Choosing my religion….don’t flee

This may be a little off course for me, but I read an article in TIME magazine and wanted to share with you.

As many of you know, Steve and I began attending Church way back in 2003/4.  He and I had been far removed from any sort of religious services other than weddings and funerals…we “thought” we were living the Grand LIfe…We attended the funeral of a dear friend of ours and something happened.  I can’t explain to you in words what happened, but it happened to both of us.  I can’t tell you the date for certain, because I’ve never been one to remember dates.  I can, however, tell you that IT happened.  I remember going back to the car after the funeral, filled with emotion.  I told Steve, “Something just happened and I think we need to start going to church.”  He said he was feeling the same thing… the following Sunday, we began the tradition…the trek….

I remember going to church when I was little.  I remember Sunday School and Vacation Bible School….but somewhere along the line, the church wasn’t all that important…My good buddy, Satan,  had taken hold of my foot and was trying to pull me down…he did a good job of it for a long time.  We hung out a lot together.  He smiled at my failures and hung on to my shoulder…whispering in my ear at every moment I was “free” to do whatever I wanted.

The death of this dear friend brought Steve and me into the church that we had denied for so many years.  Well, not that we had denied, but that we ignored the existence of.  I had said for years that I didn’t “believe in” organized religion.  However…then I understood.

So, now, let me share an excerpt from “TIME” magazine about my Catholic Faith:

“A bit more background before going further:  in the Catholic Church there are ‘diocesan priests,’ who work mainly in parishes, and “religious order” priests, like those in the Jesuits, Franciscans, and Dominicans.  In religious orders we profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and live in community with one another.

Now that I’ve brought it up, let’s cut to the big question:  what about celibacy?  It’s what most people have on their minds when they think about the priesthood,especially in the wake of the sexual-abuse scandals.  So a little explanation.  First of all, celibacy is not for everyone – obviously.  If it were, there wouldn’t be much time left for the human race?  But it is meant for some people, like me, who take a vow of chastity, or diocesan priests who promise celibacy….For me, chastity is a way that allows me to love many people freely and deeply.  Yes, forgoing sexual intimacy is difficult, but married life has its own challenges too.  A celibate lifestyle calls you to find and express love in deep friendships, in your ministry, and in prayer with God.

Celibacy doesn’t lead to sexual abuse, but that doesn’t mean commentators don’t draw that conclusion.  Most incidents of abuse take place in the family, but no one says marriage leads to sexual abuse.  Many incidents take place in schools, but no one says a degree in education leads to abusing children.  Basically the easy (and insulting) conflation of celibacy with pedophilia reflects a discomfort with the celibate life.  Anyone who chooses to live without sexual intimacy, the popular thinking goes, must be either sick, deluded, crazy- or all three.  But as I said, it’s simply another way to love, not better or worse.  And I’ll bet you have many celibate people in your life.  They would include single men and women, widows and widowers, the uncle or aunt or co-worker or neighbor who has chosen not to marry.  As long as they are loving and enjoy deep friendships, why not see their choice as another way to live? and love?” ~Father James Martin

So, there you have it.

I hope you’ve made it through my post and I look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle

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