”

Being human, we can never fully understand the mystery of God, His Infinite Love and Mercy. For God is Infinite and we are only finite.

God, in His Infinite Wisdom, answers our prayers according to His most Holy Will. He knows what is best for us. And He always has the Perfect Plan. He asks us to have that UNLIMITED faith and trust in Him.

Our Good Lord loves you so much. It is His Grace that is drawing you back to Him. He is always there waiting for you to come back to Him and His Catholic Church.

God’s Mercy is Infinite, it is Endless. No matter how many sins you have committed, no matter how grave your sins are, no matter how many times and no matter how long you have committed them, God still and will forgive you again and again for as long as you ask for forgiveness, ask for His Mercy.

Even if you combine the sins that you and I and the rest of all humanity have committed from the time of creation 'till the end of time, it would only be a DROP in comparison to the ocean of His Mercy.

In the book “The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena”, Our Good Lord said to her that the sin of despair, distrusting in the Infinite Mercy of God is much more displeasing to Him than any other sins that a soul may commit, for that soul makes his sins greater than the Mercy of God and His Goodness.

Do not let the evil one prevent you from drawing closer to him. Run to Him and cling to Him no matter what. Ask the help of Our Blessed Mother Mary and all the angels, the saints, the holy souls in Purgatory.

Make a good examination of conscience and go and make a good confession so that your sins will be forgiven and your soul will be purified by the Most Precious Blood of Our Good Lord Jesus Christ and will be pure and white as snow and He will lavish you with a lot of graces. Our Good Lord Jesus said to St. Faustina that the miracle of His Divine Mercy restores the soul in full when we go to confession

scborromeo.org/confess.htm

Then go to holy mass and receive the Our Good Lord Jesus Himself - His Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity present in the most Holy Eucharist. Yes, this is the same Jesus that walked on this earth 2,000 years ago. And He is still keeping His promise that He will be with us 'till the end of time. Then you will be ONE with Him.

Our awesome God, Trinity Most Blessed, Creator of ALL things - visible and invisible, Whom all the angels, the saints, the holy souls in Purgatory adore unceasingly, will be present in you when you receive Him in holy communion. We cannot have a much closer relationship with God than this. St. Maximillian Kolbe once said that “If Angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.”

If you have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation talk to your priest so that you will be confirmed and receive the awesome gifts of the Holy Spirit. It will help strengthen your faith. This coming Sunday happens to be the Feast of the Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.

Do not delay or waste the graces Our Good Lord Jesus has bestowed upon you. Now you do not have to search everywhere to find Him, for now you know where to look. And as you come back to Him may you also share your graces, gifts and blessings to others and draw souls back to Our Good Lord Jesus Christ.

Praying for you and for all!

I have never heard that before, but that is really a great story about St. Augustine. (See my signature quote… God’s ways are above our’s).

And that is the bottom line.

If you don’t mind saying, where do you live? Maybe there is someone in the area who would attend mass with you. It might be easier to go when you know someone. :slight_smile:

God bless you all for the feedback. Sorry for my late reply.

My small country is more than 80% catholic so have no problem going with someone but the way I feel it would be easier if I go on my own and I would rather go by myself.

I know that I should be attending mass if I want to be a ‘good’ catholic but having been an atheist my faith is not like a switch and some days I see my faith grow and clear, others I feel I am not convinced.

Now that I am going through a rough time in my life and tried to find answers I turn to Jesus, now that sounds selfish on my part. Should I be doing this for myself or Him?

Both.

And many times your faith will feel shaky. But you just keep looking to God and he will hold it together for you.

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