The MESS of the Catholic Church in America

The Decline of the Catholic Church: Radical Feminism, Moral Dissent, New Age, and the Disintegration of American Priests, Nuns, and Religious.

Catholic Nuns! Sweet. Innocent. Kind. Endearing. Compassionate.

Yet, the reality is that many Catholic Sisters, along with cardinals, bishops, priests, and theologians share a large responsibility for the current crisis going on in the Catholic Church today. This response will examine the disastrous downfall of clergy and religious in the United States.

From 1966-1976, 50,000 nuns and religious sisters[1] left the Church throwing off the “shackles of Rome” and alleged male oppression.[2] They jumped freely into a culture raging with anarchy, sexually liberality, and spiritual confusion. Many more Sisters stayed in the Church to change into something else entirely.

In the 1970s, they followed the depraved influences of pied-pipers like: Fr. Matthew Fox, Fr. Andrew Greeley, Fr. Thomas Berry, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr. Hans Kung, and many other heterodox and dissenting priests. During this time, Sisters seemed to develop as many spiritualities as there were religious orders.

Traditional Catholicism was cast out the window for a hodgepodge of esoteric prayers and new age practices. Simultaneously, nuns were hijacked by malicious feminists who held an anti-church agenda. One would not believe it, but rebellion, anarchy, and immorality summed up this whole generation of Sisters. In the book, the Green Sisters, one religious nun boasts about changing the religious vows and sums up the generation perfectly:

“Now we were marching in the streets, going to jail, creating our own liturgies, designing our own jobs, living in Third World countries, becoming radicalized, challenging the institutional church and making headlines. We prayed in our rooms instead of the Chapel, did our yoga, Tai Chi and Zen sitting, used a mantra and spontaneous prayer. … We socialized with men, gave retreats, called ourselves feminists, held press conferences, promoted women’s ordination, criticized the US government, rejected our middle-class upbringing, or genes, gave workshops, associated with the hippies and read questionable books and articles.”[3]

The original feminists in this country were all 100% pro-life, pro-femininity, and worked with great love to end inequalities all while not losing themselves. We revered them for their efforts. However, later waves of feminism arrived that were anti-Catholic and anti-everything. Frightening feminists like Rosemary Radford Ruether, a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter, was one of the big movers and shakers influencing women religious in a malevolent way.

Women’s Conferences, which are supposed to be a safe haven for learning and growing in our faith became a haven for rebellion hiring radical speakers which infected countless innocent Catholic women. Many good, unsuspecting Sisters got caught up in the craze, intentionally or unintentionally. If they attended these conferences, they were subjected to hearing talks about the goddess within, God being male and female, and many other neo-pagan feminist themes which were expounded upon.

They also learned about things like Eastern Oriental spirituality, Shamanism, Native American religions, New Age beliefs, Creation spirituality, Liberation theology, Wicca/Witchcraft, neo-paganism, goddess worship, and more causing many to reject their Catholic roots for a new “enlightenment.”[4] At one of these conferences, for example, There were Protestant speakers, a Jewish speaker, and a Hindu who delivered an address on the goddess Kali. There were also professed lesbians, witches, and former nuns who taught things like Raja yoga, Tai Chi, and other Eastern practices.[5]

In general, there was an overly obsessed and unhealthy notion of femininity and a rejection of the masculine. Many Sisters would overemphasize the worship of the Divine Feminine in different forms. Some even embraced the worship of Gaia, or the divine Mother Earth.

Women like Dr. Rosemary Reuther were also responsible for the hijacking of religious sisters. Rejecting her own Catholicism and having a deep hatred for the Church, Reuther stayed “Catholic” even though she accepted paganism in both thought and action. She helped spearhead the movement to change the Catholic Church into something of her own likeness and image. This dark and volatile woman was openly revolutionary. “In a 1980 essay, she called for the ‘equivalent of a French Revolution’ to overthrow the authority of the hierarchy.”[6] She poisoned countless Catholics as a featured columnist at the National Catholic Reporter. Her book, Women-Church is more passed on pagan nature religions that on Catholicism, and everything is changed. Baptism is no longer the forgiveness of sin, it is freedom from the patriarchy. The removal of personal sin on Ash Wednesday becomes the need for the Church to repent instead.[7]

All of these influences steered many unsuspecting nuns down the path wrong path. Unlike priests who defiantly left the church in the wake of the sexual revolution era, most of these new feminists chose to obstinately stay in the very church they disdained. They worked hard to rid the church of authority, to offer pride of place to the personal conscience rather than the Bible or the hierarchy, to discard God as a male, and to work toward inclusivity and syncretism to a detrimental level.

To the innocent bystander, it seems inconceivable that thousands of religious nuns would be won over. They were the founders of schools, the great educators of our time, laborers at hospitals and orphanages, missionaries to the poorest of the poor, and bright lights to the forgotten, uncared for, and defenseless. They were Jesus’ very hands and feet. This is true, and it makes the disintegration of religious orders in America all the more tragic.

Influenced by the culture, dissident priests-gone-wild, false feminism, and faulty interpretations of the Second Vatican Council, Religious sisters trashed many central Catholic doctrines like the centrality of Christ, objective morality, monotheism, the immutability of God, and more. The book Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face of Catholic Feminism expounds on their lamentable defections. This quote echoes the one above from the Green Sisters:

“Nuns, who in the early 1960s had warned students not to view the Sacraments as ‘magical’, came to embrace occult practices, implicitly if not explicitly demonic. Out of the human instinct to express faith in physical gestures, many of those who ceased to kneel for prayer began to substitute yoga postures, T’ai Chi, “New Age” spiritualism or circle dances, and widdershins, around a smoking cauldron. They sought “empowerment” in the “ancient wisdom” of Eastern monism, “goddess” paganism, dubious “Native American traditions,” voodoo, witchcraft or the animist “spirits” of the newly invented earth religions. Some who denied the existence of angels found new age “channeling” and “spirit guides” credible. From disparate shreds of mythology, politics, and imagination, religious feminists have cobbled together neo-pagan and neo-Gnostic rituals to offer as appropriate expressions of ‘women’s spirituality.’”[8]

A wide variety of eccentric beliefs, disciplines and prayer practices developed and replaced authentically Catholic ones, which cast aside. Let us take the “Green Sisters” as one example out of many that could be enumerated. These Sisters peddle a creation, eco-spirituality. Many seem to worship nature alongside God, accept that common meals are the Eucharist,[9] and Mother Earth is the Bible and source of revelations.[10]

Additionally, Jesus is not the only Christ but an avenue to Christ Consciousness that we all must attain. As a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary is elevated to a place of divinity and is known as, the “Cosmic Matrix.” These Sisters replaced traditional litanies to Mary which asked for her prays with a strange cosmic alternative. For example, here is part of the traditional Catholic litany:

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Mother most pure, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

This is some of the revised version of the litany:

Matter impregnated with spirit,
pray for us.

Fire of the Galaxies, pray for us.

Dust of the stars, pray for us.

Music of the spheres, pray for us.

Energy of the Supernovas, pray for
us, etc.

