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I want to believe in God again.

Saint Frankenstein

Here for the ride
Premium Member
Just be Catholic.

Honestly, you seem like a Catholic to me. You have roots in it, you are often drawn back to it, it is part of your familial and personal history. Will the church itself accept you fully? Probably not, no. But there are plenty of people within Catholicism that the church does not accept. It is a gigantic institution that contains competing and conflicting factions. It has been that way for thousands of years and will be that way until it passes from the earth.

I'm not a Catholic. I don't really find any of it very compelling, I find much of it weird and I don't really get any solace from it. But that's because atheism to me is just true. I am not very conflicted about it unless I want a sense of community or a different answer to a question that I know is not a true answer, usually about death. My partner was raised in the Catholic church and as far as I am concerned is not really Catholic, but attends Catholic services with his family. I've met his family's priest and I did the procession with his family when his grandmother died. I am not going to be a dick and deny my partner his cultural identification with the religion that is by and large tolerant, at least, of him. I don't really get it, but I am not going to make a big deal out of it.

Catholics shop around for parishes, they shop around for priests and they shop around for saints. Even if they disagree with the institution, they get to be part of something that is meaningful to them personally and transcends them in some way, across history and through their family lines. If that works for you, and a lot of times it seems to, just go with it. Because at the end of the day you are going to be culturally Catholic even if you are not religiously Catholic, so you might as well try to reconcile the two. Just my two cents.
Thanks, man. You really seem to get it. I guess I'm just Catholic much like Madonna was Catholic during the '80s. ;) It's just not something I can escape from and I do get positivity out of it, so I might as well just embrace it. It's okay that you don't understand. It is a very powerful thing to me, though.
 
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Hockeycowboy

Witness for Jehovah
Premium Member
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.

Just keep on praying, my friend. Really, don't give up on that! It can strengthen your relationship with God. That can always be fixed! The fact that you keep searching, tells everyone that you recognize there is a spiritual side. (There certainly is, although many want to deny it.)

Read Acts of the Apostles 17:27, in fact the whole chapter is good. Maybe it'll comfort you. I'd like to help you. I lost my Dad in '04; he's RIP'ing right now, but I'll see him again in the Resurrection! -- John 5:28-29; Revelation 21:3-4. (The Bible can give us a lot of comfort!)
 

jonathan180iq

Well-Known Member
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.
Just make your pursuit of god a personal one and don't worry about the other people involved...

Your past experiences don't belong to anyone else. And you obviously believed in them deeply and wish for them to return. Get your head back on straight and focus on what you want to focus on. You were never made to fit into a cookie-cutter mold that has been formed by other people and by other experiences. I've found, in my experience over the years, that the most faithful believers are the ones who have left the confines of the dogmatic religious world and pursued spirituality with their deity on their own terms. You can come back to the religious leaders that you know and trust on occasion for a little guidance or whatever. But you ultimately have to remember that nothing but your own personal experience and relationship with your deity is all that will ever matter.
 

Moishe3rd

Yehudi
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.
Go to church.
Be Catholic.
Ignore the problems people or the Church or the Scriptures or yourself - has with your sexuality.

Look, if you are truly aspiring to Sainthood than you have to become celibate and stop dwelling on your sexual preferences or confusions.
If not - then who cares?
G-d?
Perhaps but - do you not suspect that there are a hell of a lot of other "sins" that G-d might consider more important than your sexuality?
When you enter the World to Come; the World of Truth (ie: "heaven"), there is going be a whole lotta Judgment going on.
Were you honest in your business dealings?
Did you speak badly about other people?
Did you try and build G-d's World or did you try and tear it down?
Were you kind?
Were you humble?
Were you sexually immoral.... "
Oh? Yes? Well then - did you force your immorality on others? Did you hurt other people with your immorality? Did you try to convince other people that your immorality was NOT immoral?
No.... no.... no....
Okay, next question -
Did you respect your parents?
Did you steal?
Did you blaspheme G-d.....
??

I'm not saying that it's easy to deal with people; with your sexuality; with the Church; etc. but - if you focused on doing what is Holy and Good in all other aspects of your Life, I suspect the concerns about your sexuality might recede a bit...

Then again, maybe not.
There is a Jewish text called "Mesillat Yesharim" where we are taught that the two primary obsessions that we focus on in This World are sexual immorality and theft.
That is to say that these are the two "sins" in which mankind indulges on a constant basis. And, by the way, that most people are unaware as to the extent they indulge in sexual immorality and theft.
The point being - that you are not alone in your frustrations over sex. It's just that 99% of the rest of the world hasn't a clue as to their own particular problems with their own sexual impulses and practices....
Be well.
 
