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Jennifer Stewart wrote:

Hi, guys —

I was raised Pentecostal but have not attended church in a few years. I have struggled with my faith ever since my mother died. Recently I have recognized the void in my life as the absence of God and, though I have begun the RCIA program in the Catholic faith, I find myself still struggling. I find myself listening to the Holy Father in class and thinking about how false the teachings sound. I pray daily for help from God but am still unable to feel the blind faith that I experienced from in my youth.

  • How do you recommend I proceed?

I desperately desire for a joyful relationship with Christ but don't remember having to try so hard to believe in the past.

I am in a healthy marriage with a good Catholic man and I have been blessed with beautiful children and a good career, yet I am unsatisfied with my religion.

Jennifer

  { After being raised Pentecostal, how do I resolve the struggles I am having going through RCIA? }

Mike replied:

Hi Jenn,

Thanks for the question.

You said:
[I] have begun the RCIA program in the Catholic faith, however I find myself still struggling.

As I said in another answer:

What you say logically makes sense and is understandable seeing what Protestants believe will always be less than what Catholics believe, and will vary from denomination to denomination. Some use the Bible as a recipe book to preach from. If they don't like certain recipes, meaning teachings, they don't use them in their Sunday talks.

Fewer recipes or teachings used, imply fewer teachings need to be accepted by that group, otherwise they would talk about them.

While it can be a bit of a struggle for any Protestant who is contemplating becoming a Catholic to learn the teachings of the Church, with time, it will pay off. That's also why RCIA, most of the time, is oriented in way that there are groups of seekers; you can learn and network among each other. Sure, they may be a little more to learn, but being able to receive all the Sacraments, if you decide to join, will make it all worth while, especially the Eucharist and Confession which are sacraments that perpetually build us up and heal our soul in a real, divine way!

You said:
I find myself listening to the Holy Father in class and thinking about how false the teachings sound. I pray daily for help from God but am still unable to feel the blind faith that I experienced from in my youth.

  • How do you recommend I proceed?

You are welcome to share with us what teachings you thought sounded false, and we'll do our best to clarify any misperceptions.

The blind faith you are referring to is probably the nature trust we all put into our parents when we were children. If our parents believed in a specific faith, it's because they thought it was best, not only for their eternal salvation, but for yours.

In reference to RCIA, it's important to remember what Fr. Jonathan has mentioned in a different posting:

Please remember that joining RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a time of exploration. You do not make a commitment to be a Catholic when you join RCIA classes. Rather, these sessions give you the information you need to explain the faith so that you can make a decision about becoming a Catholic.

I would proceed by:

  • learning as much as you can about the Church
  • try to clarify any misperceptions you have (We can help here.)
  • pray for perseverance, and
  • at the end of the program, make your own decision; not your husband's decision, your decision.

Again, one of the biggest things the Catholic Church can provide that no mainstream Protestant group can, are the Sacraments of the Church. The Sacraments are powerful because in each one of the seven sacraments, the divine touches our soul. Only the Catholic Church can provide the sacraments in a myriad of parishes that are worldwide and yet local to you.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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