I have come to realize that religion plays a bigger role than we all realize in modern Western society. Think about it, in the news, how often do we hear about controversies surrounding terrorism? In particular, we are constantly hearing about the stifling living conditions for women in the Middle East. These conditions originate from the tenets of Islam. To be honest, it is beyond my comprehension that an actual faith could justify the total suppression of women.
For me, I was born Catholic. I have my issues, even today, with the Catholic church. However, there are some aspects of it that I do appreciate. For example, I cherish the enthusiasm that Catholics demonstrate during the Easter Vigil. Moreover, I started thinking of this topic because of a compelling comment that someone made during an AA meeting I attended several years ago. I’ll never forget it.
A young man, about my age probably, was talking about how he knew a young woman who had just given birth. She was recently married, and she wanted her entire family to start going to church, so they did. This young man had mixed feelings about religion himself, like so many of us do. I think it’s because we think that with everything we’ve been through, how could there possibly be a God that exists somewhere? Well this man had this little epiphany thinking about this young woman. He explained how he proceeded to question himself. How does it make sense for him to question her choice to go to church? She seems to be doing okay in life! Even I thought like he did too at one point in my life. I was very cynical and discouraged. However, with more recovery time under my belt, I’ve come to realize that long before the drugs and alcohol happened, I was still an addict-in-training. I hadn’t ever really surrendered to God. I wasn’t availing myself to communication with God. I memorized my “Our Father,” “Hail Mary,” “Nicene Creed,” and I was an altar boy for 11 years. I thought I was scoring big in Mr. God’s grade book. It wasn’t until my addiction, ironically enough, that I realized that it doesn’t and it never worked that way, and I was doing it all wrong.
Spirituality is not just some new aspect that you build into your life. No, not at all. It is about the love you have for Source, which creates the love you have for everything else, whether it be fellow human beings, the Earth, or even yourself. Remember to live by the will of Source.
Blessings to you!