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.
All that stuff you are missing is already inside you, you just need to look.
 

JesusBeliever

Active Member
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.
Hi there,

2 things in your OP really jumped out at me, and the first thing was:

I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder.
I too remember these same feelings having been raised Catholic until I was 11. I'm now 41, but even now I still associate so many positive things with Catholicism. For me, it helped nurture my love for God and nourish the desire I've had my whole life to serve Him. As a child the Mass was gentle and easy to entreat and it filled me with awe and wonder for God and a desire to get as close to Him as was humanly possible. So much so that I too served at the altar but the unusual part about them letting me do that was that I was a girl. You should have seen me grinning ear to ear, I felt like I had arrived! :D It didn't last long coz our very liberal priest was replaced with a very conservative one who put a stop to many of the things that our liberal priest had encouraged.

These included:
1. Girls serving at the Altar
2. Wednesday Prayer and Bible Study that was held at the neighbouring convent school which my mother attended.
3. The visiting of other denominations of Christianity such as the Elam and Baptist Church when international speakers were in town, which our liberal priest would take his whole congregation to.

We left soon after this and never went back. I can still remember the judgmental looks on mine and my brothers faces o_O when our mum took us to the Baptist Church down the road for the first time. It was just so foreign to us coming from Catholicism. I don't feel that way now but it must have been so hard for our mum to see that she gave us the choice whether we came with her to the next service. We all thankfully said "No Thanks!" But looking back now I see how it changed our lives from that moment on. Very quickly God faded from our hearts and minds.

Although I felt God drop in on me a couple of times through out my life, it wasn't until I was 23 that He came back into my heart, mind and life in a very big way. I too, was drawn back to the Catholic Church at first because I recognised that it was there that I had first experienced the presence of God. But upon visiting the local Cathedral I also recognised that the peace, warmth and love I felt wasn't in the Church itself but inside me, and in my heart. Despite many tries, I wasn't able to find any denomination that gave me that same sense of peace, warmth and love that I so hungered for, so I decided to delve into the Scriptures and learn as much about God as I possibly could. It has been an 18 year journey so far with many hardships and heartaches, but always followed with peace, love and even joy sometimes. It was only last year that I started to attend a local church but that wasn't with out help straight from the Lord Jesus who caused a local church to flash in my mind with these words from Scripture:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I'll try to keep this brief coz I realize this is long but I don't actually go there any more, not because I don't want to but because I feel like the Lord accomplished His purpose in sending me there. My last visit there ended with me in the toilets, literally balling my eyes out and crying out to the Lord Jesus and saying, "I forgive Lord, I forgive!" as I thought about all of the Christians (both Catholic & Protestant that had judged me, hurt me and rejected me. Which leads me to the 2nd thing that stuck out to me in your OP:

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy
Try and find it in your heart to forgive them, not just for their sake but also for your own. In doing so, that peace, warmth and love you felt while praying and meditating will increase more and more until you're overflowing with those things which are referred to as fruit of the Spirit in Scripture:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Kind Regards
 
Last edited:

Spideymon77

A Smiling Empty Soul
You never seemed to stop believing in God, you just couldn't find the right religion for you. so saying "I want to believe in god again." seems a bit weird.
 

CorvusSapientus

New Member
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.

I hope you dont mind me saying this, but i do not believe you'll find god by looking externally. Why choose one religion to define god when you could strive for experiencing god yourself? A religion will not fix this conflict you feel inside yourself, only a true knowing!

It has helped me in my search to imagine god as lying within the lowest common denominators of spiritual experience.

Please consider these quotes i compiled from some australian meditation website. I especially like the Hindu one. Much love!


Guru Nanak

(Sikh)

As fragrance abides in the flower,
As the reflection is within the mirror,
So doth thy Lord abide within thee,
Why search Him without?


Lord Buddha

(Buddhist)

The subject on which I meditate is truth.

The practice to which I devote myself is the truth.

The topic of my conversation is truth.

My thoughts are always in truth.

For lo! my self has become the truth.

Gurubuddha_small.gif

jesus.jpg

Jesus Christ

(Christian)

Being asked by the Pharisees when the

kingdom of God was coming, he answered them,

"The kingdom of God is not coming with signs

to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or

‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Vedas

(original Indian holy text)

There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings,

who makes His one form manifold.