Guide into the Ecozoic, pray for
us, etc.[11]

If
strange, bizarre, and troubling are words that come to your mind, you would not
be alone. Both Sisters from within the Green Sisters and other faithful
Religious have spoken out boldly against these “New Age” counterfeits. They
have articulated loudly the outlandish practices and heresies being practiced,
calling out their panentheism, nature worship, and other pagan rituals that
have overtaken so many of the authentic Catholic religions.[12]

Unfortunately, many Religious women to varying degrees were infected with less than sound Catholic teachings. They chose a syncretic blend of different spiritualities: New Age, Cosmic, Creation, Native American, Neo-pagan, Feminist, and more. From there, a plethora of Catholic, pseudo-Catholic, and non-Catholic teachings would filter down over the next few decades through many Catholic school systems, religious education programs, woman’s conferences, seminars, hospitals, and parishes. “Not only eccentric individuals but entire religious communities from the mother-house down adopted policies adversarial toward the church.”[13] In turn, they were responsible for teaching others in the Church, which in large part, helped create generations of confused, ill-informed, and uncatechized Catholics. Many people have left the Church because of the feared nuns of those days.


Religious
sisters are not alone in this wholesale dissemination of false and fanatical
anti-Catholic spirituality and doctrine. Endorsed by priests and the cardinal,
“The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress sponsored by the archdiocese,
featured a cavalcade of dissenters and anti-Vatican agitators. Advocates of
female ordination, critics of the papacy, discredited theologians, and others
found safe haven at the gathering” to promote their deviant ideas of
Catholicism.[14]

Professor
Ralph McInerny sheds more light on this anarchy. He states:

For twenty
years thereafter, dissent was allowed to continue unabated. It became
institutionalized. … Dissenters were offered sanctuary in theology departments
of Catholic universities, where from tenured posts, they dismissed and even
scoffed at magisterial pronouncements, even teaching their students to do so. …
These universities trained future teachers, for universities, colleges, and
high schools; they trained directors of religious education. For years,
students of these dissenting theologians continued to fan out into positions
within the Church. … Anti-papal Catholics – controlled the seminaries, the
universities, and other important positions in the Church.” [15]

It
is safe to say that evil has festered within the walls of the Catholic Church
for 50 years or more. Let a cat out of the bag, and it is difficult to get it
back in once again. What would happen if a thousand cats were let out of a
bag?  Thus, the Catholic Church needed to
take some action for the good of the Orders and the Church herself.

After the turn of the millennium, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith began investigating the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). This is the umbrella group for the largest organization of Religious Sisters in America which accounts for about 80% of all Religious Sisters in the United States.

The
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered a major investigation. In
2012, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was designated to investigate the rogue
group, to deal with dissent and “serious doctrinal problems.” Regarding the
LCWR, the book Sisters in Crisis
explains; “With the approval of Pope Benedict XVI, the CDF was ordering a
sweeping reform of their organization. Simultaneously in Washington DC, the
USCCB released an eight-page assessment document that outlined the reforms to
be made under the supervision of archbishop J. Peter Sartain with the
assistance of two other bishops – Leonard Blair and Thomas Papraki.[16][17]

Due
to many New Age topics and heterodox views from speakers at their national
conference, the organization was told they must receive approval for their
speakers to ensure faithfulness to Catholic teachings.[18]
Of course, this is only one aspect of the problems in the Catholic Church. Other
serious concerns regarded the liberal-minded bishops
and priests, dissidents, who told lay people after Vatican II, that if they
disagreed with the Catholic Church, that they should just follow their
consciences instead.


This
is exactly what Jesus said not to do. The turbulent times after Vatican II were
rebellious ones, a rebellion which continues to this day in many ways. Too many
people falsely consider themselves to be more of an authority than the Catholic
Church and the teachings Chris Himself delivered to the Church. The ripple
effects of this spiritual madness and the blatant attacks against Christ’s
Church still affect us today. They are in large part responsible for its
spiritual devastation around us both in and out of the Church. Rebellion was
the sin of the devil and the first sin of Adam and Eve. Rebellion is not a path
to heaven and has no share in God.

Jesus
taught that you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears. The proof lies in the
rampant decline of nuns in America. In 1965, at the beginning of the mayhem,
there were about 280,000 nuns and Religious Sisters. Today, there are less than
50,000 and most of them are elderly. In my diocese alone, there were over 2,000
nuns in 1965, and today in 2018, there are a little over 500 left.[19]
90% of these Sisters are 80 years old or older. This is the future of our
church if we continue down the same failed path! Thankfully, many young orders
of nuns that are orthodox are beginning to replace the ones who have fallen
away.

A
new brand of Religious Sisters is exploding onto the scene today and are
returning to the traditions of the Catholic Church. These Sisters wear habits
again, are faithful and obedient to Holy Mother Church, are orthodox, and are
joyful, selfless servants. As would be expected, they are burgeoning in
popularity attracting women from across the world. One only needs to call to
mind the Sisters of Charity, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, the
Nashville Dominican Sisters, and the Sisters of Life, to name a few.

The
Poor Clares, started by Mother Angelica, offers us a great example of faithful
religious life. After Vatican II, this order chose to modernize and fall in
sync with the culture. In many ways, they lost their spirituality, compromised
their vows, and lived more of a fun and worldly life rather than a vocation of
holiness for Jesus. However, after seeing the rebellion of so many Sisters
across the country, Mother Angelica returned to orthodoxy and a life of deep
prayer. Since then her order has grown and she started EWTN, the largest
religious radio and television network in the world. It has helped millions
worldwide to witness the truth of Catholicism and to be faithful followers of
Jesus Christ!

This
was a top-ranking moral theologian who was promulgating teachings that were
anything but Catholic. One can clearly see the confusion during the 1970s –
1990s when this kind of rebellion was rampant and in full swing. To offer an
indication of just how far things went, 750 other theologians who should
absolutely know better chose to throw their morals away and stand by his side.[21]

Catholics
who are living in 2018 in the aftermath of the sex scandals can see how much
moral filth had entered the church so long ago. In fact, the majority of all
sexual abuse took place during this time. It is no wonder priestly vocations
are down, the Church’s foundations have eroded, and the Church has lost her
identity of who She is. This moral rot and waste must be extricated from our
Church. Mother Angelica is just one of many faithful nuns who have been
faithful to Jesus until death, even when viciously attacked by this moral evil
disguised in the form of priests and bishops who tried to destroy her.

This
feisty and powerful nun called out the corruption, dissidence, and disgusting
perversions in the Church that even priests, bishops, and cardinals were
involved in. For example, Raymond Arroyo narrates about Father Charles Curran
who was a high-ranking moral theologian, yet, he believed in; “pre-marital sex,
homosexuality, masturbation, and abortion – all practices strictly forbidden by
traditional Catholic teaching.”[20]

While
many older orders of nuns are unfortunately fading away, a new light is
dawning. These new orders of Religious Sisters are a beautiful and encouraging
renewal happening in the Church, a bright light of resurgence, and a promise of
things to come.  These Sisters are proud
to be Catholic and proud to serve Jesus Christ and His Church faithfully. Let
us not also forget the many nuns and Sisters who have stayed faithful to the
Church and have served humbly over the last four decades. Let us pray for
priests, nuns, and religious everywhere that this new “Springtime of Faith” may
grow to maturity and come to a full bloom!



