Jump to content

After a long time I have been considering returning to the Catholic Church...


Recommended Posts

Greetings, 

I apologize upfront for how long this post is. 

Many many years ago I was on this forum, pretty much everyday. I grew up in a passionately protestant home, particularly Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I was homeschooled and Christianity was the only reality I knew. Many other religions were somewhat cast in a demonic or semi-demonic light, even peaceful religions like Buddhism and Hinduism were just false fronts for Satanism. Dungeons and Dragons was a fun and entertaining way to sell off your soul to Satan, and of course Pokemon was right in line behind it.  :rotfl2:

Being the first child of four in a homeschool environment there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Please, don't get me wrong, now that I am in my early 30's I regret nothing of how I was raised, actually I am more thankful of it now, than I ever really have been. I was introduced to Catholicism by my high school girlfriend, and it caused some chaos - to say the least. After being slammed by pastors, elders and parents for want to be an "idolator" and made to read books like Catholicism by L. Boettner I found support and solace on the Phatmass forum. Talking with fellow Catholics. 

Being the curious fellow I began studying and practicing eastern philosophy and my time with Catholicism faded. I became a Buddhist, studied Hindu religion, as well other obscure and rather odd practices like Wicca and other neo-pagan concepts. More regrettable studies lead me to the Church of Satan as well as the Temple of Set. While I didn't really last long in those practices what all this studying has done has worked well to confuse me. While I do have a desire to return to Christianity, particularly to my Catholic home, I have become rather agonistic on the subject of religion. Faith to me seems to be "just take my word for it, I can't really provide suitable evidence for any of it." Thank you Richard Dawkins and company. 

It's rather odd to not only describe, but experience! The desire to return to mass and do things like pray the rosary, while at the same time feel rather silly for doing it. 

So I guess my point is, how to get away from the confusion and heavy doubt? Is Faith really believing in something you don't really have a reason (or evidence) to believe in? Is there ego in this deep unwillingness to go back to confession and admit that I have been bouncing around like a ping pong ball for that past 10 years? Is the Church where I truly belong? How can I submit to the Church when I have very serious disagreements with the Holy Father's political ideologies? Would it be sinful to say "I don't agree with the Pope on certain issues?"  

Thank you, 

Cabshear

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Cabshear said:

How can I submit to the Church when I have very serious disagreements with the Holy Father's political ideologies? Would it be sinful to say "I don't agree with the Pope on certain issues?"  

If you agree with dogmas that's what matters.  If you don't like the pope's politics, you have a lot of company. Don't worry about that .  The Church is the Eucharist not any one pope, bishop or priest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is unclear to me if you were baptized. It appears you have never been a practicing Christian (?).

3 hours ago, Cabshear said:

odd practices like Wicca and other neo-pagan concepts. More regrettable studies lead me to the Church of Satan as well as the Temple of Set.

Those practices leave very heavy "imprints" or consequences on a soul. Practicing the occult (i.,e. devil worshiping) makes a person quite insensitive to the Truth and to the Person of Christ. It severely impairs his ability to "tune up" to God. So, the first step for an occultist is repentance and confession. In my Church (Eastern Orthodox) people who were involved in occult, either as "practitioners" or "clients" have to go through the official Rite of Rejoining to the Church. 

However, if you are an agnostic then what I am saying is quite meaningless. Occult is spitting into Face of God yet to feel and to understand it one has to believe in God first.

The best help I can provide is to say that your involvement with occult is likely to make you insensitive to God. Of course, something in you also pushed you that direction. For instance, if you were a Christian (?) yet began doing occult did it occur to you you should not, that it is a gave sin? If so why did you etc.

Edited by Anastasia
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Anastasia said:

It is unclear to me if you were baptized. It appears you have never been a practicing Christian (?).

Those practices leave very heavy "imprints" or consequences on a soul. Practicing the occult (i.,e. devil worshiping) makes a person quite insensitive to the Truth and to the Person of Christ. It severely impairs his ability to "tune up" to God. So, the first step for an occultist is repentance and confession. In my Church (Eastern Orthodox) people who were involved in occult, either as "practitioners" or "clients" have to go through the official Rite of Rejoining to the Church. 

However, if you are an agnostic then what I am saying is quite meaningless. Occult is spitting into Face of God yet to feel and to understand it one has to believe in God first.

The best help I can provide is to say that your involvement with occult is likely to make you insensitive to God. Of course, something in you also pushed you that direction. For instance, if you were a Christian (?) yet began doing occult did it occur to you you should not, that it is a gave sin? If so why did you etc.

I was baptized when I was younger in the Protestant church.  My parents are now Eastern Orthodox. From my childhood till about 17/18 years old I was a devout Christian. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2020 at 10:08 PM, Cabshear said:

So I guess my point is, how to get away from the confusion and heavy doubt? Is Faith really believing in something you don't really have a reason (or evidence) to believe in? Is there ego in this deep unwillingness to go back to confession and admit that I have been bouncing around like a ping pong ball for that past 10 years?

