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“Ask a Priest: What If I Was Wrong in Converting?”
Q: I converted to Catholicism in 2020 and have no regrets! However, recently I started having the same thoughts I had before converting: “What if I’m wrong?” Before becoming Catholic I was passionately convinced that Judaism was true, but came across info that made me reconsider. Theology isn’t the issue for me; I’ve studied long enough to believe the claims made by Catholicism, but I often struggle with trusting myself and accepting decisions I’ve made. It bothers me that I could be so passionate about one religion, then change to another. How do I deal with this so I can be fully content with the decision I’ve made? I really dislike that these thoughts have come back. – O.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s good to hear that you converted to Catholicism.
At one level your baptism and/or confirmation and reception of Communion have transformed you deeply. Yet, you seem to find yourself struggling with an old problem of confidence and being secure in your decisions.
The problem of confidence could be linked to your self-image and other struggles. A short e-mail might not be the best venue for addressing those issues.
As for acceptance of decisions you have made, it’s good to remember that we rarely have 100% certainty in the things we decide. Sometimes we simply have to do our best to research and pray over a matter, and then make our best decision and leave things in God’s hands.
That said, it’s not unknown that people who enter the Church with great fervor might end up drifting away after a few years. This isn’t to imply that this is an imminent danger in your case. Nevertheless, your struggle is worth addressing.
There could be various factors at work.
For one, the devil is always up to his tricks, trying to put a wedge between us and Christ. The evil one loves to sow doubts and stir up confusion. A good rule of thumb is never to change the course of your life when you are anxious or confused. The Holy Spirit respects us and works in us when we are calm.
Second, it’s crucial to have a solid prayer life and sacramental life. There is no substitute here. So, it’s good to evaluate whether you are dedicating enough time to prayer. A good prayer life can include a daily rosary, as well as morning, midday and night prayers.
Sacramental confession on a monthly basis is a good minimum to strive for if you want to keep growing in the spiritual life. Having a solid, regular confessor can help, too.
Third, it’s good to see if you are actively integrating your faith in your daily life. That is, do you seek out friends who share the faith? Are you involved in a Church-related apostolate? It’s easier to live our faith when we are actively working to build up the Church and to evangelize others.
Integrating your faith into daily life includes very practical things, too: the kind of clothes you wear; the media you consume (do you listen to Catholic radio, for instance?); the books on your shelves (see the Catholic Information Center suggestions); the topics of your conversations. Helpful, too, could be doing an annual retreat.
You might want to take some of the above to prayer and see where the Holy Spirit is leading you.
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Having second doubts of the converting from Judaism to Catholicism? or to those of Protestant Christian faith practices to the Catholic faith practices… FIRST, take not of the difference between the word FAITH and FAITH PRACTICE. One’s faith ‘in practice’ (aka religion) is to draw a SOUL closer to knowing, loving and serving GOD (first)
That one has FAITH in that Supreme SPIRIT … is grace from God himself. (and the actual graces He provides are numerous as we grow our fleshly self to come to know God.) A GOD HONORING nation with authority that knows objective good (in all five societal institutions) FAMILY life … be one of the Judaic faith or Christian Faith practices, other than Catholic faith practice, Many liturgical protestant denominations are ‘near to’ the same beliefs as Catholics… being a child with two parents (mom and dad) who teach right and wrong actions and why good is to be chosen (to honor God) and school teachers who help us THINK (thinking’ is to use the mind, where the Holy Spirit, counselor comes to our aid) ALL THE GOOD strengthens THE FAITH that is given to a soul ‘unmerited’ BY THE GOD.
To change one’s diet of faith practices from Judaism to Christian of Catholic practices … is somewhat akin to when one goes on a diet … changing one’s food choices from fast food nutrition to the type of cooking that takes time, TO PREPARE, to COOK, and fully savor when eating. MMMM, eating healthy…. yes yes one says: I see it will make me feel better. BUT… of course our fleshly ‘self indulgent self’ is going to miss those
yummy snacks, soda, pasta, ‘easy food choices’ . . . OH MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE STAYED with what I enjoy.
When one CONVERTS from one faith practice (Judaism) to Christian in the fullness of faith (taking in all that is OF GO(O)D) Mary, Saints, Angels, Sanctified Grace through Sacrificial offering for REAL PRESENCE
by faith . . . oh my, it takes TIME (the child raised in Catholicism who receives FIRST Holy Communion will
obey what good parents say WILL BLESS them… but THE FAITH IN IT ALL… will take time to fully understand, and develop into SPIRITUAL MATURITY… BLESSED ARE THEY WHO PERSEVERE . . .
YOU MADE RIGHT CHOICE… stick with it, you will see the CONNECTION between the OLD testament
with THE NEW TESTAMENT and GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST. (and yes, for a time, you may need to give up
some friends of old ways) Pray for them, be friendly to them, but not do do SAME WAYS…(perhaps)
WORSHIP on Sunday, in the NEW TEMPLE . . . if Judaic, you will see many physical things appear same BUT
WITH A DIFFERENCE)
You made the right choice and keep in mind that Catholicism is the JUDAIC CHRISTIAN FAITH … old and
new Testaments of the Bible. (you haven’t left your Judaic roots, by the GRACE OF GOD, you have enhanced
what you did come to learn) STAY WITH IT… and as Father said: Join a faith group in the parish, (preferably a prayer group) Go on spiritual retreats, listen to EWTN, and whenever possible take in that real presence of CHRIST in the blessed bread. (WITH purity… aka no mortal sin active and no active venial sin… ie if sinning
venially (little lies, or impatience with others or self…yes confess in the Sacrament and do penance as
described, but also say the CONFITEOR at Mass with meaning … I confess to you God and to you brothers
and sisters (all say this in unified voice) REALIZE that WITH THE CHURCH there is SUPPORT to assist us
in weakness… JUST BY ATTENDING TO THE SACRAMENTAL GRACES… Communion and Confession.