Sunday, November 05, 2006

Faith Of Our Fathers

I wish I had the faith that my father had. A staunch Catholic his whole life, he never had a doubt about his religion, and his faith was something that carried him through his difficult life. He liked to make his point when it came to opinions on God, and everyone else's opinions were just wrong. He would argue with one of my brothers, or one of my uncles about an article of the church and his voice would get louder and louder until finally, whoever he was arguing with, would give up. I think he loved it when the Jehovah's Witness paid a visit to the house. He would meet them in the yard or on the porch and explain to them that they were wrong in their thinking and their beliefs.... they wouldn't get a word in edgewise.
As for my father's third son, me, I've had serious questions about the Catholic faith and it's role in modern times. I think the Mass is too ritualistic and the church does little to address the human needs of it's parishioners. Also, I'm not in favor of the biblical account of creation. I'm leaning toward thinking that Man is only another step in the evolutionary process, and not the masters of the planet. This thinking goes against what Christians the world over are taught.
Having said that, why is it that I feel guilty all week long if I miss Mass on Sunday, or that I say prayers in earnest when I do go? I think it's because I still believe in God, even though I might disagree with the way the church worships Him. When you start picking apart elements of the Mass it's hard to keep on the track that the church says you should stay on. That's where Faith plays its part. The very definition is to believe without seeing, and that's what I lack, that complete trust in the Catholic church to guide me in the right path. My dad had that, and he stayed on that path right to the end. Dad had gotten cancer and when he started to get sick the priest came to the house to visit him on several occasions. On the last trip there he said to the priest "Father, I'm ready to go", and he did. I wish I could believe like he did.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Erik said...

What I would say is that you have it hard, but you do have faith despite doubts, and just hang on. Something very good will happen soon, I suspect. Your blog is great! Must be hard to be a born-into Catholic -- much more fun to enter voluntarily, as an adult.

11:54 PM  
Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Faith is so tough sometimes. I'm always comforted by the Bible story about the man who didn't have faith but had faith that God could help his unbelief. I find myself saying that prayer a lot -- something along the lines of the fact that I don't have faith the situation will change, but I know it will because I believe I will be given faith. Very convoluted, I know, but it works! Lovely story about your father and his end. All ends are so sad, but his seems very peaceful.

8:52 PM  

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