[1] There is
a technical difference that most people are not aware of. Nuns are woman who
never leave the convent while “religious sisters” are the normal “nuns” that
you see in daily life. Most people usually call all Sisters nuns.

[2] Ungodly Rage, Pg. 20

[3] Taylor,
Sarah McFarland, The Green Sisters,
Pg. 32

[4] Ibid.
Pg. 29-32

[5] Ibid.
Pg. 31

[6] Ungodly Rage, Pg. 29-36

[7] Hauke,
Manfred, God or Goddess, Pg. 216-217

[8] Ibid. Pg. 23

[9] The Green Sisters, Pg.260

[10] Ibid.
Pg.174

[11] Ibid.
147-148

[12] Ibid.
260-265

[13] Ungodly Rage, Pg. 21

[14] Arroyo,
Raymond, Mother Angelica¸ Pg. 263

[15] McInerny, Ralph M., What went wrong with VATICAN II:
The Crisis Explained
, Pg. 109-110.

[16] Carey,
Ann, Sisters In Crisis, Pg.361

[17] Bishop Leonard Blair Takes on the LCWR, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/bishop-leonard-blair-takes-on-the-lcwr

[18] Vatican official rebukes U.S. nuns’ group for ‘fundamental errors,’ LCWR issues response — UPDATED, http://thedialog.org/featured/vatican-official-rebukes-u-s-nuns-group-for-fundamental-errors

[19] Archdiocese of Hartford Pastoral Planning
Issue 2017
, https://www.stewardsfortomorrow.org/second-issue-2017.html

[20] Mother Angelica¸ Pg. 204.

[21] Ibid.
Pg. 205

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Is the Catholic Church too RICH?

Is the Catholic Church too Rich?

People often ask, “Why does the Catholic Church have so much money?” Or, “The Catholic Church is disgustingly rich, they should do more to feed the poor with all the money they have.” When one sees treasures of gold, beautiful buildings, artwork, and Popes “living in luxury,” critics often attack the church saying: “The pope should just sell the Vatican, the artwork, and all the gold, then they solve the world’s problems and help the poor people around the world.”

These are honest objections by some and anti-Catholic attacks from others. But, is this true? Is the Catholic Church too rich? And should they do more to help the poor? Let’s look at what’s really going on.

Let’s begin by rewinding time for some necessary context. It was the year 317 AD.  At this time in history, the Catholic Church had witnessed persecution, torture, and death on and off for 300 years. It was illegal to be a Catholic in the Roman Empire for much of that time. Because it was illegal to be a Christian, it was dangerous to profess or show signs of the faith, and countless Catholics died in the most barbaric ways.

But in 317 AD, Constantine came to power and was sympathetic toward the Christians (Catholics). He not only legalized Christianity, but he allowed Catholics to worship freely again unhindered. Because of this edict, Catholics were allowed to come out of the slave mines, were released from prisons, and were allowed to worship God freely and openly.

Another massive acknowledgement is that Constantine restored the property that was confiscated from the Catholic Church by the pagan emperors. He rebuilt Catholic churches that were burned down or taken by previous regimes, and he even donated far more glorious and beautiful buildings to the Catholic Church than ever before.

Constantine tried to rectify the long history of abuse against the Catholic Church. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is the biggest Catholic Church in the world, and it was built by Constantine to reverence and honor God. He knew it was the Lord Jesus who helped him to win his great battle to win the Roman Empire, so he wanted to give back to the Church who had been persecuted for centuries.

In fact, some of our oldest, largest, and most glorious churches weren’t actually built by Catholics at all. They were built by rulers like Constantine who gave them to the Church to glorify God.

It is true that the Catholic Church has also built stunning and gorgeous churches around the world, but that is because we believe in reverencing God and giving God the best – not our leftovers. Some people say having this luxury is against God, but the Bible proves the opposite.

In the Bible, the book of Exodus, you will see that God himself told Moses to build the huge, massive temple. He likewise commanded everything to be laid in gold, including the Ark of the Covenant. Was God being overly rich and pompous by doing that? Or, was He showing the world that He deserves the best?

The whole temple was laid in gold because God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and is worthy. So, really, it has nothing to do with “just living in luxury” or lording it over the people.

Rather, it has to do with glorifying God, not ourselves. Another important thing to understand is that while the Catholic Church does have a lot of artwork, land, and precious items, these things do not belong to the Church. Nor do churches like St. Peter’s Basilica (pictured above). None of the beauty and splendor belongs to the institution or to the pope. The pope certainly doesn’t own it. Rather, it all belongs to the world wide church, and the people of God like us, which is why the Church could never sell it all.

Any one of us can go to the Vatican today, or we can visit St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls. We can go to any of these beautiful churches and visit. Do you know who else can visit?

All of the poor people in Rome, Catholic and non-Catholic. They go visit these churches just like we do, and they can take refuge from the cold or storms. Anyone can take in the breath-taking beauty while contemplating the presence of God.

The Truth about the Catholic Church and Wealth!

The Catholic Church has been the largest charitable organization on the face of this planet who feeds more people, shelters more people, clothes more people, educates more people, and helps more people, more than any other institution on planet earth. Even if you believe that the Catholic Church is overly rich and possesses too much money, the Church uses that money for good and for helping people in need around the world.

The Catholic Church also invented orphanages and hospitals, helps single mothers, combats drug trafficking, and so much more. If we stop giving money for the work of God, that is a massive amount of people who will go without food, clothes, medical care, and more.

The fact is the Catholic Church does help the poor, and more than anybody else. When asked, most of the poor people, and especially the poor Catholics, say they would never, ever, want the artwork or the gold liquidated. Even in their suffering, they see and know the beauty and find a connection with their Creator through it.

The belief that the Catholic Church is overly, disgustingly rich is simply not true. In fact, the Vatican loses money every year. Most Catholic Churches around the world lose money year after year, and are in the red.

Consider a thriving church which serves about 4,000 families. In this one parish alone, it takes approximately $1,000,000 dollars every  year to run just the Air conditioning and heating, not to mention the rest if the parish. Think about that for a moment. If we stopped putting money in the collection basket every week, and everyone stopped giving money to Catholic charitable organizations because they thought the Church was too rich, then our parishes would not exist. And the thing is, they exist for us. They are our places of worship, our place to find God. We run it, we maintain it, and we are responsible for the upkeep. That’s why giving $1 in the basket isn’t really doing much to help support a large church with so many people.

Of course there have been some priests and bishops who have abused money, and it’s evil. They will answer to God severely on Judgment Day for that. Please don’t let the small percentage of bad priests and bishops stand as the example for everyone, because the majority of priests and bishops over 2000 years have been good.

Evil priests do not define our church. They are what it means NOT to be a faithful Catholic as they don’t follow the teaching of Jesus or their own Church. It is people like Mother Teresa  and the countless nuns around the world helping people in need, Catholics who are missionaries, work in hospitals, and help people in day to day life.

