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IslamQA: Caught between Catholicism and agnosticism

Do you have any advice on getting through a religious dilemma? I grew up in a somewhat Catholic household, for years I have prayed and went to church quite regularly, but in my early 20s, I have became an agnostic person due to my scientific studies, but now I don't think science and religion is mutually exclusive. A year ago I visited Jerusalem and I was amazed by being at the "source" & became fascinated by Islamic art. I am now kind of stuck - how can my beliefs, faith (or lack of) coexist?

Face God and sincerely pray to Him for guidance, and He will guide you. God is always with you, you just need to start speaking to Him. If you feel something blocking you from wanting to speak to Him, ignore it and do it anyway regardless of how you feel and regardless of whether it seems to have any benefit or not.

Another thing you could do is read the Bible and the Quran in a good translation (such as Abdel Haleem’s). To fully appreciate the Quran a person should read it multiple times. The first time you read it all the new information may make it difficult to take in its deeper meaning. But the second time you will be able to connect with it much better.

If you have difficulty connecting with Islam, try reading C. S. Lewis’s works (especially Mere Christianity). The best things in Christianity are also present in Islam, so if you appreciate Lewis you will be able to appreciate both Christianity and Islam all the more.

Also realize that deciding to become religious (whether Christian or Muslim) is not an intellectual decision. It is similar to the way no amount of reading will enable you to drive a car unless you actually get in a car and do it. In the end you will have to “open your heart”, to make a leap of faith, to take a great risk and accept its consequences. This requires a great amount of courage and sacrifice.

And God knows best.
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