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The Easter Bunny died for you April 11, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Life.
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This post started as a response to AMinDinMotown’s The divide only widens post. She posted about how Easter led her to reflect on Religion.

Well Easter didn’t really cause me to think about my thoughts on religion, but her post did. Some background: I went to a catholic school until 8th grade, then public. I don’t believe my family has ever been to Sunday mass, and I’ve easily attended more masses than both my parents combined. I was never a regular, and my best guess is that my last time at mass was in 2003.

When I was at Holy Rosary I use to wish my family would go on sundays. I felt like the odd kid out because it seemed like everyone else was there. My little brother is 12, he was baptized Catholic, if I recall he’s never been to Mass (other than his baptism of course). My dad regularly cooks meat of fridays during lent. It makes me angry. I don’t understand why they were so concerned with making us Catholic when they didn’t want to do anything Catholic. I avoid eating meat on fridays during let, but in this house its easy to forget. There’s nobody around to remind me. And when I realize after-words I get upset at myself.

So where do religion and I stand now? First off, I’m thankful for my upbringing. I think the most important thing anyone achieve through religion is values. I’ll support anyone’s beliefs as long as they show values and morals. I don’t view Catholicism as the “correct religion”. The notion that one religion is right and another is wrong is just ridiculous. Who believes in a God that’s so close minded? (lol some might say Catholics) I feel that God respects and love those who live honorable lives. We all make mistakes, we can all ask for forgiveness, just be a good person.

Once I have kids I think my family will start going to church again. Not right away, once they’re at that point that they won’t cry for 40 mins straight, lol. Some of the lessons I learned as a kid might have more meaning to me once I enter parenthood. And I would like my children to take in the values from the church as well. Once they’re in high school I’ll let them make their own choices, but until then we’ll spend sunday mornings at mass. And then after I always want to cook a sunday brunch!

Other thoughts, I’m not really worried about if there’s a heaven/hell right now. I’m sure that will be more important to me later in life, but for now I’m too busy trying to make the most of what I have to be concerned about whats next. I know God sees gays as equals. God wouldn’t hate anyone, except terrorists/murderers/rapists. (That’s not a complete list) I guess as rule if during your life you do things to ruin other people lives, then you’re going to be on God’s shit list. What else? Evolution is pretty much the way things happened here on earth. So does that make me a bad Catholic? Probably.

Do I think God worries about those details? No. One might even say ‘the devil is in the details’ lol. Well as you may be able to tell, I’m pretty open on my views, so feel free to comment if you’d like. You won’t hurt my feelings. 🙂

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Comments»

1. Katie - April 11, 2009

It’s nice to see a religion post. I know how controversial they can be, so I tend to avoid them. I’m so glad you did one though.

I was born and raised Catholic; all the way through 8th grade Confirmation. After that, I stopped going. My parents stopped making me go. Then they divorced, so I think that removed them from being recognized in the Catholic church. This was back in 1999, so. NOW I hear my old Parish has a Gay priest. Oh, how times come around.

ANYWAY.

Now, I go to a Non-Denominational Church. Everyone from baptised Catholics to Jewish people go, and they sing (mostly modern-rock-ish music) and read and learn the bible. I feel at home there.

Tonight, they had a super Passion Play. Ah-May-Zing. Rightfully titled, “Love So Amazing.” They acted out the Passion, (clearly) and they featured a lot of music and narration. Just great.

As far as my views. I believe in God. I don’t push my beliefs on anyone. I know some people encourage you to try and “convert” and “encourage” people to be “born again.” Nah, not so much for me. If someone asks me what I’m doing, I’ll say “Going to Church.”

My best friend makes fun of me for it, and I play it off as OK. I simply get inspiration from being at Church. Much like I do from Quotes and Art. So, why not do what makes me feel better?

Wow, this went long. Probably because I examined this a lot as I drove home from the play.

Happy Easter 🙂

Patrick - April 11, 2009

What would the internet be without controversy? Besides, the only people who get upset over religious posts are those who are intolerant. And who cares if they’re upset, lol.

I’ve never been to a Non-Denomination Church. That does sound interesting though. I was at a church in Texas once, they had projectors and played what seemed to be a slideshow. It was definitely different, lol.