Anti-Catholic Hypocrites!

One anti-Catholic woman once told me (and it’s a common line), that the Catholic Church should sell everything it has and liquidate all it’s land and art, and then give all that money to the poor. Of course, she did not really care for the poor as much as she wanted to find reasons to hate the Church and feel justified in doing so. Besides giving her much of the information discussed above, I also asked her how much money she gives to the poor every month. I asked her if she had sold her house, her furniture, and everything she owned in order to help the poor.

Completely shocked and caught off guard, she started stumbling for words saying that she didn’t have a lot of money, and couldn’t make much of a difference by selling her furniture. But I told her that she should sell it anyway and at least make some difference in other’s lives.

I told her she should be giving money to the poor each month and stop telling other people to do it in her place. Moreover, she should stop telling others to sell everything they own if she’s not willing to do the same. That’s hypocrisy. Maybe the Catholic Church would follow suit if she lead by example.

But again, this was not about money, it was about demonizing a church who helps so many people.

Thank God for the Catholic Church and for the millions and millions of people the Catholic Church has helped over 2000 years. The Catholic Church has had more missionaries in more countries than any other religion, and probably most other religions combined by far. Catholic missionaries are in some of the poorest and most destitute places in the world helping to build homes, provide food and shelter, medicine and education, and so much more. So don’t believe the lies of the media and of anti-Catholics. They have an agenda.

The Catholic Church also has an agenda; to help people as Jesus commanded. This is why I give money to my parish, but I also give money to shelters for runaway children, organizations which give money to the poor and help people to live a decent life. Lastly, I also try to give money to organizations that work to save people’s souls which is also a form of charity. The highest charity, in fact, getting people to heaven.

So, the myth that the Catholic Church is overly rich and lords it over people is just that – a myth.

Please consider giving generously to your parish. You could also give to other Catholic Charities and organizations that feed the poor, clothe the naked, help the imprisoned, combat drug or child trafficking, lead sinners back to God, and more. In doing this, we will be helping to fulfill the command of Christ to help our brothers and sisters in need, and so serve Christ Himself (Mt. 25:31-46).

If you would, please consider supporting our ministry too, as we cannot reach souls without generous people who believe in our mission.



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Do Catholics Worship Mary? (NO!)

Do Catholics worship Mary, and does the Catholic Church teach Mary worship? No, of course not. There is not one single source anywhere instructing Catholics to worship Mary, and if anti-Catholics had even an ounce of humility and honesty, they would stop their lies about the “Vatican making Mary a deity” and other nonsense like that.

The truth is, the Catholic Church condemns idolatry. There is only one God and one Lord Jesus Christ, and He alone is to be worshiped. Anyone who thinks that Catholics worship Mary does not understand Catholicism. So, perhaps this article can help to explain why Catholics honor Mary.

Honoring Mary: What Catholics Really Believe

One of the most common questions asked by Christians of other denominations is, “Why do Catholics honor Mary so highly?” The answer is simple: because God did!

In Genesis 12: 3-4, and many other passages found in the Old Testament, God specifically commands us to honor those whom He honors, bless whom He blesses, and curse those who He curses. This is what the Bible teaches. So, if God honors someone, we do too. Thus Catholics honor Mary because God did first.

God was the first one to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is the one who gave her a special calling and raised her up to be the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, the long awaited Messiah, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Jesus is almighty God, and Mary is His mother. Wow! Talk about an honor.

In Luke 1:28 the angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Hail! Full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.” So Catholics honor Mary because God did. Moreover, in Luke 1:42 we read that, inspired by The Holy Spirit, Elizabeth cried out and proclaimed that that Mary was “blessed among all women.” Note that she said this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, in Luke 1:48 Mary herself prophesies that “all generations will call her blessed. That’s right, Luke 1:48 says that all generations will call her blessed. Do you call Mary blessed? Catholics do. Catholics honor Mary and treat her as blessed just as the Bible says to.

So we have three separate places in Scripture telling us that Mary is blessed among women, and that she is honored by God. So Catholics just follow His example.

Think about this: from all eternity, and in His eternal wisdom, God chose Mary to be the mother of His eternal Son. All power, all grace, all salvation all redemption came into the world in the person of Jesus in and through Mary. That’s awesome!!

I remember getting into a discussion with two men who called themselves “Bible Christians.” They were saying that Catholics worship Mary, and they put too much emphasis on Mary. I informed them that Catholics don’t worship Mary, but we honor her because God did, and that is biblical.

They said that we shouldn’t honor Mary, that we should only praise Jesus. “It’s all about Jesus.” I responded that we worship Jesus and adore him alone, and that He alone is the King, but the Bible commands us to honor those who God honors, and God honors Mary. And thus, so do we.

They immediately recoiled and said no, we worship Jesus only. We are Bible Christians and go only by the Bible. I responded by saying that if they were truly Bible Christians, they would be honoring Mary because God honored her in Luke 1:28 and Elizabeth honored her in Luke 1:42, and the Bible says that all generations will call Mary blessed in Luke 1:48.

For a third time they said, they shook their heads no and said, no we don’t focus on Mary, she was only a virginal conduit. She was just a tube which Jesus descended through. I replied, “I thought you were Bible Christians? Because the Bible says the exact opposite of what you are saying right now. The Bible specifically says that she is blessed among women and that we must call her blessed. ALL generations must call her blessed. Don’t you follow the Bible? That’s in the Bible.”

After holding them to that passage in Luke 1:48 and telling them that is what Scripture says, they finally admitted, though reluctantly, that Mary was blessed.

But why should we do it reluctantly? We praise and adore God’s power, might, and majesty working in and through such a lowly vessel. Mary is the masterpiece painting, and God is the Master Artist. We praise the artist for all He’s done. But we definitely recognize the painting is beautiful and worthy of honor as well. The painting is nothing and would be nothing without the artist.

When we go to museums and stand in front of masterpiece paintings we don’t worship them, do we? Imagine the artist nearby saying, “Hey, I painted that!” Would we brush him aside and ignore him while fawning over the canvas? Of course not! We would rightly turn and praise the creator, and tell him what a marvelous job he did.

So, every time we honor Mary, we are really praising God because His great mercy, grace, and love. He is the Source of all beauty, perfection, and goodness. May we praise Our Lord, Jesus Christ forever and ever! Amen.


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Catholic and Protestant (Questions from a Protestant reader)

If you are familiar with my blog, YouTube, and social media, you know I welcome questions from my readers, viewers, and followers.  Here are my responses to some questions recently asked by a Protestant follower on Facebook:

The message began with: I am not Catholic, but I attended Catholic school for 2 years back in the 1980s. Can you explain to me a few things please?

And here are the questions (in Italics) and my responses (in plain type)

1. Can you explain why there is a prayer, the Hail Mary?

The Hail Mary is a prayer that asks Mary to pray for us to Jesus. You will note in the prayer below that the whole first part comes from the Bible (Lk. 1:28; 1:42), and the second part is merely asking Mary to pray to Jesus for us and with us. It is similar to how we ask friends and family to pray for us to Jesus. (Everything is God’s grace working in and through Mary, nothing of herself. That is what the rays in the picture represent. God working, and God’s light and power. She is just the instrument, as we may also be.)

