Thursday, April 1, 2010

Losing MyReligion - Finding My Faith

Over the years so much has changed for me in regards to religion. And by changed I mean lost. I was raised Catholic Italian and our family went to church every Sunday and we followed and honored all the faith traditions. I felt so much a part of something so huge and powerful and life-saving. As a kid I was scared some times too - all that Catholic-Italian guilt. I believed what I was taught to be true and right and must be followed for such was the only way to be assured getting to Heaven when I died.


I don't do any of that religious ceremony any more nor do I believe any of that "burn in hell" stuff any more . It was a difficult and long transition. I am so much more connected to Jesus/God now and my faith is so strong and purposeful without all the interference of religion. I do believe myself to be a Christian and I adore Jesus - we are best of friends and I ally with his teachings as they are good, loving and hopeful. I have a Jesus inspired creed by which I live and it starts with love, promotes justice, is kind, humble, generous, natural and simple, fair, musical, fun, honorable, respectful and more love.

My ability to "know" any of that after I was abused and betrayed by Roman Catholic clergy was destroyed. I can tell you that I tried, I honestly tried to belong to a faith community again of various denominations and venues - even a 'Women's Spirituality' group - I was destined to find my way back to my faith but not in a church with false leaders and dishonest servants. I finally found my way and I began walking hand in hand with Jesus - me and Him - and we talked, and He listened and I listened - and Jesus and I continue to do so - and some times I will commune with one, or two or three other faithful people and we give witness - not planned, rather unexpected and from the heart. Oh there is nothing more beautiful than that. I feel Jesus present amongst us and our hearts open and spill out the loving truth. Oh it is so glorious when that happens. No altars, or pompous religious garb, or golden chalices and marble floors - just hearts - broken and poured out before one another and our Lord. Oh it is so humbling when that happens. I believe it is the way Jesus intended it to happen with him, and in His name.

And so as he dies for me, for us all this Friday I am at the foot of His cross - I am humbly kneeling before Him - I will thank and praise Him. I will await His resurrection and freedom. And I will continue to walk hand in hand with Him, listening, believing, sharing from my brokenness so others can have hope - I renew this promise every Good Friday. My brook is running high and free so I can submerge my feet as I have so many years before and promise Him that I will share the gift He has given me - the gift of truth. It s all He has ever asked of any of us - to be true and to share our truths with others - to be broken and poured out so others can have hope. Amen.





24 comments:

Diana said...

Dear Gail,
This was a beautiful post. I appreciated it as I haven't wanted to go to church since my mom passed away. I haven't lost my faith, I just still don't want to be around anyone. I don't know why. Anyway I think that you have a beautiful way of putting your thoughts into words. I so wish that we could meet and talk someday.
Love Di ♥

Diana said...

P.S. What happened to your snowflakes?

CordieB said...

What a loving testimony, Gail. You are blessed and you are a blessing. Thank you for sharing. Be good this Friday, dear friend.

Eileen said...

I was here earlier but I got booted off! And now when I started playing the video this post kept jumping and going in and out, so I turned off the video. I'll try to listen to it again after I comment, I just didn't want to lose your blog again. And I'm having lots of trouble commenting on some blogs, so I'll have to see if this goes through.

I agree with everything you said about Faith and having a relationship with God. If a religion or a church building or certain rites and rituals, and familiar ceremonies are not drawing you into a close relationship with God and His Son, then I don't see the point of continuing with them. I have no problem with anyone who feels close to God within a religious affiliation, and there are many traditions that I still follow and love. But I also feel just as close to God in a crowded supermarket, or on a peaceful nature trail.

You obviously enjoy a close relationship with Jesus. He wasn't about to let your past get in the way of His Love for you.
God Bless!
Love to you,
Eileen

Lola said...

As you know, I AM Catholic and Italian so I know exactly what you mean by "all that Catholic Italian guilt"!!

I have changed so much over the years as well and I am too more connected to jesus now than few years ago. I am not part of any faith community although I would like to find a community/group to share, for instance, my doubts and difficult moments.

I am sorry, no I should better write that I'm disgsted with clergies involved in sexual scandals and I'm really sorry you had been through all this.

All my love,
HAPPY EASTER

Gail said...

