Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Keeping It Private

Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of making this blog private. Most of the things I write here (not that I’ve been blogging much lately) are so personal, most of them I’ve never even discussed with my family, my friends, some I’ve not even discussed with my husband. But then again it’s not like a lot of people have been reading this anyway plus if questioned or confronted, I know I can stand by whatever thoughts or opinions I’ve shared here. So I guess for the meantime I’ll keep this public, I don’t have anything to hide anyway. J

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Faith in Progress

I am Catholic. My family, friends, neighbors, everyone around me are devout Catholics. I was raised in an environment where people pray before meals and it's a must to attend mass every single week, where you have to serve in church and take part in all the activities. I grew up in a family where my lola heads the Parish Pastoral Council,where my mom is a lector and my dad is a lay minister. Heck, I even married a guy who's part of the choir and is keen on attending each and very single church event.

So with all these around me, people would expect I am a devout Catholic myself. Well, no I am not. The past few years I have been struggling with my faith. (It's a long story why and would practically entail another blog post). Yes, I do pray, in fact I pray every single day. But do I go to mass? Not so much the past few years. Do I serve? I want to, but apparently I am ineligible to do so. Why? Because I am struggling with my faith.

Apparently, for you to be able to serve, you have to be in mass every single Sunday and you have to "show" people that you are a devout Catholic at all given times. When I toyed with the idea of serving, I was under the impression that God accepts everyone, even those like me who are currently in a limbo with regards to their faith. I was hoping serving would change how I currently feel about Catholicism in general, I was hoping through serving I could bring back my faith.

Well, apparently, I don't even have the chance to find out if these are even possible because I was told today that if I want to serve, I have to show up every single time even on days when I don't feel like I am worthy to go to mass. You see for me, going to mass isn't a chore, something you tick off your to do list just so everyone around you can say wow you're such good person, you go to mass religiously. No for me, praying, serving and going to mass is something you do because you really want to, because in your heart of hearts you really want to and not just because the society thinks you should.

It broke my heart to know that I can't even serve on days when my intentions are pure and my faith is strong just because I refuse to do the same on days when I don't feel I have the same level of faith and intensions. I just don't see the point of being there if all I can think about while in mass is how much I hate it when the priest starts disucssing fundraising for the church during homily or how much it irritates when I start hearing the supposedly religious people talk ill of others behind their backs.

I want to go to mass to pray and talk to God, not to think ill of others and definitely not to just show people I am religious. And that is why I am very much wary about going to church on days when I know I won't be able to focus that time solely to the Lord. I just don't see the point of being there just so I can claim oh I go to mass every single week. So anyway I've always thought God understands my point, well because he is God. I believe He loves me for who I am and he will always have a place for me in his home. Apparently this is not true according to the religious and that in order to have a place in God's arms, you have to be there every single week whether your intentions are pure or not.

For the normal person, I guess that's fairly easy, you just have to show up and you're practically an angel in everyone's eyes. But for people like me, who believes in quality over quantity, who believes that going to mass entails pure intentions, who believes that praying isn't a mere responsibility but in fact a blessing, the whole you-can-only-serve-if-you-come-here-every-week idea is basically equivalent of telling me that I don't deserve God's love because I don't go to mass every single Sunday. It's just sad because I have always thought God appreciates every single form of service and prayer and if I am to believe what I was told today, then apparently I made a mistake.

Yes my faith is a work in progress and no I am not ashamed to say that because I know in my heart of hearts, I am just being real. I am being me. Maybe someday I'll be able to push through these walls and I can once again say my faith is completely but as of the moment I choose to pray when I can honestly say I am truly praying and not just because the society dictates I do so.

Note: I know my views are hard to understand, precisely why I rarely share them, but the thing is I don't push my own beliefs to other people, I respect their own thoughts and opinions, all these in hopes that they bestow me the same respect and courtesy.