This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Can I Be Ex-Communicated For This?

I must be thinking about religion a lot lately, because here I am again, meditating about my own brand of spirituality. I am thinking this way because I am meeting a lot of new parents at my daughter's school and being exposed to Catholicism-Massachusetts style. One parent I recently met described himself a Catho-holic. This makes me a little nervous as I am probably closer to a Catho-rexic. My husband describes us as Cafeteria Catholics, the kind that pick and choose the parts of the religion they like the best, leaving the rest behind.

Whatever kind of Catholic I am, I know I am not traditional. Years ago my book club in Cincinnati read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Hoping to get a little rise from the token Catholic, one of my neighbors asked me how I'd feel if it was proven that Christ was married. I told her, quite honestly, that it wouldn't bother me a bit. In fact I hope that Christ was married. I hope he did have children. I hope that kind of intimacy, closeness, and humanness were his to enjoy for whatever short time he had them. My mother once asked me how I'd feel if it were proven that Christ wasn't divine, or wasn't born of a virgin-birth. Again, I can honestly say it wouldn't bother me a bit. What difference does marriage, children, birthright, or divinity make to the truth of the message "Do unto others as you would have done to you"? All of the teachings of Christ are valid for reasons far beyond bureaucratic census details. I like the stories of the Bible. I do not take them literally because I believe they are meant to be stories with moral, or message to them. I like hearing about the history and politics going on during the time when many of the Bible stories were written. I think knowing the political climate of the time helps a lot in understanding why stories were written a certain way or had certain references in them.

I like the idea of saints: normal-run-of-the-mill folks who were put in tough circumstances and stood their ground. Life doesn't usually end well for most saints, but isn't that true for many people in modern times too? Would death by car accident, disease, murder, or suicide be considered pleasant?

I like statuary too. My mind wanders a bit when I am trying to pray so having a physical, tangible statue in front of me helps me focus my thoughts. Oh yea, I'm supposed to praying, not mentally redecorating my living room...

I like the ritual and pageantry of Catholicism. I find ritual comforting and the fact that I can walk into almost any Catholic church in the U.S. and know when to sit, stand, and knee feels inclusive and inviting.

I don't attend Mass every Sunday. I have managed to break almost all of the Ten Commandments. I don't always tithe. I don't attend Mass on holy days of obligation. I don't venerate the Pope.

I am not the best Catholic.

I do pray daily and almost constantly: a prayer of thanks to God for my world, my life, my family, my health, my friends, the amazing beauty of the leaves around me. I do exult in the love and sanctitude of my marriage and my family. I do one good deed a day, even if it's just complementing the sales clerk on her manicure. I do teach my daughter about God and the amazing wonders of the world gifted to us. I do nurture and encourage spirituality within myself and my daughter.

I am not the worst Catholic.

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