My Transition from Religion to Spirituality
Some say that in a pre-birth agreement we pick our birth situation for personal growth and / or development. On that basis, I am reflecting on my birth family and how my spirituality has evolved. My parents were Roman Catholic. My father’s family were deeply rooted in Catholicism. The opportunity here was that my Mother was a convert to Catholicism. She joined the church as an adult; in all probability that was the only way my Father’s family would allow the marriage.
As I grew, I was surrounded by a close knit extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Remember that my mother was a former Protestant, that gave me ½ a world of loving relatives who were not Catholic.
As I was indoctrinated into the Catholic church, I was deeply moved by the feeling of Spirituality and connection to God thru that vehicle. But the innuendos that non-Catholics would not feel the LOVE of GOD and were not going to heaven, was bewilderment for my young mind. God, as I KNEW Him, would never love one side of my family (Catholic side) more than he loved the other side of my family (the non-Catholics). My childhood innocence knew this as irrefutable and so to this day. The first crack in my being a devote Catholic.
In my youth I had a strong sense of hypocrisy. You can’t be strict and then lenient when it serves you. The Catholic Church did that. As Sunday Mass turn-out got less; make Holy Saturday evening instead for Sunday Mass. Latin isn’t cutting it, change the Mass to the native tongue. We were taught that the Church was infallible, so why would doctrine be changed?
Another Big crack: Who can get into my private life as a spiritual leader and dictate my practice of birth control or not?!? Those most staunch on this form of control are not out there adopting all the unwanted babies. I joined the league of cafeteria Catholics, going along with the doctrines as I chose. This did not sit well with my dislike of hypocrisy.
But the pressure to conform was great and I was a pious Catholic with these secret cracks. I would have even been a Nun except that I thought women should be allowed to be Priests (another crack).
Then the crack broke when I married a Non-Catholic who was raised in a home with hostile view of Catholics. So I was challenged to convert this man of mine to Catholicism. It came down to staying married or leaving the Catholic Church. I was given an ultimatum. After reflection I chose the marriage over the Church. I felt condemned, but I decided I would rather ‘go to hell,’ literally, (now that sounds like brain washing) with this man, than live without him.
Many a year I felt unworthy and forsaken. I tried various churches; Protestant, Non-Denominational, New Age. All to no avail. Someone was always interpreting God for me whether I agreed or not. Someone or some place or some time was always in the middle between me and God. Some authority was between me and God.
By reading many spiritual books, I was brought to a spiritual view that is meaningful in my life. Personally, I have become more comfortable with calling God “Divinity.” As I blog on this site, I will use passages from various books that have inspired me, taught me, and brought meaning into my being. Also, I will blog bits of personal text reflecting on this or that.