Hey man,I don't even know where to begin.
My life was completely turned upside down in 2018. I was a mess. I had no God, no religious footing. I knew only my passions.
In 2019 I saw E. Michael Jones on America First with Nicholas J. Fuentes. Dr. Jones said that the empty, disaffected feeling that young men felt today was their hearts yearning for God. He said the remedy was to become Catholic.
I went to RCIA and for a number of reasons it truly seemed like it was meant to be. During RCIA I found Taylor Marshall and the TradCath sphere. That immediately made more sense to me than the Novus Ordo stuff I was getting at weekly mass and RCIA.
I had such zeal. I bought so many Catholic books. I went down so many Catholic rabbit holes. I joined Catholic Match. I was certain I was going to find a Trad Cath wife and get married and have a family. I started following Roosh. I went to one of his talks. I was so happy for his conversion. I didn't really know ANYTHING about Orthdoxy; I just viewed them as brothers in Christ who had a few disagreements.
Then I got sick. And I stayed sick. And then I got worse, and worse. I had two PCR nasal swabs before I knew better. I got worse still.
When the Churches opened up again in May 2020, I was confirmed. I went to a Diocesan TLM. I kept reading about the faith.
God freed me from some major sin, but I continue to struggle with other habitual sin. I feel wretched. I don't feel worthy of the Eucharist. I develop a fear that I'm receiving Our Lord unworthily and that it is causing me physical illness and bodily decay.
- Vatican II made me uncomfortable.
- Francis made me uncomfortable.
- Seeing various Popes making freemasonic signs made me uncomfortable.
- Learning about JP2's ecumenical prayer meetings made me uncomfortable? (He kissed a Koran... what?)
- Why is JP2 a Saint?
- Why is Paul VI a Saint?
- Why is John the 23rd a Saint?
- The Charismatic Catholic Renewal made me uncomfortable.
- Međugorje made me uncomfortable.
- How can I ever make equal restitution for all my sins?
- Good spiritual direction is incredibly hard to come by and I feel like I'm floundering. I trying to figure things out on my own and I'm making a complete mess of it.
I see Jay Dyer post a video refuting Tim Flanders and Taylor Marshall. I understand almost nothing they discuss because I'd never looked into the East/West schism. I haven't read any canons. But a seed is planted.
Then I watch the Roosh Hour with Brother Augustine. That opens up the can of worms.
I'm sicker than I've ever been. I think my heart is failing. I continue to go to my TLM, but I stopped going to Confession and stopped receiving the Eucharist. I no longer know what is true. If the Roman Catholic Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking of the sacraments while I'm in doubt. If the Orthodox Church is true, I don't want to offend God by partaking in the sacraments of a heretical Church.
But what about the Rosary? Fatima? Lourdes? Our Lady of Guadalupe? What about all the Roman Catholic saints and Eucharistic miracles? What about the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich and Venerable Mary of Agreda? What about Fulton Sheen and Padre Pio? Therese of Lisieux, Teresa of Avila, Mother Teresa, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Blessed Miguel Pro? What about the efficacy of exorcism in the Catholic Church?
- I've done enough reading to seriously doubt Vatican I and the dogma of Papal infallibility.
- I've never been to an Orthodox liturgy, but I hear they are very reverent (which rings true in my book)
- The fasting and asceticism in the Orthodox Church seem much more proper to me too.
At the same time, after reading about Elder Joseph the Hesychast... well he's certainly a holy saint too.
I just don't want to die outside the true Church. And I really don't think I have much time left to produce fruit for Christ and wrench myself out of my sloth, my pride and my gluttony.
I need to go to confession. I haven't been in 3 weeks now, but is that Catholic Sacrament even efficacious if I'm in doubt? How does Confession work in the Orthodox Church.
The Catholic Church accepted my infant baptism in the Presbyterian Church, but is that even a true baptism if the Orthodox Church is the true church?
Has God been working in me at all or am I just dreaming stuff up?
Are there any converts from Traditional Catholicism here?
I'm just lost. I don't even know what I need. If you've made it through this long, muddled post and are moved to share any information or guidance that might put me on firmer ground with Our Lord, I'll be so very grateful.
First of all I'm an Orthodox inquirer coming from a secular background so I don't have too much to say about the differences between the three Christian schools of thought. What I do know however is that usually people go from protestantism to catholicism to end up at Orthodoxy as the final truth. Some need steps inbetween, personally I'm planning of going straight Orthodoxy for protestantism I can't take seriously for basic theological reasons (there's just too much to poke holes in let's be honest) and the Catholic church is way too wordly for me, I see it more as a powerstructure based on money/power and worldly affairs than a religious institution. That being said I do respect TradCath, but there's one step further into coming to the truth and that is Orthodoxy.
What I would advice you in general is to take it easy on yourself. As long as what you're doing is in good conscience, you're on your way. No need of beating yourself up. Revelation goes in phases. All of us learned the truth over time, whether that's the whole ceaujeauna nonsense, or the right school of thought with regard to God, or the material truth/redpill. It takes time man.
You seem like a zealous man on your way and you've already passed a lot of hurdles man. Keep it up, give yourself some credit. Remember, despair/depression is a grave sin for you don't trust in God to guide you on where you must be, regardless of whether you know now where you'll end up (none of us know frankly) trust that you're on His way. For me personally over the last 5 years I thought almost on a weekly basis that my life was absolutely going down the gutter, in hindsight however realizing that these painful/sad/depression ridden things were what I needed to bounce out of it, see another fault in myself and take a step further to where I am now. Suffering gets us where we must be. May very well be that God now beats your hands to make you make your hands move from the wheel that you're holding now so tightly, and give all your trust to Him.
All best with your health mate, see that as a chance to grow too. Suffering is growth, nothing pushes ourselves to where we must be without suffering for we would lay on a beach doing not much instead of pursuing and trusting our God given mission on this earth.