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What do you think your life would be like now, assuming your life was continuing on the path you were on before you accepted the Faith? Where do you think you'd be? How do you think your life could have been described? What would be different?

Me, I'd guess my life would be radically different. Very radically different. I'd likely be living in the same house, with Ron, but I'd be a totally different person -- one given to huge swings of mood (something I'm prone to with the manic-depression and all, but with nothing to reign me in). I'd be miserable, I'd guess, since I was miserable before I accepted the Faith. I'm a natural "philosopher type" (though not trained in philosophy at all aside from a college course in Logic), and can't be still without having a deep sense of purpose and meaning. I was literally tortured by questions like "Why are we here? What is the purpose of all this? How can man be so different from the rest of the animal kingdom? How is it we're conscious at all? And rational? And religious by nature, in need of a sense of purpose? How can anything exist? Where'd it all come from?" etc. When you're manic-depressive and built like a philosopher, and if you get those "mixed states" that some of us are prone to, when the thoughts come at a million miles an hour and you can't -- you don't know what to DO --  it's as truly painful or awful as anything that can happen to the body (at least as compared to the physical pain I've experienced, which includes labor. Food poisoning probably comes the closest. In fact, food poisoning maybe even beat it, even though you know there'll be an end to that in a day or so LOL). With all THAT stuff, I might well be dead or have gotten myself into big trouble somewhere, somehow, given the things I used to do to escape or distract myself from the pain of all that. I might well have become "dissociated" and never come back from it. Things can be bad enough as things are today for me with regard to all that; without Christ, I'd be TOAST.

I'd probably drink much more alcohol than I do, which is a pretty rare thing for me to do nowadays (I have nothing against drinking whatsoever, but don't feel any great need to drink to escape any emotional anguish or anything.) (Well, I do have my few, blessedly rare moments yet...). Same goes for other drugs.

I wouldn't know what to teach my grandson aside from the basic academic stuff, and that would kill me.

I may well have not survived the death of my Mom, which devastated me for a good number of years.

I'm generally a positive person, really, at least when it comes to "the big picture." That certainly wouldn't be the case if I didn't have the Faith.

Politically, I'd be -- gosh, it's hard to say. I'd likely be a libertarian, but one bothered by the shallowness of standard libertarianism, its apparent lack of appreciation for human nature (including the religious impulse) and history, and its pretty flippant answers to questions like "what about the weak, sick, pregnant, kids, and elderly who aren't able to 'produce' enough to make a living?"

I'd probably be more fascinated than I already am by the occult -- but not have any teaching of the Church to rein me in and prevent me from exploring things that are not Catholically-kosher to explore (seances, ouija boards, tarot cards used not as a psychological tool but for divination, etc.).

I'd be much more shy than I naturally am, more focused on myself than I naturally am (and as most of us are, I believe). Now when I meet people, behind all the pleasantries and fun -- and self-consciousness, etc. -- I see souls who need what I have.

I wouldn't have made this website, and have no idea what I'd be doing as a mission for myself unless it were music and writing, neither of which I'm especially gifted at. I've always needed some big project, something to work on, or something to study, to focus all my energies on. Aside from music or writing, I have no idea what that would've been if I hadn't found Christ.

I likely wouldn't have come to a place of peace and forgiveness with a couple of people in my life, which would've left me devastated, in retrospect, since both of the people in question have died and I love them both very much.

I'd undoubtedly still be wanting to believe, would still be attracted to Catholicism as I had been all my life, but just thinking of it as a beautiful story that has good effects on the people who hear and believe it. And the "style" of Catholicism I'd have been -- was -- attracted to would be the trad style (minus the toxic stuff that some -- a blessedly relative few -- embrace).

If unmarried, I'd likely have a boyfriend or two and wouldn't refrain from, um, enjoying them physically. And often. LOL

In some ways, some things would be easier. I likely wouldn't feel so "at war" with the zeitgeist. Though I'd still see the world as screwed-up, and would likely see religion as an answer socially, my not believing would've had me seeing it all more as a necessary and pragmatically-prescribed "opiate for the masses" instead of the Truth that works on earth because it is the Truth. Even when I was a 17-year old agnostic, I had fantasies of running off to Bretagne, marrying some Catholic fisherman, and having 16 children. Sigh... Man, I SO wanted to believe. For SO long. (that's one reason why I have little patience for those who see the Faith as an intellectual accomplishment, a mere philosophy, rather than a supernatural gift. There are lots of people who WANT to believe, but simply don't. It's not a matter of mere "choice" like one faces when ordering from a menu. It's the supernatural and a soul coming together in some perfect way, at the right time, maybe after the soul in question has cleared out a few cobwebs and has made himself able to truly see. Animosity toward those who don't have that gift has no place in Catholic thinking. Pity, prayer, setting an example, and having any answers for questions they might ask are the proper responses.)

Anyway, that's my take about where I'd be. What about you other Fishies?


