Sunday, September 18, 2005


it's sunday!

I recently changed churches. Now, for some (or um, mostly all) that might not seem like a big deal. But we've been going to the same church since we moved here 19 years ago, we know the pastor, my dad is on the financial council. Two sets of my aunts and uncles go to the same church. So basically, I'm the black sheep. But I'm also the one who is stepping out because she's tired of hearing homilies that she can't relate to. I'm sick of having this interested look on my face while I space out.

On that note, I'm really into this other church, located a town away. First thing going for it is that it has a mass at 5 p.m. I like going later in the day, because then I'm less distracted. This was especially true when I was at school, because early in the morning I'd be worrying about all the stuff I had to do throughout the day - homework, meetings, etc. But it remains true today. 5 o'clock mass and I fit well.

The priest is also hilarious and very open. The first week we went he talked about being bipolar. And I was just stunned by his honesty - a lot of people have trouble sharing personal things to those closest to them, nevermind an entire congregation. But he knew that his experiences would help others. And then the next week...well, I forget what he had talked about, but I had listened the entire time.

Today he was interesting again, talked about God's unconditional love. And he talked about watching Desperate Housewives, and said that he was furious that it's not going to be on tonight because of the Emmy's or something. I felt like standing up, putting my fist in the air and shouting "AMEN!"

But then, as he continued with the main message of things, I started thinking. (and um, here's where I'm trying to remember what he was talking about.) Oh yeah. He talked about a woman's column in the paper, her saying that she prayed for one of her friends who was having a tough time. The woman's friend said to the writer at the end of her tough experience "It was horrible. But I'm okay."

A heartwarming story for sure. But where was God in all this? The lesson? The repenting of sins? Where was the bitter medicine? I was thinking that this is all a little toooo easy. God loves me unconditionally. But don't I have to try my hardest to please Him? Maybe I'm a masochist and I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth.

But I left there feeling like I could do whatever, and that would be A-OK. I think I've said this before, but I strongly disagree* with some of the positions of the Church, primarily on gay marriage and the issue of female priests. But other topics I'm not so sure about, and it leaves me in this uncomfortable gray area.

I have questions, I need guidance. I want to bounce ideas off someone who I have respect for and knows what he is talking about. I don't necessarily want to be told what is right and what is wrong, but rather I'd like to come to certain answers for certain subjects, and certainty only comes through intelligent well-thought out dialogue.

And some of you may be sitting there, scoffing at my questions and uncertainty, feeling that you in fact have everything figured out. That I'm stupid for considering things like religion in my everyday choices. Or you may be thinking that religion is stupid, and you may think that I'm weak.

Well, go ahead and think that. But you're wrong. And if anyone is in the mood for discussing religion in the context of daily life...let me know. I promise it won't be as boring as it sounds.

09/21/2005 NOTE: Patty just pointed out to me that I had said "I strongly agree" when I had meant to say "strongly DISagree." Whoops. For the record, I think gay people should be able to get married, and I think women would make wonderful priests.

I'm always around if you'd like to, although of course the time difference might make it difficult.

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