Hey Cabshear,

just my two cents. As someone baptized into the RCC as an infant but raised by an atheist, I bounced around a little bit, too. 

I absolutely agree that Faith comes across as something you don't have evidence to believe in. It took me years to realize that the "something" drawing me to prayer even though I think that atheism or agnosticism is more in line with how I perceive the world from my critical and science-focussed point of view is valid. So if you feel a need/tucking/longing/... to pray or get in touch with a God whos existence you doubt but not not deny, why not give it a try and see where it leads you? 

Others here might disagree, but I don't think confession has to be the first step here. A conversation with God is, and when this leads you to the conclusion you want to fully join, confession will come along soon enough. Maybe you can talk to a priest or other good faithful person you trust. 

pax et bonum! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/9/2020 at 4:08 PM, Cabshear said:

Greetings, 

I apologize upfront for how long this post is. 

Many many years ago I was on this forum, pretty much everyday. I grew up in a passionately protestant home, particularly Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I was homeschooled and Christianity was the only reality I knew. Many other religions were somewhat cast in a demonic or semi-demonic light, even peaceful religions like Buddhism and Hinduism were just false fronts for Satanism. Dungeons and Dragons was a fun and entertaining way to sell off your soul to Satan, and of course Pokemon was right in line behind it.  :rotfl2:

Being the first child of four in a homeschool environment there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Please, don't get me wrong, now that I am in my early 30's I regret nothing of how I was raised, actually I am more thankful of it now, than I ever really have been. I was introduced to Catholicism by my high school girlfriend, and it caused some chaos - to say the least. After being slammed by pastors, elders and parents for want to be an "idolator" and made to read books like Catholicism by L. Boettner I found support and solace on the Phatmass forum. Talking with fellow Catholics. 

Being the curious fellow I began studying and practicing eastern philosophy and my time with Catholicism faded. I became a Buddhist, studied Hindu religion, as well other obscure and rather odd practices like Wicca and other neo-pagan concepts. More regrettable studies lead me to the Church of Satan as well as the Temple of Set. While I didn't really last long in those practices what all this studying has done has worked well to confuse me. While I do have a desire to return to Christianity, particularly to my Catholic home, I have become rather agonistic on the subject of religion. Faith to me seems to be "just take my word for it, I can't really provide suitable evidence for any of it." Thank you Richard Dawkins and company. 

It's rather odd to not only describe, but experience! The desire to return to mass and do things like pray the rosary, while at the same time feel rather silly for doing it. 

So I guess my point is, how to get away from the confusion and heavy doubt? Is Faith really believing in something you don't really have a reason (or evidence) to believe in? Is there ego in this deep unwillingness to go back to confession and admit that I have been bouncing around like a ping pong ball for that past 10 years? Is the Church where I truly belong? How can I submit to the Church when I have very serious disagreements with the Holy Father's political ideologies? Would it be sinful to say "I don't agree with the Pope on certain issues?"  

Thank you, 

Cabshear

You were worshiping the devil? What the hell for?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lea is right - Step 1 is start with your own conversations with God. 

Step 2 is find yourself a priest (or pastoral associate) who has solid theological training. ALL priests have a healthy dose of theological training, but most diocesan priests have to cram a broad spectrum of theological topics into three or four years of training. Dominicans, Jesuits, Franciscans, and some diocesan priests have often been able to pursue further theology more deeply. There are also female theologians out there, but look for one that has pastoral experience, too, not just academics.

If you live in a large metropolitan area, or a university town that has a Newman Center, you're liable to have more options.  Some big cities have Newman Centers at non-Catholic universities, too. Look for things like Theology on Tap events. Newman Center chaplains may be more used to conversing with "questioners" - lots of people do that in college.

I tell you who might be perfect is a largely retired theologian - s/he may not be able to get around real well these days but still wants to do The Lord's Work and would be grateful for your visits and the stimulating conversations. 

But if none of that's available, go to your local Catholic parish and talk to the priest.

Step 3 might be weekly conversations with the priest where you can explore some of your questions. That's what I'd recommend for right now. 

Step 4 might be RCIA. Depending on the priest's situation (a priest who covers three rural parishes so he's always on the road, a theology prof, a Newman Center chaplain) he not really be available for weekly conversations, so he might try to get you into RCIA. That program's not just for people who are committed to becoming Catholic - it's also for people who are exploring the idea. Just know that you might not get as much one-on-one conversation. It's weekly classes, and there is discussion, but there might be a good many other folks in the weekly meetings. 

I'm 'on learn a prayer and say it for you! Go in peace to love and serve the lord. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Cabshear said:

From my childhood till about 17/18 years old I was a devout Christian. 

