The Long Goodbye To Catholicism

My spiritual confusion has reached an all time pique. I went from someone who was unsure about his spirituality exploring Buddhism, Hinduism, to becoming Catholic again. I was so sure of myself because of the encounter I had and spiritual happenings that took place whilst on route to a deeper relationship with that.

Now I’ve gradually lost my interest over the years. I used to go to Mass every day or week and studied everything book that I could find. Like all spiritual beginners I grabbed all the icons and crucifixes, books and necklaces one can find.

Not only that but I was interested in actually practicing the faith. The encounter I had turned my attitude around 360 degrees. What may be odd to some but not to those who are spiritually tuned in, is that mystical experiences does not mean you wont lose the run of yourself and take a nosedive in your relationship with God.

That’s whats happened me. After a while I began to convince myself that what I saw, felt and experienced and the mark I’ve been left with afterwards was and continues to be all in my head. I’ve done this so I can somehow escape this Church which I feel no longer serves me or my existing children’s spiritual growth.

Other days I really wished I never had any encounter and could return back to my life of what I considered ordinary living. I played guitar, sang and I went to the pub every night and had plenty of people to hang out with.

I always considered myself capable of major wrong doing but not as bad as the atheist with 666 written on his forehead down the road. Why didn’t the Lord reach out and find him? Why did he have to come and bother me all of a sudden and what makes me so special that he had to do what he did?

All these thoughts run through my brain and there are times when I become overwhelmed.

Then I get introduced to the Orthodox church more and more. I feel so rested in that church. Whenever I’m in a Catholic church or group I feel agitated and unable to find rest in it. It was never that way before and I could withstand any amount of modernist rubbish thrown at me, but as time progressed I became increasingly angry towards all things Catholic.

Even so, saying goodbye was hard to do so I began to make one last attempt to quietly deal with what happened me. I rang the local diocese and asked to see an exorcist and go through whatever procedures necessary. The lady told me I’d have to explain it to my immediate parish priest, and if he felt strongly enough about it he’d have to represent me for an exorcism.

In between trying to make this arrangement I met one priest who said it wasn’t from God. Great I thought, I finally have some sort of answer and will have this sorted in no time but nothing came from it as I realized inappropriate help was being offered that raised a red flag for me.

Then I went to the immediate parish priest who having listened to everything from my climb to my fall and to my existing state and how I’m convinced it’s not of God he said ”Stephen…what you have is ”X” and it’s from God. Your whats known as a ”X” soul and I cannot give you exorcism or represent you because you show no signs of the demonic”.

I pleaded with him and asked him not to be so naive because my daily life does not reflect that of a holy person and the fact that I even have a love for the Orthodox church should be enough of a tell tale sign. His response was ”I can only represent you if you show signs of the demonic but you don’t. ” ”You have lost your way and now it’s time to accept what has been given you and to move on and continue to live your life and come back to God and his church, its as simple as that.”

Another priest also felt it was from God and said that the reason I am in the current state I am is because I’ve no spiritual guide, nobody to guide me.

I’m at the stage now where I’m totally lost. In the beginning when it first happened I was so sure of myself it was from God and wanted to tell everyone but priests would tell me it is not from God. Now I go and tell priests its not from God and they tell me it is.

Either way I’m still here with nobody to help or represent me. It makes me even more angry towards Catholicism because you see so many people following all these people in my country who believe they’re having all sorts of apparitions when they’re most likely not and yet here I am in my house for 8 years (with no followers thank you Jesus haha) sitting with something that I’ve been ignoring for the last 7 years very open to the idea of not being from God. I would love to get an answer so I can get on with my daily life but unable to get any help whatsoever.

The only people who know are my parents, priests, my wife and that’s it. I’m reluctant to tell anyone as I’ve realized its of no spiritual benefit to anyone so there’s no point. It’s also spiritually too much for some to handle.

So the goodbye to Catholicism is taking longer than expected. I would love for nothing but to enter the Orthodox church and be rested. I feel like the agitated King Saul whose agitated moods could only be soothed by the playing of the Harp. I feel like this every time I visit an Orthodox Church. The Orthodox church may not think it, but they’ve no idea how much they please God.

The Catholic church whilst I continue to believe it is the one true Church, has become an absolute circus. I really don’t like it and so I find my peace by just attending confession and Liturgy. Any other invites that require social gatherings in the church I always avoid as the more I interact with it, the more I become disillusioned with it.

Back to my predicament there is hope though. I was passed to this guy who apparently has the gift of reading hearts. I know, sounds ridiculous and I’d probably not approach people like this but I’m desperate at this stage. I email him and he tells me he has a waiting list of phone calls ( he phones you and talks with you over the phone) and so I’ve to wait a whole year. Whether or not he’s the real deal I don’t know. Don’t care at this stage as I’m desperate for answers. I’m afraid that I’m gonna die and never know. that’s my biggest bug bear.









