Wednesday, April 09, 2008

An Update on my Developing Religious Life

One of the areas my life has changed recently has been in religion. I don't write about it often, and I don't want to make it seem like I'm forcing these beliefs on you. Read if you'd like, but I completely respect you for not driving my ORblogs clicks up. ;)

For Lent, I attempted to devote a bit of time each day week to some religious topic or another. I wasn't always successful, and I admit that. Though Lent is over, Easter has come and gone, and I don't feel obligated to studying anymore, I still am. I've actually gone to church a few times, the last time unprompted. On Sunday, I even got up early to go to mass, and then I spent eight hours reading online. Oh, how much I've learned!

I can't begin to tell you all the things I've walked across, how varied the topics, or how deep I've thought recently. I didn't get into this subject with the hope of finding a church--that has never been my goal. I wanted to learn what the big deal was, what the history of the church is, and how different people believe. Now I know some of that.

And as I was sitting/standing/kneeling (Catholics do that a lot--and I like it), I was taken up with the ceremony and reverence. I used to think the rehearsed prayers were fake or that they lacked emotion, as if using someone else's words wasn't as meaningful as using your own (like plagiarizing prayers--and plagiarism is bad, kids). But now I enjoy the quiet repetition of prayers and the chants and the solemnity of mass.

I don't know if I could become Catholic... I'm still working a few things out internally. I don't understand many things still, and I'm learning. That's all I've ever wanted to do.

But one quick thing before I go: I'm getting really tired of people suggesting I don't have a personal relationship with God simply because I wasn't raised in church or baptized the instant I was born. I'm tired of defending myself, tired of answering obnoxious questions, and exhausted from getting that look of condescension. I'm SO over that.

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