Monday, January 18, 2010

My God

There is a difference between dogma and belief.

I was raised in a "what if?" climate. It's temperate there. My mother encouraged me to understand fate, heed the universe, believe in nature and mother earth.

My grandmother is a Roman Catholic from her high heels to mink collar. Statues stand on shelves by her bed, the rosary is wrapped around her palm resting on her rising belly as she sleeps. She doesn't have any questions. God answers them. God, the Priest, or her own dear mother...God Rest Her Soul A Better Woman There Never Was.

As an academic I learned to doubt. I learned the difference between organizations and people. I learned of lies and oppression. The opiate of the people. I nodded with my mouth open and my eyes wide. Academia was my opiate, the professor my new prophet. Same drug, different dogma.

Now? I'll take the peace. I understand that faith is liquid and mutable. I hold onto comfort and choose to say yes.

There is a kindness to complying with community. I bite my tongue when I don't agree. There is so much more I agree with.

I sit in the pews. I kneel at the altar. I read the words and say the rosary.

I made a deal with My God. "You keep your secrets, I'll keep mine."

It's a nice arrangement.

19 comments:

  1. You words are soothing to read, and while disagree with them, there are things I am taking away from this.

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  2. hummm..not a Catholic her so I can't equate the rules. I do however, have a few scars on my tongue.

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  3. Very nice, Suzy. Faith is a wonderfully slippery creature that is so easy at times, and difficult at others. One of the things I like about God is that He allows you to ask Him questions. We may not always get the answer we want, or one right away, but He does answer. :)

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  4. hee hee. Love the deal you made with God. I am wondering though, if He is God if He might not already know all your secrets? :)

    I love what you say about faith though. It is funny how faith and war are so closely linked when in fact I think it should be faith and peace.

    Wonderful writing Suzanne. Love that you came out and said what you think :)

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  5. Beautiful post. Religion is fascinating. I was raised Jewish, my husband, Catholic. He converted to Judaism a long time ago, but we both lean towards more Universalist views. Never liked the "we're right, you're wrong" viewpoint of organized religion, and certainly not the "the only way to heaven is through me" rhetoric. If there is a God, I'm sure she's far less egotistical than that. ;-)

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  6. I've seen life from both sides now and I'll keep my secrets. Thanks for giving me something to chew on awhile.

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  7. Well said Suzy. I seem to go through phases of being religious/spiritual and then being apathetic about it all and I never know when it will begin or end.

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  8. Thought-provoking post, Suzy. I too was raised Catholic, by parents very similar to your grandmother, including the rosary beads. No questions, no doubts, just believe what the priest says and be good. That faith seemed to make life and rasinig children easier- no worrying, just ask God to look after them.
    But I think a certain amount of doubt is good.
    Questioning too is good (I think).
    And in light of all the abuse revelations in the Catholic church, I don't think blind faith served children well.
    So I'd be with you, and make my deal with God (he or she).

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  9. I'm still working on the faith thing--bit by bit, service by service. But I do wish more people would realize this: "Academia was my opiate, the professor my new prophet. Same drug, different dogma."

    Everyone has faith in something.

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  10. Faith and secrets are so intertwined.

    Very thought provoking post.

    Shelley

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  11. Nice post. Also not a Catholic, but I love the deal you made with God.

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  12. These are hard posts for me. Thanks for all of your important comments. XO

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  13. Huzzah! Great post. Most difficult part of growing up was realizing faith is a choice, and not necessarily an easy one. GREAT post.

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  14. For me, faith and knowledge are different things--both able to enhance one another. Not everyone feels this way but I'm quite happy with it. The more I learn, the more I appreciate God. The more I feel of faith, the greater I appreciate truth.

    Beautifully written. As always.

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  16. This was beautiful Suzy. There is a certain freedom in just trying to believe. I've found that the more I put aside doubts the more peaceful my life becomes.

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  17. Nice blog.
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