2. OK, well, I also came in contact with someone who told me that the Catholics are praying to saints, and it seems like you are. It reminded me of how the Romans used to pray to Mars and Jupiter for different things. Is Jesus too busy to hear all my prayers and He has delegated for better efficiency?

At Sacred Heart, my Catholic experience there was a statue of Mary next to the convent. People knelt in front of it and prayed the rosary. My grandmother actually had a Mary candle in her bathtub. Like a little mini shrine. Is Mary like a priest? You pray and confess to her? Or, is it like Mary and the saints are the bridge between Jesus and man, and Jesus is the final mediator to God the Father?

How is any of the above things not worshiping Mary? Better yet, how is that not praying to Mary through a statue? Isn’t that wrong even without the statue? You made a comment that the commandments were made back in the Old Testament time, in Exodus expressly, for teaching against worshiping the popular idols of the day. The idols that were worshiped by the people that lived all around the Israelites. So things have changed and that authorizes praying in front of a statue of something other than God but a really special human? Thank you for your answers…

These are great questions. Catholics don’t pray to Saints, not like they pray to God. Only God is God. And only Jesus can ultimately answer our prayers. However, we do ask the Saints in heaven to pray for us to Jesus since they are so close to Him and are perfected in His righteousness.

The important caveat is that we don’t see them as gods, not even close. They are mere human beings like us who have been glorified with Christ in heaven; and they are people who followed Jesus with all of their mind, heart, and soul, and are examples to us in that regard for following Christ better.

“Praying” to saints is similar to how we might ask any Christian to pray for us. Another example could be that most Protestants have no hesitation in asking a pastor who is a godly man and who knows God on a deep level to pray for them. It’s intercessory prayer, and that is biblical.

So, we absolutely pray to Jesus, all the time, but we also ask others to pray for us both in heaven and on Earth, for we are all part of the one body of Christ. Some say that we can’t pray to saints in heaven because they are dead. But that is a very Jewish and pre-Christian understanding of it. All of the passages in Scripture that say people die and stay in the grave are in the Old Testament, before Jesus rose from the dead. The fact is that Jesus is alive now, and he has conquered sin, death, and the grave. So people are alive in heaven, perfectly alive, and perfectly in him.

Catholics love Mary because we see her as the model disciple and the perfect example for following Jesus. Scripture reveals that she was totally faithful, obedient, humble, and loving. She followed God with all of her heart. We as Catholics desire to do the same thing.

Paul in First Corinthians said to “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” because he was faithful to Christ in every way. We should try to be faithful to Christ in the same way. Likewise, just as Mary was so faithful and obedient to God, so we strive to be also and use her as a model, like Paul.

Since she’s only a human, she is not God. Therefore, Catholics do not worship Mary, but do highly honor and respect her because of her holiness and how Christ worked in her lie. Luke 1:48 says that all generations shall call her blessed, so that’s what we do as Catholics, we honor her and call her blessed.

Most non-Catholics don’t know this, but the rosary is actually a meditation on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It is Jesus focused and Jesus centered. (Or should be if a Catholic understands their faith.) If you would like to know more on this, we made a YouTube video on it based on a conversation I had with real a Protestant pastor. https://youtu.be/i1rUSxXSlL4

Second to last, we don’t pray to statues. They are just plaster and marble and cannot hear us or do anything. So please know that for Catholics, they are just symbols. Symbols of the people they represent, kind of like pictures in a wallet. When the father of a friend of mine died, he would talk to and kiss a picture of his dad. Obviously he didn’t think it was really his father. It was just a symbol. Since his father was in heaven and he couldn’t actually kiss him in person, he used the photo.

If you would to read more on this, check out our articles on understanding proper Catholic expression, bowing and kneeling before statues (Hint: we are not kneeling or bowing TO the statues at all http://www.catholicbryan.org/blog/do-catholics-worship-statues-why-do-they-kiss-statues-and-bow-before-them/)

Likewise, statues are symbolic of the people they represent. Thus Catholics believe Exodus 20 which tells us that we should not worship idols. God had statues made in the Old Testament, and other people made statues too and for God which were not condemned. What God condemned was the worship of idols and pagan gods. The Catholic Church also condemns it.

3. Lastly, I heard Catholics mocking Salvation, too. Do modern Catholics believe in Salvation and being Saved at all? If no, then do you just ignore those verses in the Bible? Please help me out with two things.

We would like to point out that there is not a “new” or “modern” Catholic Church. There is only one Catholic Church, the same one universal worldwide Catholic Church that has been around for 2000 years.

Now, to the heart of your last question, YES!!!!!! Catholics absolutely believe in Salvation! Here is what we believe in a nutshell: Jesus is God, and Jesus is the only Lord, the only savior, the only One who can redeem us from our sins. He died on the cross for us because we were lost due to our sins which eternally separate us from God. No amount of good works could bridge that eternal gap. In other words, we cannot earn salvation or save ourselves (as a side note: this false belief has been condemned in the Catholic Church since the 5th century.)

It is Jesus’ body and blood alone that atone for our sins, and his body and blood alone which obtains salvation for us. Catholics believe that we are saved through faith in Christ, and by following his will (Mt. 7:21), and being obedient to Him. For Catholics, and according to the Bible, salvation is not a one time moment. Whereas Protestants think they are saved and then sanctified through life, Catholics see Salvation and Sanctification as the same thing. In other words, Christ saves us in baptism where we are born again, (Mk. 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:1-11) but we must live for Him faithfully until we die. If we do that we will be saved eternally!

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, please let us know. We also go live in Instagram and Facebook to answer the questions that people have. Also, visit our YouTube channel for many more questions and many more solid answers! You also may be interested in our article answering ex-Catholics poor arguments. God bless you.

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Can priests leave if they fall in love? What about Sisters?

What happens if a priest or a sister falls in love? Can they leave the priesthood or stop being religious sisters if they fall in love? The answer is no, but also yes. Let us explain… (If you would rather watch our Youtube video on this topic, click the link.)

Caption: Men lay down their entire lives and give them completely to God by being ordained. Their very souls are changed and they profess obedience to the Bishop and to God.

Can a Priest or a Nun leave for love?

We need to back up a bit in order to answer the question, can a priest or a nun leave if they fall in love? No one becomes a nun or a priest over night. Everyone starts at the beginning. So, if a girl decides that she wants to become a religious sister or a nun, she goes around and she looks at different groups, which are called orders. These orders all have different charisms. Now, a girl might be drawn to a few different orders, but eventually she will settles on one.

Once she gets accepted into what’s known as the first stage, postulancy or candidacy, she starts living with that group of religious nuns and discerning with them virtually exclusively. Postulancy usually lasts about a year. Making an analogy to dating can be helpful. It’s similar to seeing a bunch of guys (or girls) that you are attracted to. Over time, you find someone that you really enjoy and you eventually start dating them exclusively.  That is like postulancy.

