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Peter123

Help My Unbelief

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BarbaraTherese

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On religious diversity: My own thoughts are that if we could put aside all this bickering and arguing over doctrine and dogma, we would have a lot to learn from each other - and then in 50 or even 100 years into the future we would look back on our own times as backward............ confusingly backward.

This is not to abandon the search for truth and as doctrine and dogma, but as St Paul points out all knowledge is destined to pass away..........only love will remain.

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Sometimes attributed to St Augustine:  "In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty and in all things love."

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"Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.

For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes,

the partial will pass away."

(1Corinthians Chapter 13)

 

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Lilllabettt
9 hours ago, Peter123 said:

 

I pray each day. It's kind of strange when most people have doubts about God it is about if He exists, for me it is His nature. That God exists is as apparent to me as that math works or that the world is real. What I struggle with is trying to understand Him.

 

To me it makes sense that an incarnation would happen from a logical perspective of God's nature. If he loves us, he will reach out to us. I think something that I struggle with is the diversity of religions. Why does he allow them? Choices are much more muddied because of that. Hinduism makes sense of the diversity of religions, but I find my Catholicism has more difficulty making sense of it. 

God permits the diversity of religions as a type of tower of babel working in reverse. 

The development of natural (man made) religion was something God built into his plan for salvation.

One, because worshipping god(s) is something inherent in human nature. We have a compulsion to do it, it's written into the pattern of our identity as creatures. Wherever man is, he will worship. If he does not know Christ he will worship something or someone else. The fact that everyone on earth did not meet Christ simultaneously meant that other religions would develop, just as a consequence of human nature needing something to worship. 

We know that God intended His kingdom to be established by commissioning apostles preaching the "good news" to the nations. The definition of news is information new to you, something you hadn't heard before.  Last week Catholics celebrated the birthday of the church - pentecost. The holy spirit coming down and giving the apostles the courage to spread the good news. That's the beginning of the churchs life. Not Easter Sunday.  Not the Last Supper with the institution of the Eucharist.  Pentecost.  Going out to others and giving good news is the essence of "the Church". Why did God design things this way - why did he  build a church rather than revealing himself to everyone simultaneously? He has his reasons - probably something to do with wanting to develop our human ability to connect with each other, not just him. That's speculation on my part. 

But the diversity of religions - and consequently the need to evangelize, go out and tell the good news - will continue until the end of time. Thus so will the church, until the kingdom comes and all sacraments cease. 

Edited by Lilllabettt

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Seven77

 And I would add to the diversity of religions issue, do you understand that it still is very much a church teaching that "outside the Church there is no salvation"? But this must be properly understood. Everyone who is saved, is saved because of the Church instituted by Christ to dispense the grace he won for us by his cross and resurrection. Anyone saved is saved through Jesus Christ and the Church, including people of goodwill ignorant of the good news through no fault of their own. And I would add that everyone who goes through purgatory comes to know Christ and everything that they could have known about salvation and the mysteries of faith here on earth.

This is basically found in Vatican II documents as well, and in writings of Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict).

Edited by Seven77

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BarbaraTherese
14 hours ago, BarbaraTherese said:

 I think something that I struggle with is the diversity of religions. Why does he allow them? Choices are much more muddied because of that. Hinduism makes sense of the diversity of religions, but I find my Catholicism has more difficulty making sense of it. 

Hi again Peter

I have no idea how Hinduism might make sense of the diversity of religions.  Catholicism however can bring light on the question due to the doctrine of the Providence of God.  In the Catholic Catechism, The Divine Providence of God in our human history is explained here http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p4.htm.  You need to scroll down to: "V. GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN: DIVINE PROVIDENCE".  At the moment, Peter, I think you are searching.  When God grants His Free Gift of Faith, then you will be ready to 'leap into the abyss' of unknowing and trustful confidence in Him.  Faith in essence is not primarily an exercise in logic or understanding, rather it is relationship.

In our doctrine of Divine Providence God's Will is expressed as His Direct Will and His Permissive Will.  His Direct Will is all the good in this world and His Permissive Will is what He only permits knowing He can bring good out of it.

If a religion can full understand God and His Ways in all things, then I think 'God' ceases to be The Ultimate Mystery............in fact not even a mystery.

If God is indeed the Ultimate Mystery, which He is - then obviously there will always be that which our human understanding cannot insight, let alone grasp as logical and making sense to us.  Our logic is finite, God is Infinite.  Our logic has a beginning and an end, Our God of The Infinite does not.  Therein can lay our problem, the finite is attempting to understand and explain the Infinite.

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Excerpts only:

314 We firmly believe that God is master of the world and of its history. But the ways of his providence are often unknown to us. Only at the end, when our partial knowledge ceases, when we see God "face to face",184 will we fully know the ways by which - even through the dramas of evil and sin - God has guided his creation to that definitive sabbath rest for which he created heaven and earth.

311 For almighty God. . ., because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself. (St. Augustine, Enchiridion 3,11: PL 40,236.)

 

 

5 hours ago, Seven77 said:

"outside the Church there is no salvation"

The wording is what I think causes people shock and confusion.  It does sound as if one has to be Catholic to be saved.  I know that that is not what is meant at all, but I think that the wording used (as quoted) was not a helpful choice.

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BarbaraTherese
On 6/9/2019 at 9:41 PM, Peter123 said:

I converted to the Catholic church in college 4 years ago, my problem is that I realized that I don't believe in Christianity anymore. I have two reasons:

1. I think Christians have an inaccurate understanding of the human person and

2. I'm only 40% sure the Resurrection happened because history is hard to be too sure about (I was an American history major in college

Peter, as this thread has unfolded, you seem to have changed from your original two stated problems as quoted above.

  Are things becoming any more clearer to you now or are things even more confusing than at first?

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Peter123
20 minutes ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Are things becoming any more clearer to you now or are things even more confusing than at first?

They've become more clear over time. I think the resurection makes more sense now, and my problems with human nature were really steming from my thoughts on the diversity of religion. So, I think I'm in a better place now thought wise.

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BarbaraTherese
4 minutes ago, Peter123 said:

They've become more clear over time. I think the resurection makes more sense now, and my problems with human nature were really steming from my thoughts on the diversity of religion. So, I think I'm in a better place now thought wise.

Really good news, Peter, and a real relief to me.  Keep searching and for as long as you have a need to search.  Any questions, let us know and we will do our best.  There is nothing morally wrong with confusion and difficulties.

God bless and keep you.  Please keep us in your prayers as you are in mine.

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