I don't know how to handle this....

I feel very strongly about my spirituality. I was raised Catholic, and several things caused me to lose trust in that religion. I occasionally go to Church, I will sometimes point my prayers/slander towards "God" and I keep in mind all that I had learned in my childhood, but I just don't have the faith. I have moved towards a more agnostic view, but incorporating several different religions into my world-view. Suffice it to say I'm a open-minded and slightly doubtful Catholic.

Now, I haven't told anyone in my family about this change in view, and what little they may suspect is wrapped in the trappings of research. I just haven't decided if they really do need to know. I'm not terriably uncomfortable in Church, when I am required to attend with my family, so there's really no problem with it. Or so I thought.

One of my younger sisters has asked me to be her sponsor for confirmation. For those who don't know, it is the point at which one is considered an adult by the Church. Being a candidate's sponsor includes the discussion of religions topics and the guidance of the candidate's adult path of life.

I love my sister very much, and I want to help her in this time of her life. I tend to be the family member my younger siblings can turn to for all kinds of support, as I am (try to be) caring and also knowledgeable about what they need. I feel I can handle this responsibility (and honor), thought it will stir up a lot of personal conflict. I need to help her beliefs grow without directly implanting my own beliefs. I may help expand her view, but I will not destroy her faith. If she is to break, it will be of her own accord, not just the influence of her older brother.

Being a sponsor, whether for Confirmation or for something like AA, is a large responsibility. The candidate is asking for help, and they are in a vulnerable time in their lives. There is a reason why sponsors for AA are typically the opposite sex, from an attraction point of view, because that vulnerabilty can be exploited by the wrong person. Likewise, in religion, it tends to be an older person, who has seen a ways down the road who will help the younger to walk their chosen path.

I will guide her, and if she asks, I will tell her of my trials and tribulations. I will make sure to tell her that she may or may not experience anything like I have, and I will make sure she knows that we (my family and her friends) will love her no matter what happens. You are allowed to defer Confirmation, thought at the time I thought I would be Catholic forever, that my faith would never flag. And I will tell her that no matter what happens, she will always be my sister and I will always love her.

This happened a while ago. I became her sponsor, we kind of did what we were supposed to, and that was that. I still haven't discussed my lack of faith with her, nor with the rest of my family. I'm still trying to work it out. I've been to church occasionally, discussed and researched Catholocism. I just don't know...

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