Wednesday, May 29, 2013


It's interesting to reflect on my spiritual/religious journey. As a child, I remember thinking that Jesus' tomb was the confessional room... and somehow missed the whole "the Eucharist is the literal body of Christ" thing until I was 14. Even now, my faith life is evolving, as I expect it always will. From knowing little to knowing more, believing lots and believing less, it's always in motion one way or another. A perfect example is the moral conflict I experienced most summers between 2006-2011... are bikinis okay?! This has been mostly solved by the fact that I just think one pieces are more flattering, really. It's interesting how at one point in a person's life a belief can be so strong and certain, only to later be shaken and questioned.

So where am I now? I recognize some of these stages in my memories and journals. Stage 4: "individuality vs. membership in a group," I think that's where I am. I think I've been growing a lot the past few years; growing in different ways than I might've predicted when I graduated high school, but positive growth. Do I believe these things? Why do I believe this? Do I want to be a part of this group? All questions I've had to ask myself the past few years as I've come to understand more about people and justice. Though I once made statements like, "you can't be Catholic and pro-choice," I see now that, yeah... you can... and people do. You can't be fully in line with Church doctrine - I mean obviously, and I don't think pro-choice Catholics would even argue that - but you are still a Catholic. I see the areas where my heart and the heart of the Church don't overlap and I have to think can I accept these differences? Will the Church accept these differences? The conclusion I come to every time is yes. Maybe I see Jesus too much as a hugger, a friend, and a forgiver, and maybe he's more of a hall-monitor-citation-giving type... but as I try to (re)discover who He is, I'm going to opt for the hugs.

It's funny how you can love someone (I'm talking Jesus, not Ryan) for so long and then one day realize you have no idea who they are and why you love them. As I'm writing this, it feels really raw, but it also feels therapeutic. I remember having a true and genuine understanding of loving Jesus and instances of feeling so loved by Him, but now I can't quite comprehend. No matter how many miracle-stories or "God moments" I remember, it doesn't unlock that cynical door to my heart. I remember giving friends advice and praying fervently for things and talking about God to youth at Church, but now I just don't do that. For someone who doesn't mind sharing openly about herself, even saying the name "Jesus" regarding my spiritual life and prayer life just makes me feel so vulnerable and teary. I've never felt like that before, it is odd.. I used to love talking about it all, but now... something has shifted. I almost feel too busy to dedicate time to rediscovering myself and digging deeper into my ever-evolving belief system, but something needs to give soon.

Funniest thing is that I don't dare share these vulnerable thoughts with people because:
1. Catholics at school would've tried to get me to join a (omitted sarcastic description) Bible study. Been there, done that. It's not what I need and it's not the environment I need. Making people your mission is not the kind of Gospel sharing I like.
2. Protestants I know would think that this stage I'm in is all because Catholicism is wrong and they would try to save me or would make wrong assumptions about the Church, and I'm not about that life
3. It just seems like a lot to deal with, and I have a full time internship

A survey I thought might help me to complete:
1. Why is there poverty and suffering in the world?-Poverty and suffering are a result of free will and greed. The vulnerable are only made more vulnerable with poverty, while the rich get richer. It really doesn't seem fair though, does it.
2. What is the relationship between science and religion?
-Science and religion can coexist. Religion encompasses the supernatural, which sometimes science cannot reach.
3. Why are so many people depressed?
-Well there's lots of reasons.... suffering, poverty, mental illness, unemployment, broken heart, I mean... I could go on forever.
4. What are we all so afraid of?
-Failure? Death? Not having done anything to leave behind a legacy? Not being "enough."
5. When is war justifiable?
-When one party endangers the majority, but the innocent must be spared.
6. How would God want us to respond to aggression and terrorism?
-Peace treaties, loving one another, relinquishing greed
7. How does one obtain true peace?
-Searching for God
8. What does it mean to live in the present moment?
-I think about taking deep breaths and turning off your cell phone
9. What is our greatest distraction?
-our selves. We are so absorbed in ourselves that we can't see each other.
10. Is current religion serving its purpose?
-In some ways yes, the charitable ways. In other ways, war and hate speech and dividing nations, no.
11. What happens to you after you die?
-Peace and reunion with loved ones and Jesus in heaven
12. Describe heaven and how to get there.
-I think everyone goes. I don't think anyone would truly know God, have the opportunity to understand and know God, that they would be so evil to truly reject goodness. People are abused and conditioned to be evil, but I don't blame their soul for their wrongdoings completely. God is forgiving.
13. What is the meaning of life?
-To love others and experience the love God has for us
14. Describe God.
-kind, forgiving, gentle, patient
15. What is the greatest quality humans possess?
16. What is it that prevents people from living to their full potential?
-doubt, lack of resources (emotional, financial, physical)
17. Noverbally, by motion or gesture only, act out what you believe to be the current condition of the world.
18. What is your one wish for the world?
-That everyone could feel safe and no one would hurt anyone
19. What is wisdom and how do we gain it?
-wisdom is what is learned from experience
20. Are we all one?


I guess now I just will go with the flow. I'm really fine. Just needed to vent this!



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