Monday, February 07, 2005

Lent...

As someone who was raised Catholic, I always give something up for Lent. Although I'm for the most part a non-practicing Catholic with some culturally Jewish leanings, I will still give something up. So far it's chocolate, nuts (tree and ground) and drinking caffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening.

This religion issue is really bothering me, as of late. I'm part of a serious Polish Catholic family and was raised with church every Sunday, no matter what. Having a Polish Pope was a major plus. Twelve years of Catholic school later and I don't know where I stand. My beliefs have started to get in the way. Let's see: I believe priests should marry, women should have a more important role in the church and that evolution occurred. I also have certain beliefs in the Gnostic Gospels, the belief in extraterrestrial life, and much, much more. Strangely, stumbling onto the book "Chariots of the Gods" while a freshman at Bishop Foley started me on the road to curiosity. I was quite versed in "Project Blue Book" speculation after that year.

At the same time, I'm quite intrigued by church mysteries. Stigmatas, visions, the Shroud of Turin, Lourdes, Fatima and religious relics. I also am drawn toward very traditional religious celebrations and observances: Latin mass, incense, fasting and abstinence, stained glass and statues, pipe organs, tabernacles, and masses without guitars, tambourines and children's choirs.

I'm confused.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Ever walked a labyrinth? Lots of churches are adding them these days, or you can go to workshops. They are a sort of walking meditative prayer tool, but the fun part is that they were part of all the medieval cathedrals in Europe, based on sacred geometry, supposed to create a sacred/mystical space--and were dug out of most of the cathedrals because they were eventually considered too pagan. (For a little more info: http://www.gracecathedral.org/labyrinth/)

There's a really nice one at the St. John's Conference Center (in Plymouth?) that is open to the public.

It sounds like it would be right up your alley. I had the closest thing to a mystical experience I have ever had while walking one of the originals in Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France.