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I've just recently joined these forums to seek answers and help.  I'm 15 year old Catholic (sort of) female and I would need help from someone who will understand me.  I've grown up in a good, Christian family since birth, which consists of just my mom and me.  I've been going to Catholic school since I was only 5 years old and have been consistently going to Mass every Sunday and once a week at school.  I would just ask my mother or Religious Ed. teacher for help, but I'm afraid if I tell them I'm losing faith, they'll judge me or get angry with me, so here I am, writing on a Christian forum.  Basically, I don't think I believe in God anymore.  But I want to.  I want to be able to fully trust and pray to Him, but I can't do it without some sort of doubt.  Since last year when I started my Confirmation training, I have put a lot of thought into my faith and where I stand and have found that I don't truly believe anymore, regardless of how often I go to Mass or how many religion classes I take.  Now, don't get me wrong, I WANT to be able to believe and I want to be able to confide in God but I just can't bring myself to believe that Jesus performed all these impossible miracles and rose from the dead.  Now, don't get me wrong, I WANT to believe, but my scientific and logical mind has gotten the better of me.  I keep thinking "Well you can't rise from the dead.  That's scientifically impossible!" or "Unless Jesus was some sort of magician, he couldn't have turned some fish and a loaf of bread into food for thousands," and I just don't want to think that way anymore.  Over the past 2 years, I have found my Religion textbook as just a book of fables and stories.  I have found the Church as a group of people with endless laws and restraints.  AND I DON"T WANT TO THINK LIKE THIS.  However, I will say this.  I have had an extreme fear of flying on planes ever since I was little.  So although I don't think I actively believe in God, I always find myself desperately saying every prayer I know in 2 different languages over and over again as the plane flies.  This always seems to make me calm down, but the thing is, I don't want to be one of those people that only believes in God when they need Him or are in trouble.  I don't want to be selfish enough to only pray when I want something.  I need to find a way to restore my beliefs, but I don't know how.  Reading the Bible hasn't helped me much.  I keep thinking that miracles are scientifically impossible and that doesn't help at all.  Please help me?  I'm in a tough point in my life where I really wish I had the faith enough to pray and actually believe in who I'm praying to.  Is there some way I can help myself to believe in God?  

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Hey Lina,

 

Consider Mark 9:24, where a father who's just seen his daughter healed in a miracle cries out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” This in mind, I encourage you to take an honest evaluation of yourself. If what you say is true, that you want to believe, and you're seeking it but find that your reason gets in the way--then I wouldn't worry too much. It's good to love truth, and in the end belief is a work of God. If God is true, then a person seeking Him genuinely should have no reason to fear doubt in the long run.

 

For you, personally, I think it would be helpful to consider first the mystery of science, and second the value of human experience.

 

On the first--take any given scientific law. What does it explain? How do we know it to be true? One billiard ball hits another, and we know by the laws of physics how the two balls will move. Can we explain why? Certainly we can reduce the interaction to the level of the balls' constituent parts, to the level of atomic and sub-atomic interaction, and beyond that to a model of interaction along a quantum theory. We can ask again--why should these parts behave the way they behave? And how do we know?

 

I'm not saying that God has to be invoked to explain this. What I am saying is that the world has always seemed sufficiently huge and complex to me, and that anything at all should be any particular way has never seemed scientifically explicable; it's a sort of brute fact. This has made the world seem at least full of possibility, rather than rigidly and narrowly defined.

 

On the second issue--How do you understand the value of other people? Are they possessed of dignity as human beings, and if so, where does that value come from? I'm not saying this as an argument--"you should believe in God because otherwise people lack value!" I'm just inviting reflection: how do you feel about people, and what's underlying that feeling?

 

It's old hat to recommend C.S. Lewis, but he is good for this sort of thing. He wrote a piece specifically addressing the naturalistic question--Miracles--but personally I recommend his work on human relationships, especially A Grief Observed. It helps to see the eternal in people, rather than to look for a proof in the stars, as it were.

 

I'll be praying for you Lina!

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