I want to start by saying I really dislike the Catholic Church. I was raised in a very active Catholic family and was very involved in Catholic Christianity up until pretty recently in my life in fact. I stopped attending mass weekly a year ago (I was about 22), but I am trying to start again because I liked going to show God I still had faith in him, even if I didn’t have faith in the institution surrounding me.
There was a Catholic organization on campus that was at every mass in college. I honestly think this is one thing that contributed to me disliking Catholicism. Not only was everyone there fairly conservative and unaccepting of those who might disagree with the Church (gay people, feminists, etc), but the masses were just unfulfilling. Guitars and ‘worship and praise’ hymns really turned me off to Mass. I could get a more fulfilling experience reading from the Bible at home with some icons and incense. I did miss the Eucharist though.
I found myself wanting a more traditional experience so I started trying to go to the Eastern Catholic church near campus. I didn’t have a car and it was far to walk so I didn’t make it that often. After spending time away from Latin Catholic churches I realized how eerily unchanged my life was by not attending Mass. After that, I stopped going to Mass regularly.
A year later and I am thirsting for God and I am thirsting for Christian fellowship. So many of my friends are apathetic about religion, unbelievers, or even hostile opponents of religion. As a young gay person, it’s equally hard to be accepted in that community because I try to hold myself to certain standards of belief and conduct which so many my age and orientation do not identify with.
On the other hand, it’s so hard for me because I feel like a leper when I go into a church. I feel as if everyone can read through me. I don’t want to risk coming out to them because I don’t want to ruin any chance at Christian fellowship or friendship with them.
It feels as if I don’t fit in anywhere fully. I guess I just have to remind myself that Jesus Christ and lots of the prophets didn’t either.
My story doesn’t really come across as hopeful because it’s still a work in progress. Hopefully someone reading it might know they are not alone in their experience. You can email me if you want to share yours with me. I would also like to know maybe I’m not alone in this.