I would most likely be floating around the bizarre world of Protestantism, most likely some sort of Messianic Judaism or whatever their calling it these days. I honestly can't really imagine being anything but Catholic at this point, anything else and I would be lost, just wandering around aimlessly looking for some substance and meaning to hang on to with nothing to find. Looking back I feel as though my entire life was just drawing me to catholicism. My fascination for ancient Rome, art, architecture, the history of the world, philosophy. Catholicism really does complete me, before I Found it I was a little depressed which just doesn't fit me.  As you said I would be much more shy and I also would be very much into the whole physical affection thing.

I think a large part of what brought me to Catholicism, or at least got me into researching it a few years ago was this website and forum. Of course their were a lot of other factors but this gave me some very much needed insight. Not to mention the intercession of Mary and of course my patron Dominic Savio who I very much believe brought me to the church. So thank you, Vox, for being a Catholic because if you weren't I might not have become one myself.
Without the Catholic Faith, I wouldn't be here.  For me, it's as simple as that. When I was 19, I learned that the Catholic Church was the one true Church, and that it is the only thing that makes life worth living.  Ever since then, it has completely consumed my life.
(09-08-2015, 01:39 AM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]I think a large part of what brought me to Catholicism, or at least got me into researching it a few years ago was this website and forum. Of course their were a lot of other factors but this gave me some very much needed insight. Not to mention the intercession of Mary and of course my patron Dominic Savio who I very much believe brought me to the church. So thank you, Vox, for being a Catholic because if you weren't I might not have become one myself.

You just made my entire week. I love, SO MUCH, to read things like this! I feel so blessed, Dominicus! Thanks for letting me know this; I appreciate it very, very much :)

I like how you put things:  "Catholicism really does complete me." That's exactly how I feel. Exactly.
No doubt I'd be about the same as I am now,only I'd be Orthodox. Either way I think some sort of sacramental apostolic faith was meant for me.  Whatever experience I had so many years ago now shattered my Buddhism/ Wicca/  death metal hedonism that I was living and showed me, beyond syllogisms, logic or wishful thinking that Jesus Christ was and is real and that He intimately knows me. That didn't necessarily lead to Catholicism for me, but it lead to Christ. Ultimately if it weren't for having learned to love Gregorian chant over twenty years ago I'd probably had converted but become Orthodox.

I would be even worse a sinner than I am now. Grace has made me beat seemingly undefeatable sins. Three years after converting I still can't believe it. All glory to God!

Had I stayed with the militant atheism of my youth, I think pornography would be my greatest problem. If you're a man and give in to pornography, it drags you into the deepest pits and chains you there. Only grace (combined with lots of fasting, mortification, etc.) can free you from that place.
That's easy. If I wasn't Catholic, I'd be Eastern Orthodox.
I'd also be Orthodox, probably.

But if I were simply to remain an atheist I'd probably be a worst sinner, also. I didn't have a drop of compassion for anyone and I hated a lot of people. I'd probably still have girlfriends, and I suppose the apparent loneliness is the worst aspect of my Christian life--not only on the ladies department, but not having being blessed with a faithful family is really sad to me, and friends are harder to maintain when there is such a deep, fundamental disagreement between them.
Politically it would be more or less the same, but definitely more of a libertatiran bent.

There's a good passage in one of the best contemporary articles, by Hart, where he affirms the impossibility of the consolations of old paganism in an apostate society (or for the apostate individual),

Quote:If we turn from Christ today, we turn only towards the god of absolute will, and embrace him under either his most monstrous or his most vapid aspect. A somewhat more ennobling retreat to the old gods is not possible for us; we can find no shelter there, nor can we sink away gently into those old illusions and tragic consolations that Christ has exposed as falsehoods. To love or be nourished by the gods, we would have to fear them; but the ruin of their glory is so complete that they have been reduced—like everything else—to commodities.

Nor will the ululations and lugubrious platitudes and pious fatalism of the tragic chorus ever again have the power to recall us to sobriety. The gospel of a God found in broken flesh, humility, and measureless charity has defeated all the old lies, rendered the ancient order visibly insufficient and even slightly absurd, and instilled in us a longing for transcendent love so deep that—if once yielded to—it will never grant us rest anywhere but in Christ. And there is a real sadness in this, because the consequences of so great a joy rejected are a sorrow, bewilderment, and anxiety for which there is no precedent.

So, there is no way to compare the grace of God, this pearl of great price, with the nothingness I'd be living under/to if it were not for Christ, even if there are crosses to bear, and even if I haven't yet changed the way God wants me to (and I ask, if anyone has a bit of pity for a fellow Catholic, say a short and quick prayer for me, will you).
If I weren't Catholic, I'd be Orthodox--no question about it.  Otherwise, my life would be much the same as it currently is, although the ramblings of the pope and the rumblings from the Vatican wouldn't matter to me.
(09-08-2015, 02:37 PM)J Michael Wrote: [ -> ]If I weren't Catholic, I'd be Orthodox--no question about it.  Otherwise, my life would be much the same as it currently is, although the ramblings of the pope and the rumblings from the Vatican wouldn't matter to me.

Yep. Without the Catholic Church in the picture, it's a pretty easy choice.
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