Today I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague/friend. It’s not the type of conversation I venture into very often because for some people it is controversial. But, since this is my blog and my thoughts, I figure I’m entitled to share them here if I so choose. So I do so with a caveat – if you disagree, I am completely fine with that and respect your point-of-view, and hope you do the same for me. Please refrain from any negative harassment as I won’t tolerate it on my page – either by readers or towards readers. It’s just my ethics.
So… the conversation was about spirituality vs. religion. Now to be fair let me say that I was raised Catholic – Catholic orphanage run by nuns, Catholic grade school and high school, also run by nuns. I even attended a Jesuit Catholic college. My world was singularly Catholic, which is not uncommon in Cincinnati as it is a predominantly German Catholic culture. That was, until I lived for 5 years in a small town that was decidedly NOT Catholic, by majority numbers anyway. I am proud of my upbringing and find solace in many parts of my religious upbringing, particularly the reverence I find present in the church during worship.
Nope, that’s not the controversial bit. What is … is that I find as I get older I become more spiritual and less religious. The more I know about the big churches (no, not just the Catholic church) the more it is blatantly apparent that the “rules” have really strayed quite a bit from the life of Christ and I find it difficult to look at them without seeing that. As I’ve grown older I’ve continued to seek God and to deepen my relationship with Him. That life of spirituality moves me and … it supersedes religion. This is a relationship that makes my soul sing. It is a place that recognizes God in people no matter what their religion or background. Funny things is, I learned so much of this from some nuns I met in my adulthood.
I still consider myself Catholic because I believe in the basic tenants of the faith. But I do not consider myself to be a blind follower of “the church”. Yikes that won’t sit well with many people I know and love. And I’m okay with that. Actually I believe when we die and transition to heaven there will be a lot of Catholic people (and others too) who will be shocked to look around and see who else is there. lol Sorry, I can’t help myself from laughing. I know that God is love and love is all encompassing. I know that the building you sit in to praise him is irrelevant to him. The labels we use for ourselves and others are meaningless in an eternal view. Jesus did not come here to start a religion. Wow – that’s quite a heady statement if you really, really, really examine it. And with all the human frailties and sins committed by people of every faith I cannot imagine a scenario in which God’s Heaven – His eternal domain, is not big enough and loving enough to include us all. We all sin differently but we all sin.
I saw a bit of shock in my friend’s face when I stated this. And in that moment I knew, yet again, that spirituality is a topic that doesn’t get talked about enough. There should be no mystery about a relationship with God just because there are religions who profess to know all the answers and have the only path.
And so I sigh a heavy sigh. I pray unceasingly that Love overtake the world, no matter what the denomination.
Be loved and be blessed!