So Easter is in 3 days, this is the holy week and I have been feeling a certain “mea culpa” for missing most of Lent. I have been reflecting quite a bit about everything I believe in. You see, I was raised a catholic and I like being a catholic, I even cried when Pope John Paul II died (yes, he was a good man), expressed my respect for Benedict XVI when he resigned, and screamed at the top of my lungs when “Habemus Papam” was declared a few weeks ago after the conclave sat. Although there are some things I dare not express in the church. I believe that the use of condoms is absolutely essential (don’t get me started on the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS and what it does to families and those poor children orphaned by AIDS). I also do not see how it is in my place to criticise people’s sexual choices.
Back to my faith, the catholic way of worship is certainly different from the exuberance of the Pentecostal style, and it is also different from the new age form of worship. In the Catholic Church, the bible forms a tremendous foundation of who we are and our expression of faith. However, the sacraments of the church as well as the pope are very key. The Pope is key to the decisions made in the church; one remembers Vatican II, and the more recent changes to the liturgy of the mass to usher in 2012 by Benedict XVI. The church (and I use the term loosely to mean the followers of Christ) is changing to become relevant to the times we live in. There is a lot of dancing and singing in non-traditional churches, of preaching about prosperity and wealth creation. People especially young people find this relevant to their time. The new age forms are also popular and people use them in whole, or in parts; meditation, yoga, mantra chanting, varying from place to place. I think this form of worship will take over from the traditional forms and the fierce Pentecostal style, eventually. My journey though, has taken me to several different forms and places.
However, I like to think of myself as a catholic although many people may not regard me as a good one. I have missed mass quite a few times and I cannot remember the last time I went to confession! But in all this, I have held the Eucharist very special in my heart. My mother was visiting a couple of weekends ago, and she came with a boxful of catholic prayers for my sister and I; “How to find a life partner” (Ha!More on this next post), “How to avoid mortal sin”, “Prayer to the Saint of the Impossible”, and so many more. She made copies too, so that we each had a copy! “Everything Good Will Come” she kept telling us. I love my mum so much! That Sunday, I attended mass with her (no question of missing it while she was here). I dressed up with a slight irritation in my heart; I had a lot of work to finish off and wasn’t feeling like going because I went to bed late (we were up saying the Rosary with mum).
Surprisingly though, when I got to church, I felt a tremendous peace within my heart, the kind that makes you smile and keep still. I can tell you now that I do not know what it was, but it felt great and I will go back this week. The way I look at it is; as long as you are not causing harm to people, if it makes you happy and you believe, stick to whatever works for you.
Happy Easter to you.