February 5, 2015

Twist of Faith

Faith is so easy, and so complicated.  

I have faith in a lot of things--that the sun will rise daily, that my kids will grow up to be good people, that Spring will come before I freeze to death this Winter.  I am trying to have faith that I will finish this blog post before 2016 (or at least before the challenge is over this week).  None of these are tangible things, and yet I hold real faith in them.  I believe them to not only be possible, but quite probable.  What I don't have faith in, is "Faith."

Faith as a synonym for personal religion doesn't mean much to me.  I rarely talk about politics or religion--not here on my blog and not in discussion with people--and yet the word faith, for me, immediately conjures religious connotations.  

I was raised Catholic, but we weren't "hardcore" about it.  Church always seemed a tiny bit scary and forever boring and just confusing.  We stand, we sit, we kneel.  We close our eyes, we pray, we chant.  I never got it.  I still don't.

Weekly mass came in fits and spurts as I remember, though through much of elementary school years we went to weekly CCD classes (episodes in social torture) and I couldn't tell you much of anything I learned there except that if you go to a weekly CCD class in another town (because your town doesn't have a Catholic Church), it is not an especially great place to make friends with a large group of kids who know and see each other everyday in school.  

As an adult I never practiced Catholicism.   I don't ever recall feeling any particular connection to it.  Ever.  It is ritualistic and dichotomous, and it (ok, mostly church) was something to be tolerated.  I tried as an adult to seek out God in other religions.  I took my kids with me to one particular church for months, but I still never made a real leap of faith there.  It was definitely a lot lighter and freer as a religion but for me it still carried a weight. Perhaps that was residual Catholic guilt.  I don't know, but nothing makes you feel like more of an outsider than being a non-believer in a group of believers.  

I think most people want to believe in something greater than themselves because life is a lot of responsibility and sometimes it sucks and if you are all there is then, well, YOU are all there is.  With great power comes great responsibility, blah, blah, blah....   Yeah we know.

People can be disappointing and miserable, but sometimes--a lot of the time--they are beautiful and loving.  And here's the thing--faith (as in, personal religion) doesn't make you a better person.  If you believe in what is good and know and do what is right, then you are a good person.  If you think that comes from God or from raising good kids then that's your prerogative.  If you want to pray to God that your kids behave, you are free to do that too.  

I have a feeling that a good many people may pray for me after reading this, and that's fine. I have faith that many others will know exactly where I stand.  The sun will come again tomorrow, my kids will grow up, Spring will get here eventually--these things I believe.  I understand, however, that what I need most to maintain is faith in myself. 

(I did it!)

I did it!
This week's words were ALMOST, RARE, and FAITH
(I did it!)


  1. When I threw that word in this week, I wondered if anyone would go the religion route. I have been surprised, but not surprised that nobody did. It can certainly be a touchy subject. So glad you got it written and linked up!

    1. Honestly I was hoping to see the word LAME or LOSER and I could have written about how I completely and utterly forgot about the first week's challenge. This wasn't easy for me, and there is A LOT left unsaid, but thanks for the kick in the pants!

  2. Well said. I agree. And I'm a recovering Catholic. ;)

  3. Faith has been easy for me. Finding how to express it, well, that's been more complicated. Explaining to people that I finally feel at peace in Paganism, is more complicated still. But I believe that people connect to God differently, and that it's important to find the path that draws you in, brings you peace and comfort, and makes you want to make the world a better place.


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