We are now in the Lenten season. The Captain is Catholic, and got to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral for his ashes, because it's down the block from his office. I was a little jealous, because it's quite a beautiful church. We're raising the boys as Catholics, but I'm Presbyterian. Mind you, I haven't attended a Protestant church in years, but it's still how I identify myself. Those early imprints are hard to change.
Only once have I ever considered converting to Catholicism, and it was because of the boys. Two got up to receive communion, and said "Come on, Mom," but I told him I couldn't go, because I'm not Catholic. It's a flaw in the doctrine. Now I get up and walk up with the younger guys, so they can get a blessing. The first time I did it, the priest went to offer the host, but I said, "Just a blessing, Father." Then he wrangled me in the lobby, and asked, "When are you going to become one of us?" I smiled, but lately, Buddhism speaks to me, so I don't see conversion in the cards.
I do think religious education is important, for both intellectual and spiritual reasons. I think a sense of wonder and faith are important tools in our daily lives. I think one should understand the history and basic tenets of their own faith, and, hopefully, others as well. I think there is more that connects us in this world, than that which divides us. Heck, Judaism and Islam started in the same family. Literally.
I reminded my children about Lent. They started thinking about what they had to give up, like chocolate. I explained that Lent is really about reflecting on what we can do to become better people, to be more patient, more forgiving, more accepting. To Love More. No matter what they decide to believe as adults, this is the one thing I want them to remember, and strive to do.
I'm not always conciously trying to improve myself, but there are times when an issue arises, and I get a real "opportunity" to do some work. I'm in one of those periods. And I've derived real inspiration from a variety of sources, most interestingly from our friend Julie, who shares a daily card reading on her blog.
I think talking about religion makes a lot of people nervous. Either we don't want to offend, or we only notice our differences. But I'm all about what unites us. I believe in God, Jesus, the Universe, Buddha, and Muhammed, because I think it's all the same message. I believe in Big Love. I don't know what you believe, but I feel your love every day, which is why I believe.
Sending some love and inspiration your way now....