Need Someone to Talk to

I am a senior citizen--have been a Roman Catholic my whole life, even spent some time in a convent. I have had such problems with the Church's position on so many issues and have not been a regular churchgoer. I cannot imagine being a member of another denomination.  I have read Garry Wills, Hans Kung, Bishop Robinson and find their thoughts about the Church persuasive. I have also, however, read about the apparitions at Fatima and find such a disparity of views--find it hard to believe that Mary actually said that a deceased child would "be in Purgatory until the end of time" At my age, I am "cramming for my final examination" lol and want to be ready.

Mariamne Mariamne
4 Responses Feb 14, 2009

Dear DiscoFunkster,<br />
Thank you so much for your very kind comment and thank you for your promise to pray--I do believe in the power of prayer. In a way, I envy you your faith and wish I had the same kind of belief--I did for many years, but no longer have that sweet certainty. Bless you.

Dear Mariamne,<br />
<br />
I understand your experiences of the Church and hope that you find the peace your seeking.<br />
<br />
I find that when I am confused or disagree with a teaching of the Church, I try to understand why the teaching is what it is, I do research and I pray for the grace to trust in God's goodness.<br />
<br />
You might disagree, but I think the Catholic Church is one of the few religions that does give definite answers. A turning point for me was when I realised that the Church's teachings were not a laying down of law from a 'guard-dog' barking at us, but rather a loving mother trying to prevent harm to her children. If the Church teaches do x or don't do y, I began to realise that it was motherly and not authoritarian. This is also the key to understanding the position of the successor of Peter, the Pope. It is because he is called to be the greatest servant and guardian of the teachings of Christ that he is Christ's Christ. It is his vocation of service that demands our service to him. <br />
<br />
In terms of the ecclesiology of the Church, I think that you may be missing a great consolation on offer to you. Christ has guaranteed (that is Truth Himself vowing by Himself) that in the matters of faith and morals, the Church cannot err. This is because he is present mystically in the Church - we are His Mystical Body, and His Holy Spirit lives in the Church and in us. <br />
<br />
Although we are all human and have our doubts and weaknesses, we only have to cling to the Rock, Petrus, which is Christ and will have stability and certainty. <br />
<br />
You talk about your age and your preparation for your judgment, and thus I'm sure you recognise the battle we each face in our lives of daring to trust in God. Adam & Eve didn't do it - Christ did - even unto death. We all have that struggle of letting go of our own wills and submitting to that easy yoke of Christ and trusting that He loves us and wouldn't deceive us.<br />
<br />
I will pray for you and hope you will pray for me too.

MightyJoeYoung and Whatever223, thank you for your responses. I guess having been brought up in pre-VaticanII Catholicism, I keep looking for definite answers and have to grow up spiritually and accept that there are really no definite answers, except what I find for myself. I have tried talking to priests and have found them very compassionate, but also "party liners". The last one told me that I have to accept that in the Church, authority comes from the top down--it was all I could do to keep from jumping up and shouting rebelliously. He also invited me to his parish Bible study class, but suggested that I keep my "way out" ideas to myself. Hellooooo!!!

Hello.<br />
How are you?<br />
I am also a Roman Catholic, and even though I've only been for about sixteen years of my life, like you I am preparing for my 'final examination'. lol.<br />
What I've noticed is that people need to relate in order to get along. On some level or another there must be an understanding.<br />
Over the many thousands of years, religon has done a great deal for us in that aspect. Whatever religon that promotes peace has usually kept a great many people going for a long time. <br />
It is the unity of a group of diverse individuals that share a common belief that keeps the human race going.<br />
...but that doesnt exactly mean that whoever believes in a good thing, is a good and all-knowing person.<br />
People try. They really do just try to be good and get people to come to church and love God...whatever god they believe in through whatever religon they believe in. <br />
That doesnt mean they do it right all the time.<br />
I agree with Mighty here, YOU need to concentrate on YOUR internal relationship with God...but also try to help others with whatever talents God gave you to do so with when you can, or you think yourself sound enough to.<br />
One thing about church, MightyJoeYoung, I believe that you go there to worship and praise God. It's His house. The only person you should be really socializing and making connections with is Him...Of course, outside the church (like right outside or in a greeting hall if possible, or even just inviting the priest to dinner at your house) is a great place to do those things:)<br />
You do what you believe is right, and good things will usually happen.