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Categorized | Religion

Losing My Religion

It was inevitable. Oft it’s been said, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop, so I knew if I’d be cooped up in the house for 1-2 months then invariably, I’d be thinking about this. After all, in that litany of “R” words I’d written as my goals for this period of rest, “repent” was sure to be on the list. Or it could be that watching 24 episodes of “Supernatural” (esp. this latest season dealing with the Apocalypse) made me think about my faith and where my personal relationship with God stands in the scheme of all things that’s happened in my life. And believe it or not, no matter how hedonistic I might seem to purport at times in the pursuit of life’s pleasures, my faith, and the quest of it, has always been an important facet of who I am. So here goes…

I believe sometimes our mass, or Sunday church services, could better be improved at times. Far be it from me to tinker with centuries-old Catholic tradition, but truthfully, born-again, or evangelical Church services are way more alive and spiritual at times than our staid, stiff, and sometimes alienating Catholic mass. Still, having said that, a traditional part of our ceremony I find sacred is the saying of the Apostles Creed. It makes sense for any believer, to state what one accepts to be part of one’s faith. But here’s my personal take on that, my own set of principles in the faith.

(1) I believe in God. That much is made clear. For many reasons really, and the purpose of this note is certainly not to cite all my reasons why, or to prove that God exists. And boy, I’ve gone on that actual quest myself, even reading a book “God’s Questionable Existence” by Fr.Reilly(of course a Jesuit!) that makes for a compelling read by the way. But one, critical reason I believe is: I’m a Mom. It’s as simple as that. I mean, really, any mother, or parent who’s ever held a sick child in her arms can attest to how much faith you suddenly realize you have, when faced with the reality that you don’t control anything, and then, having faith in a higher power makes so much sense. When you have kids, you start praying…a lot! From: “Lord please help me find the money for the milk, diapers (or substitute with: tuition, kids’ braces, the list is endless) to “Lord, please help me find my son” (when my autistic child was lost in the mall for 15 long minutes, the longest 15 minutes of my life), to “Lord, please don’t let this scar my daughter for life” (on my failed marriage). Let me tell you, when one prays, one believes.

(2) Love moves in mysterious ways, as the song goes. Or rather God does, not love (but then God is love!). We live in a world where, bad things happen to good people and often we question whether God is really present in a world where evil exists (and oftentimes win!). A book I read once “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” (I told you I’ve done extensive research as part of my faith journey) said that God has no control over things that happen. I don’t think so. It’s tricky really, for it’s true that you can’t absolve God for all the atrocities that happen in this world. That’s what you get for giving man free will in the first place. Or for even putting that tree in the middle of Paradise (Lord, what were you thinking?!). It doesn’t make sense at all. Why He lets bad things happen. Coz, I can’t just credit God for the good things, and not let him be responsible for also the bad things. It’s all or nothing. Yet, I believe, it’s all part of His grand masterplan. That’s an integral part of what faith is. It’s the hope in things not seen. I think, the one flaw of Paradise was that you can’t really be sure if you love someone, if things are too perfect. And so, God, in his infinite love, risked it by giving us the choice, and so we all have to find our way back to Him. Of our own accord.

(3) I’m a bad girl. But God is good, all the time. If there’s one thing I concur with my foray into evangelical Christianity, it’s that no amount of good works will entitle you entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Of course that does not give me license to indulge myself, but it does explain why I say I’m a Christian but still find myself in situations where I can’t muster enough strength and willpower to say no to temptation (Lord, lead me not into temptation,for I can find it myself,haha). I still don’t subscribe to any one religion saying they’re the best and all that, which is why religion ticks of a whole lot of people. I believe, when I die, God is not going to ask me if I was a good Catholic (or substitute any religion here). I don’t know what he’s going to ask really, but I sure think it’s not going to be that. I mean, it has to be more than that. But you do have to keep on trying to be good, to love one’s neighbor, not even as oneself (coz Lord knows the things we do to ourselves at times!). And I do try, admirably, if I may say so myself. So, I’m really a good girl, who just tends to be naughty at times. Yet Santa (or God) still showers me with a whole lot of blessings, not just during Christmas, but throughout the year.

Hey, I’m not religious, but damn, I’m spiritual.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.