I am interested in faith and people who have it. I often write about it (essays, outlines for a novel, character sketches, a screenplay?) and think about it most days of the week. Although I am skeptical, I do pray. I do not go to church. I will always be Catholic (like I will always have brown eyes) but may grow into something else as well.

I envy my parents faith.  I always have.  I remember going to church with them when we were young and watching them come back to the pew after taking communion and cover their faces and whisper to God.  What were they saying to Him?  What was He saying back?  I never felt like I knew what to do at that moment except say the rote things we were taught to say.

And now, as they get older, what I envy most is their belief that we will all be together again someday.

How does faith work in your life?  Do you consider yourself Religious?  Do you Believe in God?  Do you simply call yourself Spiritual and leave it at that?  Or have you thrown in the towel and embraced Atheism?  And does any of it bring you comfort?  Direction? Happiness?



Click here to learn more about my book, The Middle Place




Editor's Note: Kelly will return on Friday, May 15th to answer questions from readers.




Message Edited by Jon_B on 05-14-2009 07:28 AM
Comments
by Moderator dhaupt on ‎05-12-2009 09:28 AM

Wow Kelly I don't know if people are afraid to comment or what, well you know the saying never discuss politics or religion in public.

Ok so I'll be the first one to jump off the cliff. I do believe in God (or some omnipotent being(s) who watches over us) and I pray regularly. I don't go to church because I have a big problem with organized religion and have encountered many hypocritical beings during my many years of searching for the "right" church/denomination etc.. And didn't like the fact that so many of them were so narrow in there reflections on other religions and even other denominations of their own religion. And also in the roles or non-roles that women are "allowed" to take. And the older I got and the more I became interested in the past (far be it from me to have taken an interest in it in school right) I saw many discrepancies that we were supposed to just blindly believe. And I know that faith is all about belief, but I'm just not sure about the blind part. So for now I'll just say that I believe there's someone out there looking out for us and am comfortable in knowing that every one has to take comforts in their own beliefs.  I just wish more of them would practice what they preach.

by kpt on ‎05-12-2009 10:29 AM

Faith and spirituality are hard. Even though there are so many organized religions collecting money and making rules and policies for the "faithful" to follow, I still think that it comes down to an individual decision about what makes you comfortable and then that dictates your behavior. So, there are all sorts of folks with moral compasses working from a different "true north" even though they may all sit/stand/kneel together each week/day. Of course even my own belief that this is an individual decision is based on my own biases and perceptions as an American Caucasian not raised in a culture of community.

 

Anyway, I would say that I am a spiritual being. I am most at peace when hiking through woods and being closer to nature than my city living allows. But I try to find those moments that remind me of larger-than-my-life issues throughout my day - watching a 4 year old run in the rain while all the adults around him are grumbling that it is raining or smelling the bread baking in a local bakery as I exercise outside in the early morning hours.

 

A lot of folks think that if you go through a traumatic event in your life that it will make you more spiritual or religious or a believer. I haven't found this to be the case. I get through trauma by continuing to notice all the big and little wonders in my small life and in the big world. These wonders enter my heart rendering me a thankful person who wants to make a positive impact so that I may keep the cycle of good feelings continuous.

 

by Par4course on ‎05-12-2009 09:29 PM

I was brought up in a Protestant church (Grandma was so proud when I sang in the choir), but don't attend church much any more.  Not that I worry about the 'hypocrits' (aren't we all to some extent?)  I just think too many of them waste their resources on becoming bigger stages/theaters/TV evangelists.

 

I feel, however, a strong connection to God.  Many of my most heartfelt prayers have been answered and I know I have seen miracles occur because of prayer.  Most of my prayers right now are for giving thanks rather than for asking for more (however, I always seem to have a list of family and friends who need "watching over", whether for health or other reasons). 

 

Where I can easily panic about small, every day details (where DID I put those keys this time?), I feel calm about the over-all picture.  Praying doesn't mean I don't have to keep working on the big problems, but I know I can't solve the big problems by myself.

 

  An after-life?  Absolutely sure of that - my mother had a near-death, out of body,  "going to the light" experience ages ago and she kept it to herself for years, because she was afraid people would think she was crazy.  Her dear Grandmother as there to meet her.  I'm pretty sure God has a little corner somewhere in heaven where I can sit and read books. :-)

by on ‎05-13-2009 02:39 AM
Amen
by ladyheart on ‎05-14-2009 06:58 AM

I am absolutely positive of a Supreme Being who is watching all of us on earth and waiting and more than willing to help each of us if we but ask for it.  Many experiences in my life- big and small - confirm this to me.  I do go to church, but I pray whenever and wherever I feel the need, whether kneeling at my bedside or driving in the car.  I could go on and on. 

 

Religious to me means that I "do" the things that I have been taught are correct, (ie, go to church, pray, try to keep the laws of God, etc).  Sprituality means to me that I have a personal relationship/connection with God in which I recognize His workings in my life and express gratitude to Him for all He does for me, as well as praying to Him about my troubles and trials and asking for His help.  It is seeing His hand in all things miraculous, especially in the beauties of the earth and in having good friends in my life who seem to be there at the right times.  I believe He is indeed our Father and that nothing is too fragile to talk to Him about, for He knows it all.   My greatest "spiritual" moments have been when I have poured my heart out to Him, and have received guidance and comfort and its given me the courage to move forward.,      

by Author Kelly_Corrigan on ‎05-19-2009 11:44 AM
Thanks for the comments, all.  

At the moment, my questions around faith are fairly specific.  Since my parents are Catholic, that's always been my starting point.  The core of Catholicism is, of course, the Holy Trinity.   So, do I believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God?  Or was he just an inspiring leader, someone like Ghandi?  Or was he a lunatic?   I've read a lot of CS Lewis (and recommend him to anyone who wants a vigorous debate) and I must say, I winced when Lewis referred to people who consider themselves "spiritual" (feeling connected to nature, music, oceans, etc.) as "Everything-ists."  He also says that there are no atheists.  We all believe in something even if we won't own up to it.  

So that's where I am.  Asking myself hard questions and trying to come clean, at least with myself, about what I truly believe.  
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