The second stage: if a woman feels called to continue on, she enters the novitiate, which is the second step, where she discerns much more deeply, and prays for a really long time. She tries to discern and decide where God really wants her to be. It is like discerning marriage more seriously with your significant other, in which you are praying while you are dating to see if this is the person that God wants you to be dating or even married to. Most communities have a two year novitiate.

If a woman discerns that God is calling her to continue, she makes still a more serious commitment: she professes her first, or temporary, vows which is kind of like getting engaged. First vows is when a woman takes on the habit and becomes a sister. First vows are a temporary promise made for one to three years. If she decides that this is the group, or order, that she wants to definitively join, then she takes what’s known as her final vows.

Caption: A woman professing vows as a nun. Many orders wear wedding dresses when they take vows to make it clear that they are becoming brides of Christ and are living for Him.

Analogously, in order to become priests, men also have a lengthy period of discernment during their time in seminary. The process of discernment takes about eight years (or more). That is a lot of time to make sure this is really where God is calling you. Up until final vows and ordination for priests, seminarians and religious sisters have the freedom to leave at any time if they believe God is calling them elsewhere, or they don’t think it’s for them.

What God has joined let no man separate

Final vows for religious sisters, and ordination for priests, are the equivalent of marriage. They are meant to be a life-long commitment. When a man or a woman finds that person that they love and want to spend the rest of their life with, they get married. And when a young woman decides and finds an order that she loves and wants to spend the rest of her with, she makes her final vows, and it’s like getting married.

Once you’re married, you cannot leave. It’s a covenant. It’s permanent. It’s for life. Jesus Himself said that it’s for life. The two become one flesh in the eyes of God and Jesus said what God has joined together, no man can separate or tear apart. So once you get married, it’s until death do you part with extreme exceptions, like if you’re being abused. And it’s the same thing being a priest or a nun. Once you make your final vows, or once you become ordained as a priest, you enter into what’s known as a spiritual marriage in a sense. You are committing your whole life to God, or the Church… both.. In other words, it’s an exclusive, permanent vow, a covenant that you’re entering into with God.

What God has joined together, no human being must separate. Mt. 19:6

So, can a religious sister or a priest leave if they fall in love? The answer is no. Why? Because they’ve already made their final vows and they’ve given their lives exclusively to God. Let’s make an analogy regarding objections we might here.

Let’s just say a man finds a woman who understands him better than his wife. She is prettier, sexier, and she just “gets him.” They connect on a level that is deep and seems destined. Can that man leave his wife to go off with another woman? The obvious answer is no. Of course not. The reason is that he has given his whole life to his wife, and he made life-long promises to her until death do them part.

So, it doesn’t matter how many beautiful women man may see, and it doesn’t matter how much he connects with any of them. Even if he might “fall in love” with someone, which should never happen in that way (because a good man would avoid situations leading to this), but it’s impossible because he has made a covenant to her and to God which Jesus said cannot be broken.

It’s the same with priests and nuns. Before they become priests and nuns they go through these different steps of prayer and discernment. So, they should be certain by the time they make their life-long commitment.

A Serious Commitment

Just to repeat: any time before final vows or ordination, they can leave. Similar to if you decide that while you’re engaged to someone, you don’t want to date them anymore. You realize that it will not work. You can leave because you’re not married yet. This is fine as long as you are dating or engaged. As long as you are in your postulancy or novitiate, or if you are in your first vows, (check out Victoria’s story for an example of this), you can leave. If you decide that you don’t want to be a nun or a priest, you can leave. But once you take your final vows, it’s permanent, just like marriage in the eyes of God is permanent. So, some priests and nuns who claim to fall in love, and they leave for the sake of love, they are actually in a sense cheating on God, the same way a husband or wife would be cheating on their spouse if they went off with someone else. They would commit adultery, one of the most serious sins.

Just as there are rare exceptions to this rule, like sever abuse in marriage, so there are very few exceptions and legitimate reasons which allow priests to be laicized or for nuns to be dispensed from their vows. Falling in love is not one of those legitimate reasons, just as “falling in love” with another man/woman, doesn’t allow you to leave your spouse and family in the eyes of God. That’s what you choose when you become a nun, and that’s what you choose when you become a priest. You give your life to the Church and you give your life to God.

That is the answer. Thank you to the person who asked this question. If anyone has any follow up thoughts or questions, please put them in the comments section below.

“You hall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32)

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Hillsong Worship Leader Loses His Faith. Leaving Christianity?

Perhaps you have heard that one of the worship leaders and songwriters for Hillsong, Marty Sampson, has not only left Hillsong Church, but is severely doubting the Christian faith as well. (If you would rather watch the YouTube video on this, just click here.)He states that there are a lot of consistency problems and things that are questionable. For these, and other reasons, he took to social media and announced he had lost his faith

He is not alone.  Quite a few other notable people have made similar declarations and turned away from Christianity, but their statements have flaws, and his objections can be easily answered. That’s why I want to talk about a few of the reasons that he gave, where they are lacking, and why they don’t hold up. There are good, rational, logical reasons for being Christian, for believing in God, and for having the faith we do.

Getting back to Marty Sampson, specifically, this man has been a worship songwriter and worship leader for Hillsong Church since the 1990’s.  In late August he publicly announced that he had left his faith.

He said:

“I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. I am so happy now, so at peace. How many miracles happen? Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet — they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me. I am not in it any more. I want genuine truth. Not the “I just believe it” kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion. Lots of things help people change their lives, not just one version of God.”

On one hand, I want to shake Marty, but on the other hand, I can absolutely understand where he is coming from because I also asked countless difficult questions growing up and received no good answers, or just cheesy answers.

I wondered, how do we know God exists for real? What about evolution? What about the Big Bang? Why would God send people to Hell if He loves them? Why doesn’t prayer seem to work? And many other questions, and you know what people told me? “You just have to believe.” “That’s why it’s faith.” And, “It’s a mystery”

Unfortunately, sometimes, this is what well meaning people will say. They may not know the proper answers, and instead of digging deeper, they simply tell you to have faith. So, while I doubt Marty Sampson will read this blog post, I want to tell him that I totally understand where he is coming from because I had the same struggles, and I have found good answers.

I, like Marty, love truth, want to know the truth, and don’t want to believe something if it’s not truth. This is why I have spent twenty-five years looking up all of the answers to my faith questions.  I have studied the other religions as well (just in case), and I studied a lot of the atheistic and skeptical arguments. I studied everything I could, and I found answers that satisfy. I’ve come to know that the fullness of the truth is in Jesus Christ and there are good, logical, reasonable answers to be found if you desire them.

Walking away from God will not lead anyone to the truth. God is the truth. Deciding that God doesn’t exist, or claiming to be dissatisfied with faith is a reaction based on emotion. I can get why people do it, but there are a lot of problems with walking away from God and it is not the path to real peace and happiness. I am sorry to read that Marty never felt that he had that in Christianity and that he only received cheesy answers when he was questioning.

The fact is, miracles do happen today, and they happen a lot more than you or Marty Sampson might think. Sure, they might seem to have happened more often many, many ages ago, but ask yourself this; as a culture, as people, do we have more faith now, or do we have less? Is our culture following God more, or are we following God a lot less?

