My parents raised us to be something between nonreligious to Catholic. Until I was an adult, I was never sure whether my father believed in God. I do believe that I learned about evolution and biology at a young age which made me feel uncertain about whether God was real and what role He played in the universe.
In my early years we did attend a college Catholic church which appeared to focus on social justice. Sometime before middle school we moved and started attending a nice, large suburban, family focused Catholic church. (Looking back, it seemed like a very politically moderate and benign church compared to Catholic churches I’ve visited in the last few years which were very conservative and old-school!) I requested baptism in the Catholic church during middle school since it had been left undone for family reasons and was later confirmed.
LOSING MY WAY
I was involved with the Catholic Church through high school but I began to feel I was “losing my way” to sin, the World and maybe the Devil. For me, something was missing spiritually for me in Catholicism. I reasoned that if God and the Bible stories were real, that people should be seeing miracles, dancing in the aisles and shouting “Hallelujah!” Many people in my Catholic church just sat there quietly and there were many young people there that I was sure partied every weekend so I felt that maybe the reality of God was lacking in the Catholic church. (Now I see things much differently, but I am trying to describe my thoughts as a 14-year-old!)
Also, I found that I continued to sin. Somewhere along the line, I absorbed the idea that once a Christian is following Jesus they would be filled with the power to stop sinning. In my Catholic church, I felt powerless to stop sinning. However, from what I had seen depicted by the fundamentalists and in autobiographical Christian books like “The Cross and The Switchblade” (David Wilkerson), “Freed for Life” by Rita Nightingale and “Chasing the Dragon” it appeared that when a person “really met Jesus,” became born-again and spirit-filled that they suddenly were freed from sin and addiction.