“I was reared a Catholic but I think every day we ask ourselves, not consciously, what are we doing on this planet? What’s it all about?” – Liam Neeson
I was raised a Catholic by my parents, and I went to Catholic school as a young girl. I am not someone that goes to church every Sunday, but I’m a firm believer in Jesus Christ, the Eucharist, and in the Holy Spirit. There are so many things about the Catholic faith that I adore, but like most religions, to me, it’s not perfect. There are certain things that I just do not understand, and I’ve always told myself that when “that” time comes, I’d like to ask God some questions about why some things are the way they are? Maybe I’m not supposed to ask those types of questions, but I feel that I have a right to know, don’t I?
Do I believe that there’s a Heaven and a Hell? I do. What do I think of someone that calls them self an Atheist? Not much, that’s on them, but it’s not who I am. Do I think that being Catholic is the “one true” religion? Now that would be silly. I’ve read about other religions; Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. Like anything else, there’s good things and some things that I find just wouldn’t work for me, but I find that within my own religion too. And I know people, women mostly, that swear by their own beliefs. I like that we can talk about them, and not be critical towards each other. We are accepting of each others right to believe whatever they want to believe.
Not everyone is going to believe in the same thing, but that doesn’t mean that one is right and that the other is wrong. I like the color green, and you make like the color black. I prefer strawberries, and you may prefer mango’s. I pray the “Hail Mary”, and some else may pray the meditations on Shiva. It’s only a matter of personal preference.
For me, it’s more important that someone is just a spiritual person, and by that I mean to say that they belief in something. I’ve heard people say, “I’m not religious, but I believe in a higher power.” Well, then to me, that’s sort of like saying that you are somewhat of a spiritual person.
I do, however, have one tiny problem with the Catholic church, well, maybe more than one, but I’ll just talk about one of them here. I do not believe in the part of confession. I wanted to see if I felt any different after trying it a few times, but I have to be honest, I did not. I do not understand why, we as Catholics, need to speak of our “sins”, to a priest, when I can go directly to God. I pray every morning on the way to work. I’m very at home speaking to God this way, or whenever I need him, or just to thank him for the life that he has given to me. I am a very grateful woman. So, since I have this wonderful relationship with God, why would I need to speak to a priest about it? By doing that, that’s more uncomfortable to me and doesn’t seem to be natural to me to do so. It makes me uncomfortable! Does this make me a bad Catholic? And am I going to hell because I don’t want to confess my sins to a priest? I hope not!
To me, Heaven is a place where we our spirits go when we die, or at least, when some of us die. I do believe that animals go to heaven, and I’d like to see all my past pets there to greet me! No one is sick or lonely in Heaven. We are in a much better place at that point. Hell to me is a very dark and frightening place, and sometimes I’ve felt that we are already living in Hell, but that’s another blog.
I’d like to think that although I make mistakes, and I’ve made some BAD mistakes, that my good deeds will overlook my bad things. I know that’s probably “not” realistic, but a girl can hope. (and pray for his forgiveness).
I’ll tell you one thing that I did when I was about 25 years old, and this didn’t win me any brownie points with Jesus, but since he sees and knows everything, then I can’t hide that it happened anyway. When I was about 25 years old, I was going through a very hurtful breakup with someone. I lived by a Catholic church, so I went inside the church, and I was crying and crying. I was so heartbroken, and I blamed the church as to part of the reason why we broke up, which was completely wrong, but I didn’t see it that way back then. Anyway, I got up from the bench, and I went to get the church newsletters and some other writings that are free at the front of the church, and I walked down the church aisle, ripping all the papers up and tossing them onto the floor, while crying hysterically. I then ran out of the church, and ran home. There were a few people inside when I did that, and I hope that I didn’t scare them away forever. Maybe they found it in their hearts to pray for the crazy crying girl that just acted like a fool.
To this day, I still cannot believe I did that, but I did. It will forever be one of “those” moments that I’m not proud of. But yet, I could see this scene being played in a movie one day. I’ve learned a lot since that day, and I’ve grown wiser too.
But, I love being Catholic. I believe that God is kind, loving, and forgiving. I love all the saints that we can turn to during times of lost, hope, or strength. I have my favorites, but I’ll keep those to myself. I love and respect the Popes. I love the devotionals we can use every day if we wanted to. Being Catholic makes me feel loved. And who doesn’t want to feel loved?
So I may not be perfect, and I may say or do the wrong things from time to time, and probably on most days. But I really make an effort to do the right things, or to help others that may need some help for whatever the reason. Yes, I curse just about everyday. I may have unholy thoughts from time to time. I enjoy reading serial killer books and I adore watching scary movies. (The Exorcist is a classic!) I lived with my husband for a year before we got married. My husband does not follow any religious faith, but he believes in “something” being out there over us all. I’ve gone to fortune tellers, which is a “no-no”. I have tattoos, which is frowned upon. (but I really like my tattoos, so it is what it is).
So although I’ve done all these things, I’d still like to believe that God will let me into Heaven, one day, but I really don’t know what will happen. And if not, I don’t want to go the Hell. Maybe I can just hang around the earth for awhile, let my spirit enjoy looking at the beautiful ocean, or hang around the mountains. That wouldn’t be too bad. I really don’t know what’s going to happen to me when I die.
I guess that’s just part of the mystery.