I was raised in a very Catholic household, but lately a bit of my once-strong Catholic identity has been peeling away. I haven't been to church since May, I'm questioning my thoughts on a lot of the Church's social doctrines, and I don't pray nearly as often as I used to.
I got some bad news from home recently about a friend, and only several days later did I even think to pray. Realizing that I had forgotten that astounded me, because in other times that would have been my first instinct. Trying to pray, however, felt no better. I felt weird asking for God's help--like a friend who hasn't called you back in months but suddenly needs a place to crash. I ended up calling my mom and asking her to pray, because I feel like my prayers have by now lost whatever potency they may have ever held.
If I'm going to be a lapsed Catholic, I want it to be a product of reading and honest questioning, investigating the philosophical arguments for Catholicism, really narrowing down what I agree with. Basically, I want to have done the legwork—not just have gotten lazy, which is pretty much what happened with going to church. Religion's a tricky thing. I know a lot of people struggle with this, and I'd love to hear about experiences from all sides of the argument. If you have any thoughts, stories, book recommendations, or anything else to share, I'd love to hear from you (or if you'd like me to share whatever recommendations I receive!). Thanks so much for reading.
New Haven, CT
P.S. If you're ever folding many sheets of paper (to make programs, for example), fold several at once, then separate them, stack them on top of each other, and press down on all of the folded edges together at once to make the initial crease sharp. Though it saves time, many people avoid trying to fold many sheets at once because the folds on the outer edge are never as crisp as you'd like them. But this technique gives you the best of both worlds: speed and sharpness.