Eternal happiness belongs to the wise,

who perceive Him within themselves - not to others.

Veda_small.jpg

ying-yang_small.gif

Lao Tzu

(Taoist)

Worlds and particles, bodies and beings, time and space:
All are transient expressions of the Tao.


Prophet Mohammed

(Islam)

He who knows his own self, knows God.

prophet%20mohammed.gif


Yehuda Ashlag

(Jewish)

There is no single substance existing in the world, whether it be that which we experience through the senses, or that which we perceive through the mind, which is not comprised in the Creator. Everything emanates from Him. Therefore, what we know as contrary, or unrelated in Him, are but one unified Substance.



Native American

The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

native%20american2_small.jpg

sri%20rama_small.jpg
Sri Rama

(Hindu)

Think that you are Parabrahman, you have noattachment,

you are all-knowing and you are pure. Always feel like

this and establish your oneness with the Paramatman

and derive bliss within yourself without caring to

know what is outside of you.

Baha'u'llah

(Baha'i)

"The worlds of God are in perfect harmony and correspondence one with another. Each world in this limitless universe is, as it were, a mirror reflecting the history and nature of all the rest. The physical universe is, likewise, in perfect correspondence with the spiritual or divine realm. The world of matter is an outer expression or facsimile of the inner kingdom of spirit. The world of minds corresponds with the world of hearts."

bahaigoldstar.gif
zoroaster_small.jpg
Zoroaster

(Zoroaster)

One need not scale the heights of the heavens

nor travel along the highways of the world

to find Ahura Mazda. With purity of mind

and holiness of heart one can find

Him in one’s own heart.

Zen

(Zen Buddhist)

One moon shows in every pool; in every pool, the one moon.

zen_small.gif

SriSankara_small.jpg

Sri Sankaracharya

(Hindu)

Curb your senses and your mind and see the

Lord within your heart.

Rumi

(Sufi)

Where is that Moon that never rises or sets? Where is that soul that is neither with nor without us? Don't say it is here or there. All creation is Him but for the eyes that can see.


ramakrishna_small.jpg

Sri Ramakrishna

(Hindu)

Do you know what I see? I see Him as all.

Men and other creatures appear to me only as hollow forms,

moving their heads and hands and feet,

but within is the Lord Himself.

Swami Vivekananda

(Hindu)

It is impossible to find God outside of ourselves.

Our own souls contribute all of the divinity that is

outside of us. We are the greatest temple.

The objectification is only a faint imitation of

what we see within ourselves.

vivekananda_small.jpg
 

MarchDaffodils

New Member
Thanks, man. You really seem to get it. I guess I'm just Catholic much like Madonna was Catholic during the '80s. ;) It's just not something I can escape from and I do get positivity out of it, so I might as well just embrace it. It's okay that you don't understand. It is a very powerful thing to me, though.
Lots of great advice here.

I'm replying to this thread with this post specifically b/c I, like you, am a renegade Catholic... I was raised by Jesuits who are intense thinkers and tend to sit heavy on the progressive side of things.

I'm in NYC and my church, which is a Jesuit church, has enormous LGBTQ groups and outreach that definitely is not a "hate the sin, love the sinner" way... we would be considered radical I guess, but I'm used to it, I grew up in a radical progressive Jesuit church and what was once unthinkable then is much, much more accepted now. But the struggle goes on, yeah?

I don't know what your options are but, even getting to a Jesuit or more progressive Catholic retreat (and there are orders that are progressive, truly progressive - look to the nuns & sisters especially) - Jesuits are not all the same of course - but just having even a retreat in a liberal Catholic atmosphere might do you a world of good. This is a BIG church, and if you and I aren't there to support the radical clerics who share our views, how can we push the church towards what is merciful, loving, just and right when the time comes? OK so that's just me being selfish - ignore, but be there with me when the pendulum swings our way, as it has in times past and as it will again.

I will say this much: you are no less a Catholic than the Catholics that scold you but support the death penalty 100%, who support wars the church opposes, & who don't believe in or work towards bringing social justice to the afflicted & the poor (which OMG is so much more doctrinally/morally important than the purely social issues that get all the airplay! The Pope said as much many many times as of late.) That conservative faction represents a much smaller portion of the church... and this includes clergy here too... than you would think if you are stuck in a church that is more conservative or watch "Catholicism" on the TV for the most part. My point is you have every right to call yourself a Catholic, a real Catholic, as the people who shun you do. And no, it does not make you a "cafeteria Catholic" the church is 2000 years old and has had factions that differed with each other and has been an ever changing entity from the start of it's existence so don't be so sure you're some kind of outcast. Aren't we all sinners anyway?