I decided I need to write another paragraph so they don’t all end in ‘lol’. So Happy Easter Katie!

2. religionoftheweek - April 11, 2009

I think you’re confused but I think it’s a good thing. I was raised Catholic, too. You are aware that there are things that are wrong with Catholicism and you hold views that are rational (ie. homosexuality and Evolution). You might want to consider just not doing it anymore. I mean, the fact is, they don’t believe those things. There is nothing wrong with just believing whatever it is that you choose to believe. (Especially if you’ve taken the time to actually think about it.) I think that Catholicism does more damage then people tend to believe. It’s hard to get over the idea that there is a Big Scary Father figure in the sky that will catch you doing wrong. And Lent?? I mean think about it?? Do you really think that it makes a difference to God whether or not you eat bacon in the morning?? Do you really think the designer of the Universe gets his panties in a bundle because you didn’t get up early enough to dress up so as to sit in a building and be bored for an hour?? I know. I sound too flippant. It’s just that I’ve been through it. I see that it is not as enlightening as all of the pomp and circumstance makes it out to be. It’s just that.
If you really want to improve your life, stop trying to be a good Catholic and start trying to be a good human. Learn about different religions and philosophies. Reflect on them and take only from them what you truly believe to be rational and ethical. Believe what you believe and nothing else. God is awesome and there is not one religion that has figured it out. Trust yourself.
..Also, you seriously might want to consider ending the cycle. I’ve found that people tend to give up on Catholicism until they have children and then pick it up again. You’re not doing your kids any favors by boring and scaring them into believing in God. Teach your children tolerance. Teach them to be critical. Teach them to respect life. You can do all of this without Catholicism as an expensive middle-man.

Patrick - April 11, 2009

Thanks for your comment, I enjoy reading everyones opinions. So first off I never felt like there was a Big Scary Father lol. There are many ways to view God, I suppose instead of seeing him as an ‘almighty judge’ he was always more of a ‘inspirational coach’. If you have faith in God, perhaps he has faith in you. Who knows, maybe not, but with some positive thinking you can get a lot more done in life. As for Lent, good point, I’m sure there’s no list of who’s eating bacon. I would know, I love bacon. I just think it’s more of a dedication thing. Kind of like a new years resolution. You want to show yourself that you can commit to something. And in the end it can be empowering.

There’s a good chance my children might not be Catholic. I will make that choice when I see what religion lines up best with my views at the time.However, they’ll still be going to church on sundays, because even though it might be boring I still believe there are some worthy lessons to hear.

3. Walt - April 11, 2009

Perhaps you just don’t really understand what Catholicism is all about.

Here is a brief (thus probably inadequate in many ways) explanation of Roman Catholicism:

God is love. Love is making a gift of yourself to another. Love is self-giving. The opposite of love is selfishness. Authentic love always exhibits 4 basic qualities; it is always free, total, faithful, and fruitful. Otherwise, is has been corrupted by selfishness, which makes one want to possess something/someone for one’s own pleasure.

God exists in a communion formed by self-giving love: the Trinity.

The Father begets the Son by loving him; the Son is begotten by the Father, letting himself be loved and receiving from him the capacity to love; the Holy Spirit is love given in total gratuitousness by the Father, received with full gratitude by the Son, and returned by him to the Father. – Pope John Paul II 7/29/98

God is not a solitude, but a family. — Pope John Paul II

Authentic love is always open to new life (i.e., fruitful).
God created man out of love.
God created man in his image and likeness.
God created man to share his divine life.
God’s hope (expectation?) was that man would live a life of perfect self-giving love in imitation of his creator.
Man would procreate, building a large family of God on earth, obedient and faithful in love to him and to each other.
True love gives total freedom to the other.
Man was completely free to choose to respond to God’s love and God’s plan by giving of himself to God in return.
Giving of himself to God would involve man’s obedience and faithfulness to God.

Man was disobedient and unfaithful to God (Adam & Eve…) (selfish).
God immediately promised a plan of salvation for man.

