It is Sunday so it seems like a good day to delve into that ‘Piece of My Mind’ that holds my beliefs on religion.
I was raised in the Catholic Church. Organized religion was a huge part of my life when I was growing up. Over the years, I have stepped away from the church. It was not a sudden decision but more of a gradual process that came to a head when I left my first, and extremely dysfunctional marriage. The church’s stand on divorce pushed me over the edge, as it has for many faithful Catholics caught up in such situations.
Even now, I do feel a certain sense of loss regarding the church. It did play a large part in my formative years. The church provided a sense of community, Christian values, and traditions that were passed down through generations. It provided the inspiration of those who dedicated their entire lives to serving the sick, the elderly, and the community in general.
That is not to say that I did not have issues with the Catholic Church, even in my early years. I have never trusted ultimate or unconditional authority. If there is not oversight, there is always abuse. That has certainly been an issue in the Catholic Church and to this day it has not been properly addressed. I did not understand why in the Catholic Church – that claims to be the heart of Christianity, there is so much emphasis on the fire and brimstone, eye for an eye, judgemental Old Testament. Catholic holidays (Christmas and Easter) were based on the life and times of Jesus Christ, but for the rest of the year his teachings were rather lost or ignored. And finally, I have always questioned why the Catholic rules and regulations were unilaterally determined by a hierarchy that has always been totally out of touch with the real human experience (And to this day, they deliberately choose to remain so).
Overall, I am comfortable with my decision to walk away from the Catholic Church. But I have doggedly questioned what the younger and upcoming generations would have to replace the traditional religions that we, our parents, grandparents and ancestors were raised in.
Where would they learn the values that we were taught through our religious teachings – values like faith, compassion, honesty, forgiveness, gratitude, and respect? The values that contribute to the quality of our lives and the lives of those with whom we interact during the course of our lifetime. Where would they find that sense of community and tradition? Where would they find true inspiration? While I am no longer part of organized religion, I do truly believe that we are Body, Mind and Soul, that we are here by the grace of a higher power, and that we need to honor that higher power.
Lately, I have had the time and opportunity to observe several young families. Maybe it is part of our global pandemic, or maybe it is because people are just settling in to a new reality, but for the most part they seem to be doing fine.
Families are spending more time together out in nature. Families are living ‘family‘ lifestyles – cooking, building, growing and working together. Fathers are far more involved in this family lifestyle than they have ever been. Families are living in smaller communities, growing closer to a core group of neighbours and friends. Parents (and grandparents, aunts, uncles & older siblings) are teaching children the important values in life – more often by example than our religion ever did. Families are building a new sense of community, tradition, and inspiration.
I think this may be evolution at work. Originally, people needed the teachings of the Old Testament, the fire and brimstone way of life, to help them survive and establish mankind on earth. We needed Christianity, to establish a civilized constructive base for mankind to build on. And now – maybe this is what is needed for mankind to thrive and evolve. 💞
That is my ‘Piece of Mind’ for the day. As always, please feel welcome to comment and share your own beliefs or opinions on the subject at hand.
Take care, have a great day and see you tomorrow. 💞