But for practical reasons, reasons of your own sanity, please church shop. Find a church you feel loves you as much as you love it. You deserve as much. I wish I could take you to mine! Just remember - the church is big, and that means there is more diversity within it than you may realize right now. Don't let them take it from you if you want what is rightfully yours.

Send you my love, just as you are.
 

whirlingmerc

Well-Known Member
"taste and see the Lord is good" I would suggest reading the Bible and possibly starting with Psalms and Proverbs, and the gospel of Mark

 

Saint Frankenstein

Here for the ride
Premium Member
I hope you dont mind me saying this, but i do not believe you'll find god by looking externally. Why choose one religion to define god when you could strive for experiencing god yourself? A religion will not fix this conflict you feel inside yourself, only a true knowing!

It has helped me in my search to imagine god as lying within the lowest common denominators of spiritual experience.

Please consider these quotes i compiled from some australian meditation website. I especially like the Hindu one. Much love!


Guru Nanak

(Sikh)

As fragrance abides in the flower,
As the reflection is within the mirror,
So doth thy Lord abide within thee,
Why search Him without?


Lord Buddha

(Buddhist)

The subject on which I meditate is truth.

The practice to which I devote myself is the truth.

The topic of my conversation is truth.

My thoughts are always in truth.

For lo! my self has become the truth.

Gurubuddha_small.gif

jesus.jpg

Jesus Christ

(Christian)

Being asked by the Pharisees when the

kingdom of God was coming, he answered them,

"The kingdom of God is not coming with signs

to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or

‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Vedas

(original Indian holy text)

There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings,

who makes His one form manifold.

Eternal happiness belongs to the wise,

who perceive Him within themselves - not to others.

Veda_small.jpg

ying-yang_small.gif

Lao Tzu

(Taoist)

Worlds and particles, bodies and beings, time and space:
All are transient expressions of the Tao.


Prophet Mohammed

(Islam)

He who knows his own self, knows God.

prophet%20mohammed.gif

Yehuda Ashlag

(Jewish)

There is no single substance existing in the world, whether it be that which we experience through the senses, or that which we perceive through the mind, which is not comprised in the Creator. Everything emanates from Him. Therefore, what we know as contrary, or unrelated in Him, are but one unified Substance.



Native American

The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real Peace, and the others are but reflections of this. The second peace is that which is made between two individuals, and the third is that which is made between two nations. But above all you should understand that there can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which, as I have often said, is within the souls of men.

native%20american2_small.jpg

sri%20rama_small.jpg
Sri Rama

(Hindu)

Think that you are Parabrahman, you have noattachment,

you are all-knowing and you are pure. Always feel like

this and establish your oneness with the Paramatman

and derive bliss within yourself without caring to

know what is outside of you.

Baha'u'llah

(Baha'i)

"The worlds of God are in perfect harmony and correspondence one with another. Each world in this limitless universe is, as it were, a mirror reflecting the history and nature of all the rest. The physical universe is, likewise, in perfect correspondence with the spiritual or divine realm. The world of matter is an outer expression or facsimile of the inner kingdom of spirit. The world of minds corresponds with the world of hearts."

bahaigoldstar.gif
zoroaster_small.jpg
Zoroaster

(Zoroaster)

One need not scale the heights of the heavens

nor travel along the highways of the world

to find Ahura Mazda. With purity of mind

and holiness of heart one can find

Him in one’s own heart.

Zen

(Zen Buddhist)

One moon shows in every pool; in every pool, the one moon.

zen_small.gif

SriSankara_small.jpg

Sri Sankaracharya

(Hindu)

Curb your senses and your mind and see the

Lord within your heart.

Rumi

(Sufi)

Where is that Moon that never rises or sets? Where is that soul that is neither with nor without us? Don't say it is here or there. All creation is Him but for the eyes that can see.


ramakrishna_small.jpg

Sri Ramakrishna

(Hindu)

Do you know what I see? I see Him as all.

Men and other creatures appear to me only as hollow forms,

moving their heads and hands and feet,

but within is the Lord Himself.