HI DIANA-

I am so glad you liked this post. I would SO love to spend time with you roo - just talking and sharing.

And the snowflakes? I took the program off that made it snow - figured it ws time since Spring is here :-)

Love to you my friend
Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI CORDIEB-

ALways so nice to see you. I am glad you enjoyed yourit :-)

Love to you sister and happy blessed Easter
Gail
peace

Gail said...

HI EILEEN-

Yal I was having trouble commenting on some blogs as well. And also, I so respect and enjoy ofhet people's religious traditions and church connections - I do miss a faith community a lot. :-)
And Jesus was with me all the time way back then - He saved me.

Love to you and Happy Easter
Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI LOLA

thank you so much for your kind words of understanding. And I truly appreciate your disgust for the evil acts of some RC clergy. phew.

Love you
ciao
Gail
peace.....

Margie said...

Gail, to have such a special relationship with God must be such a blessing in your life!
Something that you cherish!
I can tell that from the words you wrote!
Thank you for sharing!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Blessings to you!

Margie:)

Wonderingsoul said...

Dear Gail,

Your ost hasmade me think more than anything I've read in Blogland for a little while.
I am a kind of Christian, but a very, very, very bad one. In fact, I hardly dare to call myself one at all these days.
I too grew up Catholic... bought up in a strict Catholic tradition (which became a lot more relaxed as my folks got into the more charismatic / renewal side of things in later years).
I don't 'fit' in church... Not at all. I can't do the whole 'shiny happy clappy people' thing an I can't deal with the 'you're not holy enough' thing...
I do pray but find that hard too nowadays. largely because I know I am guilty of being so far away.
Amyway, reading your post... Well... It just reminds me...
Love to you and... thank you...

xxx

Gail said...

HI WONDERINGSOUL-

I am so happy to see you. :-) I understand your sentiments about church, obviously huh? :-) And as far as you being Christian - well, I can't make you believe something about yourself but I can tell you that from all I have read on your blog I believe you to be very Christian.

Love you
Gail'
peace.....

Gail said...

HI MARGIE-

SO nice of you to visit :-) And ya, Jesus and I are good friends.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

PENolan said...

Hey Gail - as a solitary practitioner of something approaching Existential Christianity, or maybe it's an indigenous Celtic path toward Christianity
or maybe it's something else entirely that resembles Pocahantas' Colors of the Wind - all I have to say is Happy Easter.
May the force be with you
and all that stuff that shows we all come back to life in the springtime.

Lately I've been thinking that the first communion at the Last Supper was a way for those of us with a Western mentality to understand the nature of the Internal expression of God. Jesus may have died for us, but we also died along with him.

Maybe on the third day, Jesus arose and ran off to France with his wife Mary Magdalene . . . I love that story.

Gail said...

HEY TRISH-

Oh ya, Jesus and Mary Magdelan -greatest love story ever!!

SO nice to see you - how's things in Texas? JD??

Happy Easter to you
Love Gail
peace......

Sniffles and Smiles said...

A lovely, lovely post dear Gail...Thank you! Your love and heart for Jesus and other people simply shines! Have a wonderful Easter weekend! Love, Janine XO

Gail said...

HI JANINE

thanks SO much - holding you close this Easter season and always.
Love Gail
peace......

Wanda said...

Have a Joyful Easter, Gail.

Jenny said...

Dear Gail, what a totally lovely post. I think just because you don't follow organized religion doesn't mean you are not a spiritual person.

In the short time I've known you I've never seen anything but kindness and compassion...and really, isn't that what all religions preach?

Happy Easter, dear lady!

Gail said...

HI JENNY-

Oh how lovely to ick roses for your Mom. And like I have said/written - it is my disconnect from church that enhanced my faith and relationship with Jesus and spiritual depths.

Happy Easter
Love Gail
peace.....

Grant said...

Hopefully you still believe in the Easter Bunny and chocolate eggs.

Gail said...

HI GRANT-

So nice to see you here. And oh yes, of course I still believe. I am a big kid at heart. :-)

Love Gail
peace.....

Patricia Singleton said...

Gail, I have experienced my own journey away from religion and back to Spirit and thus on to Spirituality. Thank you for sharing yours.

Gail said...

HI PATRICIA

I am so glad you came by. "thank you" for your kind words.

Love Gail
peace.....