The least I can do is try...

The First Day of Lent

In Mental Bliss on March 10, 2011 at 5:16 am

Today is Ash Wednesday– it is almost 11 pm and I did not make it to mass. I am currently traveling for work, but that is hardly an excuse. I googled nearby Catholic churches, but the cold, windy rain outside discouraged me from following through. I did not want to go to church–I wanted to go to my warm hotel room, where I could fire up my laptop and get some work done! I also took the time to post this entry– which should tell you a lot about my priorities.

For quite a few years now, I have missed every holy day mass as well as most Sundays. I used to feel major pangs of guilt, but they have subsided over time– I am down to twinges. I wish I could stomp these twinges but I do not think they will ever fully go away. I hate these twinges because I know they are what make me feel defensive about my decision not to be religously devout. I struggle with what spirituality means to me and how I need to define myself spiritually– if at all.

I think I fear that a person with an unclear view towards religion is seen as a person with questionable integrity by some. Opposingly, I feel that my principles confuse my view of Catholicism– the faith in which I was raised. If I do not agree with everything the Catholic church preaches– am I still Catholic? Why do I care?

I think despite the things that have alienated me from the faith with which I grew up, I have to acknowledge that there was good. There were things I learned that made me a better person. Regardless of my “Catholic-status”, or non-status for that matter, I will observe Lent.  As I watch the news footage from Libya and Egypt– I cannot help but reflect on sacrifice and appreciate what I have. This day serves as a reminder to me that instead of focusing on the perceived faults of others (or organizations), and the minor issues in my own life, this can serve as a time of gratitude, self-reflection, service and atonement.

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