Swami Vivekananda

(Hindu)

It is impossible to find God outside of ourselves.

Our own souls contribute all of the divinity that is

outside of us. We are the greatest temple.

The objectification is only a faint imitation of

what we see within ourselves.

vivekananda_small.jpg

Lots of great advice here.

I'm replying to this thread with this post specifically b/c I, like you, am a renegade Catholic... I was raised by Jesuits who are intense thinkers and tend to sit heavy on the progressive side of things.

I'm in NYC and my church, which is a Jesuit church, has enormous LGBTQ groups and outreach that definitely is not a "hate the sin, love the sinner" way... we would be considered radical I guess, but I'm used to it, I grew up in a radical progressive Jesuit church and what was once unthinkable then is much, much more accepted now. But the struggle goes on, yeah?

I don't know what your options are but, even getting to a Jesuit or more progressive Catholic retreat (and there are orders that are progressive, truly progressive - look to the nuns & sisters especially) - Jesuits are not all the same of course - but just having even a retreat in a liberal Catholic atmosphere might do you a world of good. This is a BIG church, and if you and I aren't there to support the radical clerics who share our views, how can we push the church towards what is merciful, loving, just and right when the time comes? OK so that's just me being selfish - ignore, but be there with me when the pendulum swings our way, as it has in times past and as it will again.

I will say this much: you are no less a Catholic than the Catholics that scold you but support the death penalty 100%, who support wars the church opposes, & who don't believe in or work towards bringing social justice to the afflicted & the poor (which OMG is so much more doctrinally/morally important than the purely social issues that get all the airplay! The Pope said as much many many times as of late.) That conservative faction represents a much smaller portion of the church... and this includes clergy here too... than you would think if you are stuck in a church that is more conservative or watch "Catholicism" on the TV for the most part. My point is you have every right to call yourself a Catholic, a real Catholic, as the people who shun you do. And no, it does not make you a "cafeteria Catholic" the church is 2000 years old and has had factions that differed with each other and has been an ever changing entity from the start of it's existence so don't be so sure you're some kind of outcast. Aren't we all sinners anyway?

But for practical reasons, reasons of your own sanity, please church shop. Find a church you feel loves you as much as you love it. You deserve as much. I wish I could take you to mine! Just remember - the church is big, and that means there is more diversity within it than you may realize right now. Don't let them take it from you if you want what is rightfully yours.

Send you my love, just as you are.
Thank you very much, the both of you. I find these posts very inspiring and beautiful. God bless you both. *hugs*
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
@Saint Frankenstein

I went to a Catholic retreat three years ago about. We stayed "in god's presence" for three days without cell phones, lap tops, and other electronics. I don't even think I saw a telephone. Everyone was very charitable. The priest at the retreat was there for us 24/7. We had Mass every morning; and, we were encourage to welcome more Catholics to the retreat because it is a life changing experience.

I would highly invest on finding a retreat near you or if not near you, save up (the retreat itself is free. You just have to be Catholic by sacrament ;) ) to go to one. I honestly believe your faith will be stronger with support, Mass, study, and someone to talk to will help bunches.

Here is the web-site: Cursillo Also, you can find A Retreat Near You at this link.

For me, they provided transportation since we were further up in the mountains. The Church provides a lot of resources. Maybe call and they can reach out to you if you can't physically reach out to them.
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
Not trying to be sarcastic, but did it help your faith? I might have a different definition of faith,

At the time I was just confirmed. I was deeply involved with the Church and sacraments, and it was my life. It did help me see the nature of the Church, community, and devotion. I'll never forget that.

The experiences at the Church didn't turn me away from my faith/religion. It's the actual beliefs and bible that did. To me, I'd be wrong in communing with friends when we are not of the same mind and spirit. So, it helped just not in a way that it would help Frank and other Catholics who want to strengthen their faith.
 

Desert Snake

Veteran Member
At the time I was just confirmed. I was deeply involved with the Church and sacraments, and it was my life. It did help me see the nature of the Church, community, and devotion. I'll never forget that.

The experiences at the Church didn't turn me away from my faith/religion. It's the actual beliefs and bible that did. To me, I'd be wrong in communing with friends when we are not of the same mind and spirit. So, it helped just not in a way that it would help Frank and other Catholics who want to strengthen their faith.