God begins to form a people [family/tribe/nation/kingdom] that will freely return his love and live in imitation of their creator.
God continued to reach out to his expanding family.
He sent a law for them to follow (Moses. 10 Commandments, etc.).
He sent prophets to them as his messengers.

But God’s people continually fell into a cycle of
Unfaithfulness / Tragedy / Repentance / Forgiveness / Faithfulness / Pride (forgetting God) / Unfaithfulness…
His people repeatedly fail to keep the law and be faithful to him (i.e., failed to love him in response to his love for them).

In the fullness of time, God sent his Son, Jesus, out of his love and his desire to see his people restored.

Jesus was perfectly faithful, obedient, humble, self-giving in love.
Jesus does what Israel (God’s chosen people) failed to do: he freely did only God’s will, which was primarily to proclaim the truth about the kingdom of God (and witness to it via signs and wonders – miracles, exorcisms, etc).

Jesus endured all the pain and suffering that came upon him because of his perfect faithfulness to the Father……to the point of death.
(His proclamation of the truth caused him to be hated by the religious authorities of his time. The more he proclaimed the truth and worked miracles (i.e., did God’s will, his mission in life), the more they hated him, until finally their selfishness caused them to kill him)
The only way that Jesus could have avoided being put to death would have been by selfishly being unfaithful to the will of his Father.
But Jesus freely chose death rather than unfaithfulness to God.

This is why his sacrifice is accepted by God in atonement for our sins: because, in his human nature, Jesus remained totally faithful to God.

By his sacrifice, Jesus cleared away the impediments to Divine Mercy for all of us.
Jesus won for us the grace which is necessary for us to be faithful to God.
We must come to God through Jesus – he wasn’t sent by the Father for nothing!!
We need the grace that Jesus won for us; we cannot be faithful by our own efforts.
Jesus rises from the dead to prove that life is eternal.

Together, the Father & Son send the Holy Spirit
Who brings God’s grace
And is God’s life in us

The Spirit is also the love and the personal gift which contains every created gift: life, grace and glory. The mystery of this communion shines forth in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, enlivened by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit himself makes us “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) and thus integrates us within the same unity which binds the Son to the Father. We are left in wonder at this intense and intimate communion between God and us! – Pope John Paul II 7/29/98

Remember, God wants to form a people that will freely return his love and live in imitation of their creator. (vs establishing a written law to be followed)

Jesus came to restore the formation of this people, not just to write a book [the bible].

Church = family of God
A family of God’s creatures
A family with this common trait: acceptance of Jesus as their Savior
A family adopted by the Father

A family of people who will now use the grace that God now offers us through Jesus (sacraments, liturgy, etc.)

To enable us to be faithful

To freely choose to put him and others first

Despite any pain and suffering we must endure

Just like Jesus did!!

Patrick - April 11, 2009

I wish I had your cliff notes on Catholicism back in school. 🙂 You’ve reminded me of many of the different things I’ve learned both in school and at Mass. I suppose my post was heavily focused on ‘how religion applies to my way of life’ as opposed to ‘how I think Catholicism works’.

Thank you Walt for the time you put into this post, and I shall keep these thoughts with me through the Easter season.

4. Timothy - April 12, 2009

I’ll keep it short, simple. God cares for both you and me. Take charge!

5. Delilah - April 13, 2009

I really like your outlook on religion. It’s definitely a refreshing change from other narrow-minded christians and agnostics that I have come across.
I was raised catholic as well but as far as following the rules go, my family and I have never really been that serious. Maybe we just haven’t found the meaning for us yet?
Good luck with your discoveries!

Patrick - April 13, 2009

Hey there Delilah (sorry, I had to) Yeah, there’s nothing worse than someone who’s narrow minded. Everyone deserves their own beliefs, but we need to make our own decisions and respect others.

6. amindinmotown - April 13, 2009

Interesting that my post got you thinking about religion. And like you, I’d like to raise my children as Catholic then provide them the opportunity to decide for themselves what/if religion fits.

I think it’s normal and natural for people at our age to question this stuff, and I’m more than certain we’re not even the only Scrantonians doing so.

Patrick - April 13, 2009

Really? See I knew there was a reason we should have children, we already have the same plans! =P


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