Its obvious form my first post that I have been thinking a lot about religion lately. The first midterm for my religion class is on Monday and Dr. Penner told us, "those who will do well on the midterm are those who do not have the same opinions about religion that they did in the first lecture". The people who put serious thought into their religious opinions would snag the A.
Last night before bed I began to think about the midterm questions he posted but my a.d.h.d. had other plans. I began to think about my own religious life. I began to think of some of the good I was taught in my previous faith, Catholicism. I concluded the most important lessons I learned were about forgiveness, charity, and faith. Faith not necessarily in God, but in other human beings.
I have always known that if not in any other aspect of my life, I want my religious life to be a struggle. I have already struggled. I have struggled most with letting it go, it hurt my family deeply, and it was really hard for me to accept that there might not be an after life. The thought first seriously occurred to me while dating an atheist. He told me to try to think seriously about the possibility of no heaven. I did to humor him and the tears started to roll. It was probably the most cryptic idea I had ever considered. Sometimes I still pray before bed because it was one ritual I really embraced as a catholic. I have tried to 'neutralize' or 'de-catholisize' praying but it still feels wrong not to end a prayer with the trinitarian formula.
Still, I don't want to go to church on Sundays to stare mindlessly into the beautifully stained glass, to watch my sisters fall asleep, or to look back at the clock every 10 minutes. The only thing I ever truly enjoyed about going to mass was how happy it made my mother.
When I begin thinking about Jesus, for myself, I found the ultimate struggle. It's simple, straight forward, and seemingly impossible. Jesus was a man, who many people say didn't turn water into wine, or walk on water. Maybe he didn't, that's not what is important about Jesus. The most important thing Jesus ever did was love. His miracle was that he loved everybody, even those who hurt and betrayed him. True to his Jewish heritage he did not allow himself to be shaped by the world and its ideologies. I think the idea of loving everyone is a hard and noble philosophy, I am far from it. I am not claiming to know the secrets of the universe I am only trying to better myself. Personally I find it easy to forget the roots of religion. The fight between science and religion for 'the truth' is not the struggle I want to endure.
Those are just a few of my thoughts. Try not to make fun.