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3 thoughts on “The Long Goodbye To Catholicism

  1. Chris

    Being raised up in a hodgepodge of various protestant denominations and seeing some fairly obvious contradictions between their various canons and what was written in scripture, I can relate a little to what you are saying. I understand that my experience differs from yours as you were raised with a sacramenal understanding of what the Church is supposed to be whereas the Calvinist and Anabaptist put little to no value in that aspect of the churches function, but the obvious conflict between sola scriptura and yet at the same time having an entire theology written to justify that belief was (is) almost laughable if it were not so tragic in its consequences.
    I think what it took for me to become Orthodox was the realization that western culture is in fact an assault on what true Christianity is supposed to be. When all the history you learn growing up is praise of the enlightenment and how the West saved civilization, etc… then naturally we must be correct in our theology as well.
    Looking at the results is all it takes. While the Roman Catholics and protestants have continued to innovate their respective understanding of the faith, the Orthodox have fought to preserve it. Coming to the conclusion that the proof was in the pudding was painful. My family is pretty conservative and my decision to convert, while respected as a private matter between God and myself, has certainly put a strain on us, especially at Pascha.
    I sought the truth with prayer and deep misgivings. I reached out to some Protestant clergy to help “save me” from becoming Orthodox, they offered the same tripe I had read again and again in blogs and websites online. Honestly most were loaded for bear when it came to dissing Roman Catholicism but frankly they rarely knew what they were talking about re Eastern Orthodoxy.
    I finally decided to put off my cultural bias and accept the truth, this (EO) was the Church Christ founded and on top of that the West is and has been at war with this truth for centuries up to the present. Western capitalism seeks the same results as communism or any other worldly idiology, to deceive man from the truth, whether by killing God or disguising itself as God.
    I am not qualified or worthy to offer advice. I can only relate my own experience and empathize with the difficulty in leaving the faith of one’s youth. I think often of my father, a devout protestant and certainly a man who firmly believed and put his faith in Jesus Christ to accept his repentance. Hardline orthodoxy would say he died unredeemed since he was outside the Church. While I obviously believe in the Catholicity of Orthodoxy I also hold onto the grace and mercy extended by our Lord and do not accept this.
    My priest says God judges you by what you know, the measure being what you do with what truth you have been exposed to. For me that meant that knowing what I now know left me no choice but to become Orthodox. Sounds to me like you may be in a similar position.

    God bless you, and most importantly, Christ is risen!

    • Hi Chris, Thank you for opening up your heart to me. It is rare anyone does that here and my blog is often a quiet one.

      When it comes to the understanding of the faith, both roman Catholics and protestants are entirely different to one another because they don’t have the same faith.

      Catholics have not invented anything new but as the years progress our understanding of doctrines develop through time and so the Spirit is always moving whereas in the Orthodox Church it remains stagnant and many are not united in the Orthodox church in their understanding of the canons so much so that they cannot even meet together for a council without an argument.

      We have to remember that theology is not stagnant, the Spirit is always moving. Unlike Protestants Catholic church still maintains its faith and morals however, in a church of over 1.2 billion, to expect everyone to share the same understanding of the one faith from clergy to laity would be like throwing paint at the sky and expecting it to make a difference.

      The faith is preserved, but what has changed is the liturgy and theology surrounding that by a few progressives in the church who continue to contribute to the compromise with secularism.

      The Orthodox on the other hand have kept to the traditions, they’ve always had the finest of Liturgies especially evident post vatican II but there are somethings they have not preserved. They have abandoned a 2000 year old dogma on contraception, something which the Catholic Church has maintained to this day as well as Papal Infallibility which I still cannot move from because of my reading of the early fathers with the bible. I cannot move from that.

      In addition to this the encounter I’ve had with God has also grounded me. In fact, I’m 99.999% certain that had this not occurred I’d be Orthodox a lot sooner. So often what I like to do is pretend its all in my head and so I can go ahead and become Orthodox. But it’s not like that. As you can see, I’ve sought help but always have been rejected as perhaps another overtly religious looney or some priests are naive and believe it and won’t investigate it any further. It’s frustrating for me, because if you knew me, you’d see what a psychologically normal, well balanced and ordinary man I am and that I consider myself to be.

      Its not that the priests are a problem, they’re only human, its just I’ve yet to meet the right one and in my diocese which is riddled with bad apples, I’ve never really had the opportunity.

      I’m glad you find a lot of peace in the Orthodox church, as it happens so do I. Like St.Peter, James and John who climbed the mountain and wanted to stay there in their ecstasy, I do too. But I have to come down from the mountain and understand that it’s only those who endure to the end that will be saved, and so I endure it not for my sake alone but Christs and the world as well.

      It is my hope you continue to follow me on my blog and be with me on my journey as it happens.

      God bless.

  2. ossoryoverseas

    Stephen, you should find an Orthodox spiritual father to help you. From the Orthodox perspective, they are the True Church, and that’s why the Liturgy and traditions are still intact. From the Orthodox perspective, there have been various innovations from Rome over the centuries, and thus the Protestants felt the need to reform. But all of this history is ancillary to your spiritual health. Talk to an Eastern Orthodox priest, and seek guidance about your journey. Find the rest and wellspring you’ve been seeking. You’ll have my prayers. I’ve found my permanent rest here in Holy Orthodoxy. And that’s what it is: the pursuit of holiness. Everything outside of it looks and feels like crazytown.

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