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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

How Do You Overcome Doubts?

Neela Kale Answers:

doubt5Q: How do you overcome doubts? After attending college again, and being surrounded by atheists (with good arguments), how do you deal with doubts? I am a believer, and I still believe. This seems to be an isolating place to be.

Remember the father begging Jesus to heal the mute boy in Mark 9:24: “I do believe; help my unbelief!” Sometimes the line between unbelief and faith is razor-thin. While you may feel isolated right now, you are in fact in excellent company. Some of our Catholic tradition’s greatest figures — from the apostle Thomas to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta — wrestled with doubt. Serious intellectual inquiry, such as you are undertaking as a college student, should lead you to seriously question your assumptions about yourself and the world. You will emerge with a stronger faith than if you refuse to entertain the questions. It might help you to find a good study group of people who take their faith seriously and are willing to ask questions with you. The campus ministry center at your college would be a good place to start.

The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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  • Mike

    How Do You Overcome Doubts? Simple: Find the truth. John the Baptist even after he said what he said about Jesus then Bapitized Jesus, then later he too doubed that Jesus the one He said that he wasn’t even worthy to untie his sandles then went into a state of doubt, he doubted that Jesus was who he said he was. Jonh the Baptist had to ask Jesus for the truth of the matter to remove the doubt.

  • George

    Pray for God to show you His presence. He sometimes will actually do that. But not many are open to that kind of relationship with God, and they are not really open to seeing and hearing Him so they don’t even ask.
    The testimony that the Apostles gave by giving their own lives(11 out of 12 were executed because of their preaching) is very compelling. If they had been lying about what they claim they saw from Jesus, many of them would have recanted to save their lives.
    If you study the history of christianity you’ll see that the Roman Catholic Church is not the true church. The true church are the Orthodox churches, they do have the line back to the Apostles and resisted Satan’s temptation to take the place of God.
    Your faith will be strengthened by study, but you will also leave the RCC after you do it.

    • George

      @Mike. Yes, I know about the schism. That is when the Roman Catholics decided to split away from the church, and make official some innovations they had been cooking up for a while. That is how all the different heretics have left the church to start their own thing. That is how we became Orthodox, because the rest went off and started their own unorthodox churches based on their innovations.
      The bishop successor of the Apostle Peter is in Antioch happily in communion with the other bishops of the Orthodox church.
      We pray for all the churches to one day reunite with us in Orthodoxy.

      • gooder1

        Early Church history is clear that Peter was martyred in Rome, and that Clement succeeded him. But I agree with you that we all look forward to the day the Church in the East and West reunites. We have become a poor witness to our Lord’s Last Supper plea that they all be one.

      • Mike

        not to nit pick too much but in what you said here ” Orthodoxy of beliefs that have remained constant since the time of Jesus.”

        that is not a true statement — it is because they have not been “constant” since the time of Jesus, most of the beliefs about Jesus and everything around him and about him came after Jesus left. that is why the Church had its meetings to decided what to believe in and what not to believe in, what to say is true and what to say is not true, but not necessary true, will it effect the persons salvation if they still believe it? ( I would hope is what they had in mind when they said a few things that are suppose to be true when they are not).

        they had a few of these meetings over the years actually.

  • Lawrence

    Sometimes when you think you are in the wrong place, the Lord has you in the exact right place. As a Believer sometimes when we think we need to be feed the word is actually when we need to be the person who is feeding the word. We have to preach the word of God, you don’t need them they need you. Stand fast in your faith and live right,

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