Jesus said that you need great faith to see great works. People who have great faith, tend to see great works. In fact, I have a book called, Miracles Do Happen, by Sister Briege McKenna. She was once told she would spend her life confined to a wheelchair.  After she experienced her own miraculous healing she now travels the world healing people from things that they were told could not be healed. She has encountered people with blindness, deformities, and serious illnesses.  When they come to her she touches them and prays with them. Sometimes they are healed right on the spot. We’re not talking about small miracles, we’re talking about big ones!

Mr. Sampson might also want to research what happens at Lourdes. Thousands upon thousands of miracles occur at Lourdes. There have been over 6000 documented miracles, and 67 of those miracles have been scientifically verified by more than thirty physicians, doctors, neurologists, etc.

Specifically because the Church knows there are skeptics, when a person claims any miracle, there is serious research done. We don’t check the “Oh, the Catholic Church saw it and believes it” box. It’s quite the opposite. The Vatican is sure to have each and every one extensively checked out, even by non-Catholics!

Many more could be enumerated. There are so many books about miracles that have occurred and which have been proven by unbiased members of the scientific community. That said, faith doesn’t rest on the fact that miracles do or don’t happen. Even if miracles didn’t happen, it would not mean that God doesn’t exist. Perhaps it would indicate that we don’t have enough faith or that God is not working in that way anymore. The fact remains, God is real, and He can work in many ways if we truly believe.

As far as the Bible being full of contradictions, it may seem to be the case but only to people who don’t really understand the Bible. So, while many may say this they haven’t actually read or studied the Bible.  In the places where there are contradictions, have you studied them? Are they real contradictions or are they just differences? For example, I have a couple books here that are both written by the same authors.

One is a huge book called When Critics Ask, and another titled, When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook of Christian Evidences. Both of these books which answer these supposed contradictions of the Bible, and many more on my shelves (like Hard Sayings, or Is God a Moral Monster) which deal with more difficult passages of Scripture. The Bible is made up of many different books, genres, literary styles, etc. Not everything is to be taken literally, and unless you understand these basic things, you can’t hope to understand the Bible. But skeptics read the Bible as if it is Lord of the Rings or something, just one genre, what you see is what it means. Not so, and that is the problem.

I don’t know about Hillsong, so I can’t really speak to them. They are a worship group that loves Jesus, but how studied are they? How deep into apologetics have the dove? If Mr. Samson were to do a deep study into the faith, I guarantee he would find the answers that would make sense.

Science and Religion

Lastly, the argument that science has poked holes in the beliefs of all of the religions is not actually true. It has poked holes in many of the religions. It’s poked holes in certain aspects of religion and it should, because we don’t want to believe superstitions. Science should absolutely call out any parts of faith that are superstitious and don’t make sense. But faith also prevents science from scientism, becoming a God itself.

Science is wonderful, but it would be foolish to believe that it has all the answers when it doesn’t.  Faith and science, when considered properly, complement each other.  In fact, the Catholic Church loves science. I know Mr. Sampson is not a Catholic, but I wonder if he knows that without the Catholic Church, we would not have science as we know it today because it was it was the Catholic Church who encouraged and forwarded science for over a thousand years throughout the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church even invented the Scientific method.

As a matter of fact, there are 35 craters on the moon named after Catholic priests because of their extraordinary mathematical and scientific achievements. It was the Catholic Church that started the university systems and classified different subjects, including science. This is the foundation of so much of the knowledge that we have today. So, while I can’t speak for all religions, I can say that for Catholics, science and religion have always gone together. The majority of scientists over the past 2000 years have been Christian. They believed in God and they believed in science, and did not see a contradiction.

Another thing you might be surprised to know that the Catholic Church has one of the oldest and largest scientific observatories on the face of the planet. The Vatican Observatory was built in 1578, and has a long history of science-based achievements. You also might be interested to learn that the Catholic Church is not against evolution, or that evolution is not a problem when you understand the Bible correctly (Again, genre, literary style, etc). Nor is the Catholic Church against the Big Bang. Some people say they don’t believe in God because they think life began with the Big Bang. Well, guess what? A Catholic priest, Father Georges Lemaitre, was the first to theorize the Big Bang in 1929.  He believed in God and he was a great scientist, like most scientists throughout history. 

Gregor Mendel, the father of modern genetics was an Catholic monk. In fact, one of the greatest scientists on earth right now, who even Richard Dawkins, the fundamentalist, gives crazy respect to, is a man named Francis Collins. He’s a Christian and the author and founder of the Human Genome Project, the first one to map out the entire human genome. He is among the greatest scientists on earth and he is very open about the fact that his work has led him to a deep belief in God. He wrote an interesting book about why he believes.

Anthony Flew, one of the most famous atheist in the last century converted to believe in God too toward the end of his life. He also has a book as well. There are plenty of books, and there is a lot of proof to show that science and religion are not opposed to each other. That’s a myth. Many well respected scientists believe in God. The Catholic Church keeps a list of their scientist priests and there are hundreds and hundreds of them because the Church is not threatened by science. Science and religion can go together. They can coexist, just as they have since the beginning of time.

So, Mr. Sampson, if you ever read this, I would love to sit down with you, and I would love to talk to you about any and every question you have.

I would love to listen to you, your struggles, and the issues you are having. I believe we could have a sincere, brotherly, discussion. It would be a breath of fresh air too because I am tired of people not providing good answers. For now, I will pray for you, and I know that you will return someday after your journey.  I believe in my heart, and I hope and pray, that you will be a prodigal son coming back faithful and more fervent than ever.

The Catholic Church is the deepest and most logical religion on this planet with the most amount of answers. Has anyone looked up the 5 Proofs of St. Thomas Aquinas for the existence of God. They are fantastic! I would challenge anybody who is struggling with faith to look up the answers they seek with an open heart and an open mind. You might be surprised what you learn!

I will be praying for Mr. Sampson and all of Hillsong Church as they cope with this loss., I would also be remiss if I didn’t invite all of the Hillsong members to the truth – the fullness of truth that Jesus started 2000 years ago, the Catholic Church.

Thank you for reading. Feel free to share this with others and to offer any questions you yourself have. God bless!

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Losing Your Faith? Struggling with Faith? (Helpful tips for getting it back!)

Lost your faith? Perhaps you feel you are in the process of losing it now, or maybe you know someone who is struggling with their faith life. There are a variety of reasons people lose faith, struggle in their relationship with God, or fall away. In this article, we will offer some helpful tips for getting your faith back and working through the particular issues you are struggling with in.

Faith is not a feeling!

The first helpful tip to know is that faith is not a feeling. In other words, your emotions are not always, or usually, reliable. Is your dilemma that you aren’t sure whether you feel like you believe in God? Instead of trying to get the feeling, you can choose to believe based on evidence. Just like love, faith is also a mature choice.

Here is an example; if you get married someday, it should be because you know that a person is right for you, and that they will love your forever, have the ability to sacrifice for you and serve you, even when it’s difficult. You know that they will be a great spouse, help you raise kids, and kiss those little ones to bed each night.