I would think/expect that the church would be compatible with the beliefs/bible. I wouldn't be in a church if you could have that church without the beliefs/Bible
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
I would think/expect that the church would be compatible with the beliefs/bible. I wouldn't be in a church if you could have that church without the beliefs/Bible

I guess to stay on topic, when I was confirmed, the Bible was through the sacraments. When I read the Bible, I had different feelings for Christianity in general to where my participation in the sacraments would be inappropriate. Kind of like benefiting from the lessons you get from the teacher, do the homework, participate in the exercises, find benefit and wisdom in it all, but never reading the textbook.

You'd have to create a separate thread if you want me to expand on this. However, unlike me, I am sure Frank will benefit from study and hopefully @Saint Frankenstein will also find guidence from the Bible as well as us RFees.
 

Desert Snake

Veteran Member
I guess to stay on topic, when I was confirmed, the Bible was through the sacraments. When I read the Bible, I had different feelings for Christianity in general to where my participation in the sacraments would be inappropriate. Kind of like benefiting from the lessons you get from the teacher, do the homework, participate in the exercises, find benefit and wisdom in it all, but never reading the textbook.

You'd have to create a separate thread if you want me to expand on this. However, unlike me, I am sure Frank will benefit from study and hopefully @Saint Frankenstein will also find guidence from the Bible as well as us RFees.

Not a problem. I think that not liking the Bible, and such, is actually a common occurrence. But I believe that some things are misunderstood, and such, in Scripture. The foundation to the religious adherence is a result of the understanding of Scripture, and the religion beyond the 'rules', so to speak.
good evening.
 

whirlingmerc

Well-Known Member
Carlita, I think sacraments are fine but sacramentals which embellishes and uses them beyond ways described in the scriptures might obscure the gospel

One British theologian named Michael Reeves says Catholics believe in grace. They believe people are spiritually lazy and need to keep coming to the priest and get something like 'an energy drink - a red bull' to get revived and do good works and get more and more just so as to be just-i-fied Works being prerequisite to righteousness in that perspective. I think in the gospel one is justified by grace through faith (the root) and works follow (the fruit not the root or part of the root) Sacraments are wonderful reminders if used properly

In Colossians 1 the believers fruit of faith and love went back to the first day they understood the grace of God in truth ( see Col 1 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, )
 
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Chickie17

Member
This has affected me, but in a different way.

I am a Unitarian Universalist. We value diversity, tolerance, and spiritual exploration. Theoretically, we should have all kinds of religions in our church, yes?

Well, where I am, not so much. We are educated, liberal, white people, usually upper-middle class, and largely secular. The praise our minister gives to religion, to God, falls on many a deaf ear. Many of our congregants scorn God, and hypocritically scorn those who believe in God. They discourage their kids from believing in God. Mine have. Why?

They have had bad experiences with religion, specifically Christianity, specifically Catholicism. They see our church as a way to have community and yet not have a God or gods. Some left when a previous minister admitted to believing in God. To speak to some of these people is difficult. They turn everything back to how Catholicism is terrible.

I am not Catholic and do not believe Catholicism is the only way to experience the divine. However, less people who hate Catholics means less people who discourage theism. Be a Catholic, and be a Catholic that shows people the beauty in God, in belief, in the spirit, not the ugly things that hurt them and turn them angry at the church.
 

Sand Dancer

Crazy Cat Lady
I keep flip-flopping between religions and I'm tired of it. I should just learn my lesson - polytheism doesn't really click with me and it's a lonely experience for me. It doesn't bring me peace of mind and I don't really feel the gods, not in the same way I've experienced the Christian God in the past. That's just my experience.

But I am very angry and bitter at Christians, specifically Catholics, for how they have treated me and people like me. I do not feel like I was really accepted as a Catholic. I cannot stand the judgmentalism and hypocrisy. But if I commit to Christianity again, it would have to be Catholicism because I simply can't see myself being a Protestant. Orthodoxy is an option, but that's too culturally foreign to me. I miss going to Mass, I miss the feeling of peace, warmth and love I felt praying and meditating, I miss the sense of wonder. I also would not become some super-conservative type. That's just not me. I know how to reconcile being queer, trans and sex-positive with Christianity, within myself.

I don't know. A lot of the time I feel like my relationship with God and the Church is so broken that it can't be fixed and I'm just fooling myself.

I don't know where I'm going with this post, I'm just tired.

Liberal mainline denominations are fine with those things. United Church of Christ, Episcopalian and Unitarian Universalist churches might work. Episcopalian services are very similar to Catholic ones.
 
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