Maybe you don't believe in God.

Or you have issues with some of the things that you think we Catholics believe. You wonder how an allegedly good God could let such terrible things happen in the world. 

Doubt and skepticism are natural when it comes to the claims of Christianity and Catholicism. How do we know these things are true? What is real? Is there a purpose for my life? How should I live? Why believe in God?

We understand these questions can be difficult, confusing, and sometimes unsettling or even disturbing.    

What's the best approach? Should we each just go our own ways, and leave the other alone? Or is something to be gained by talking about these questions, these doubts, that loom so large in our lives?

If you ask us, we think a great way to discern truth is for believers and skeptics to dialogue with each other. At St Monica, we can offer you a safe place to explore your questions about "the answer to life, the universe, and everything." It's much more than the number 42, we can assure you of that.

Keeping it Real
 
We completely understand -- you say you don't believe in God. Well, if there is no God, then it doesn't do any harm to say a prayer, because nobody is there to hear it, correct? You are just talking to yourself and that at worst is only a very minor issue, not even worth mentioning really.
But if there is a God, and this God can hear and answer prayers, then could we consider this to be something on the order of a spiritual experiment? Here is a Skeptics Prayer. Try it on for size and see how it fits.

Hello God. Honestly,

I don’t know if you are real or if I am talking to myself. People say this, others say that. I don’t know what to think about you, if there is a you, and all those big questions regarding life, the universe and everything.

What can I know about you? How can I know you? Who is worthy of trust in this world of confusion and betrayal?

If you are there, If I am not just talking to myself, touch me for a moment, so that I may find you, wherever you are, and whoever you may be.

Maybe if you will trust me a little, Give me a little mercy in my confusion, I could learn to trust you too. It’s not always easy being alive in this world. It would be nice to have some help.

My question is simple. Am I talking to myself here? Or do you somehow, somewhere exist? If in fact you exist, and are there for me, help me find you. I don’t know what else to say about this. I do know that yes or no, I want to know for myself. At least I think I do. In the meantime, I’ll just wait and see what happens. One more thing. What does this Jesus fellow have to do with this?

Ok I’m done praying. What’s the word for the end of a prayer – Amen, that’s what the church people say. Someone told me it means “so be it.” I want this to be in my life, whatever this may turn out to be. So I say Amen.

We say "Amen" with you too.

Hello God,

Was that you?
Did I actually receive an answer to my skeptic’s prayer?
Or am I deceiving myself with wish fulfillment?

If it was you, how would I know that?
If it wasn’t you, how would I know that?
How do I know, one way or the other?
This is a thing for me right here, right now.
I want to know, but I need to know how to know.

Maybe I do know that it was you,
even though I don’t know how I know that.
Or not.
Whatever.
I’m thinking that I want to know more about this,
because if it’s true, it’s important.
And if it’s not true, that’s also important.

So many questions, where are the answers?
Is it enough to simply want something more in my life?
Or should I ask – What is there to want more of for my life?

What’s next? Where am I going? What am I doing?
What does this Jesus fellow have to do with this?

I am pretty sure
I want something out of this,
whatever this may be. One way or another.
So I say Amen for now
and hope I find out something more.

OK God, it seems like this might be a real thing.
I’m not sure though if that makes me glad or scared.
I’m mostly used to myself the way I am.
I’ve been “me” all my life.

But if this indeed is a real thing
– if you are a real person –
I think that might mean something for me.

What that is, I don’t know.
But I know that I want to know what that might be.
So I’m opening myself up to whatever this is that is happening around and in me.

I’m gonna need some help,
the way forward is not at all clear.
So help me out, show me the way,
Help me to find companions on this journey who will help me.

I hope you will go with me too God, and Jesus too,
even though I’m not sure who he is either,
and what he might have in store for me.
Amen, Amen, Amen.

Someone has Come to Fight | The Kerygma | Fr. John Riccardo