However, there are the highest of highs in marriage and the lowest of lows.  There are days when you do not think its possible to love someone more, and there are times when spouses will wonder if they even made the right decision to get married. This is why I say feelings aren’t always reliable. They come and go and change constantly. But truth doesn’t change.

Love is a decision, a choice. If we defined love based on how we feel, couples would be getting divorced and remarried all the time. In fact, some of the greatest acts of love happen when a husband or a wife does not feel the sunshine and happiness, but they rise above their moods and emotions to honor the vows made on the altar. The greatest love you give is when you do not feel like it. Love is a choice, an informed decision!

It is the same with faith! Apply these thoughts to a relationship with God.  Just as married couples should not base the reality of their marriage or love on how they feel, even if those feelings go one for a while, so we should not allow our feelings to qualify God’s existence or make us lose faith. Sometimes it is easy to feel strongly connected to our faith and other times it’s difficult. Sometimes, God tests us to see if we will be faithful even if we don’t feel Him. There are many different reasons for the fluctuations in how connected we feel, which brings me to my next thought.

Why do you think you are losing faith?

Do you know the reason that your faith is diminishing? Take some time to reflect on this honestly. See if you can come up with a core reason (or reasons) for why you are struggling. If you can pinpoint a specific reason then you can usually pull up the root, examine it, and deal with it.

For example, are you being attacked by others for your beliefs? Are you being made fun a lot? Are others telling you that God is not real? Do other people’s opinions creep into your mind and cause doubt?

If so, the answer is easy. You merely need to study your faith and learn the proper answers. You can read the articles on this website or check out our YouTube Channel where you will find great resources to help things make sense for you.

We have a great resource in The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which can be accessed for free on the internet. It is so helpful to be able to look up what the Church really says about the things people often think or say about our faith. When you are well educated in the faith, it’s easier to deal with these sorts of problems, and things begin to make sense. Start researching those doubts today on good Catholic sites, or with good Catholic books, and you will be on your way!

Hows Your Prayer Life?

Now, on to another important question: Are you praying every day? If you do not pray often, if you have quit praying, and especially if you don’t go to church, of course you are not going to feel close to God or even feel like He’s there at all. If a husband never sees his wife, and simultaneously hangs out with other beautiful women, he will not feel close to his wife anymore. We always need to stay close to the Source.

You’re not going to feel close to anyone you don’t spend time with. An Our Father and a Hail Mary does not cut it. We are talking about the need for a deep relationship with God.

If this is true in your life, the answer is not too difficult. Pray! Pray deeply. Start taking time to pray a Rosary, read the Bible, and/or just talk to God each night for a while. Don’t just toss prayers up to God randomly. Think of Him close to you, visualize Him, and talk from your heart, not your head.

What would happen if you missed your turn driving? Would you just keep going the wrong way? Or, would you turn around and try to drive back as quick as possible? If you’ve strayed away from God, turn back as quick as possible and begin a prayer life again. This will help you.

Struggle with praying and getting close to God? Check out our YouTube Series that will teach you everything you need to know to get you on your way!

Pain and Suffering!

Another common problem is that something bad might be going on in your life right now. It is not uncommon to wonder how God can love us if He allows difficult things to happen. Sometimes, it may seem as if He is not listening. Maybe you’ve had a loved one you were close to die. Maybe some sort of catastrophe has happened in your life or to somebody you care about. During these times we might wonder where God is. Sometimes people feel like they are asked to suffer more than the people they know, and in turn have a difficult time believing in God.

Of course, this is not everybody’s reaction. Some people run to God during trials. In their pain, they cling to Him and they trust Him. That’s great! Hopefully, we all will get to that place.  But for the other people who have their faith shaken when catastrophes occur – they wonder where God is.  If this is your struggle and the root cause of your crisis of faith, then that’s what you need to deal with.

You may need to ask for the help of others, and you definitely need to pray more than ever, even when it’s hard. The Lord knows what you’re feeling, so don’t be afraid to talk to Him about it! When we are doubting, we need to pray and study more than ever.

Blessed Margaret of Costello was born lame and was imprisoned by her parents because they did not like her, and she was eventually brought to a far away land and abandoned by them. She suffered greatly, and perhaps, might have a reason to get mad at God for the injustice. But she ran TO God and prayed hard and often. Her faith was the only thing that got her through, and in the end, God worked powerfully in her life. She could levitate, help people, and even do miracles! Run to God in the storms of life, not away from Him!

Maybe there is no reason

Perhaps there is no reason at all. Maybe you cannot think of a cause for your struggle with faith. It’s possible that you just find it hard to believe right now, but there is no clear reason behind it. If you’ve looked into your heart, examined your conscience, and still cannot put your finger on a cause, that could be something too. Sometimes it is a temptation from the devil, or sometimes, it’s just a trial from God to test our faith we have to endure.  Will you continue to believe even when He tests you?

In fact, our faith can often grow if we persevere through these challenging times when it is difficult to feel close to God. He knows when we struggle, and He is closer than He feels. This has been true in my own life in times of darkness. Sometimes it feels like the darkness will never end, but it always does if we stay faithful. Stay the course. Be patient. Jesus is still with you!

You may wonder how, or even why.  It’s so much easier to believe when we feel great and are having exciting experiences and encounters with God.  We know that He’s there when our lives are full of blessings, consolations, and powerful moments. It cannot always be that way, though. 

Think of it like this, just as our parents give us room to grow as we get more mature, sometimes God pulls away a little bit and gives us some room, too.  When your mother stopped tying your shoes for you, did you think she stopped caring, or were you proud that you could do it by yourself?  When God trusts you to “tie your own shoes” spiritually, are you still going to believe in Him?  This is a time to say, “God, I’m not leaving, I’m not going anywhere, I’m still going to pray, I’m still going to follow you, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if I don’t quite get it all at this moment. I’m going to persevere because I have faith in you.” That’s beautiful and perfect faith. We can praise God in difficult times just like we can still show love in relationships and in marriage even when we don’t feel like it.

Don’t give up!

You probably noticed that no matter the reason, the easy fix for keeping the faith is to continue praying, and study your faith. If you love God, you will have times when you struggle, because spiritual warfare is real. Arm yourself, learn your faith, go deeper, look up the answers to your questions, watch our YouTube videos for inspiration, and visit websites that are solidly Catholic. Read Catholic books, and read books on the existence of God like the one I wrote. I have book recommendations in this video or you can find us on social media if you prefer to ask there.  You can also ask us questions in the comments to this post.

So, pray, go to church, read the Bible, study your faith, and be encouraged!  When we wash clothes, until the washing machine cycle ends, everything seems chaotic and a mess, but in the end, it comes out clean.  You are going to have these struggles and doubts, but they end. The sun always comes out from behind the clouds, and, if you stay close to God, your faith will return stronger than ever. 

I have other videos about how to trust God, how to run to Him, and how to pray. If you are struggling with any of those go to our YouTube Channel and check them out. I really think they can be helpful, and a light during dark times if you are struggling with your faith.

If you have any questions, or any specific problems, doubts, or struggles that you are encountering, please reach out and I will reply. May God bless you!

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