If you were “a devoted Christian” but dropped as low as being a practicing Satanist in various orders for years then the real question is why did you do that while knowing what it was in the eyes of God. The way you have left Him you will have to return to Him (if you want of course), I mean the way in your own psyche.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back!

There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a pope on certain political leanings, assuming these matters don't concern any definitive teachings of the Church. I think as long as the disagreement is charitable and respectful, it's fine. There are a number of faithful Catholics who don't agree with some of the pope's political sympathies. I tend to view these as matters of the pope as a person and his personal opinions, not in his role as the Vicar of Christ or the office of the papacy.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I started out with a similar background, found the CC afterwards.

These thoughts may not be particularly helpful to you but I find there is always a mixture of faith and reason in my life, and keeping mentally agile is easier said than done. If I had to explain why I believe what I do, I would on one level be able to give some reasons. The existence of beauty, of love, the prime mover argument, the order I see in things, all these in my mind point to a God - a loving one - and if a personal God exists the only religion that makes sense to me within that assumption is Catholicism for many reasons. But nonetheless it's an act of faith that I make regardless. I don't think it's contrary to reason but it's on a different plane, it's still an act of faith, I have to decide to believe it, in the sense that I could very well decide to reject it.

Faith is also more than a decision, it's a gift to be asked for!

Edited by chrysostom
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm kind of in the same boat, without the whole pagan and church of satan thing. Raised Catholic, became an Atheist as a teen, then Agnostic, and now a Deist. I feel drawn to the Church, but these small doubts in the back of my mind are doing their best to steer me away from it. My anxiety certainly doesn't help at all. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/9/2020 at 1:28 PM, Jaime said:

If you agree with dogmas that's what matters.  If you don't like the pope's politics, you have a lot of company. Don't worry about that .  The Church is the Eucharist not any one pope, bishop or priest.

How do you differentiate dogma from politics?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I would suggest to go talk to a Catholic priest and tell him your situation. He would be able to lead you , guide you and he would definitely pray for you.

 I sense that God is calling you back to the Catholic Church, so go for it!!!

You are in my prayers.

Pax

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
Machine_Washable
On 12/9/2020 at 4:08 PM, Cabshear said:

Greetings, 

I apologize upfront for how long this post is. 

Many many years ago I was on this forum, pretty much everyday. I grew up in a passionately protestant home, particularly Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I was homeschooled and Christianity was the only reality I knew. Many other religions were somewhat cast in a demonic or semi-demonic light, even peaceful religions like Buddhism and Hinduism were just false fronts for Satanism. Dungeons and Dragons was a fun and entertaining way to sell off your soul to Satan, and of course Pokemon was right in line behind it.  :rotfl2:

Being the first child of four in a homeschool environment there was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Please, don't get me wrong, now that I am in my early 30's I regret nothing of how I was raised, actually I am more thankful of it now, than I ever really have been. I was introduced to Catholicism by my high school girlfriend, and it caused some chaos - to say the least. After being slammed by pastors, elders and parents for want to be an "idolator" and made to read books like Catholicism by L. Boettner I found support and solace on the Phatmass forum. Talking with fellow Catholics. 

Being the curious fellow I began studying and practicing eastern philosophy and my time with Catholicism faded. I became a Buddhist, studied Hindu religion, as well other obscure and rather odd practices like Wicca and other neo-pagan concepts. More regrettable studies lead me to the Church of Satan as well as the Temple of Set. While I didn't really last long in those practices what all this studying has done has worked well to confuse me. While I do have a desire to return to Christianity, particularly to my Catholic home, I have become rather agonistic on the subject of religion. Faith to me seems to be "just take my word for it, I can't really provide suitable evidence for any of it." Thank you Richard Dawkins and company. 

It's rather odd to not only describe, but experience! The desire to return to mass and do things like pray the rosary, while at the same time feel rather silly for doing it. 

So I guess my point is, how to get away from the confusion and heavy doubt? Is Faith really believing in something you don't really have a reason (or evidence) to believe in? Is there ego in this deep unwillingness to go back to confession and admit that I have been bouncing around like a ping pong ball for that past 10 years? Is the Church where I truly belong? How can I submit to the Church when I have very serious disagreements with the Holy Father's political ideologies? Would it be sinful to say "I don't agree with the Pope on certain issues?"  

Thank you, 

Cabshear

Narrated Abu Huraira (ra): The Prophet ﷺ said, “While a dog was going round a well and was about to die of thirst, an Israeli prostitute saw it and took off her shoe and watered it. So Allah forgave her because of that good deed.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, 3467)

Allah (swt) loves sincere repentance. He is the compassionate and the merciful. Please, do not worship satan. Ask God for forgiveness and guidance. I understand that the Church of Satan doesn’t necessarily believe satan is real. A lot of it is an attempt to be edgy. But even if you are being “ironic” or “edgy” you are still mocking God 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...