Monday, January 9, 2012

January Happiness Theme is Eternity....and a quick recap

So I've been a bit MIA as of late to finish up the finals I had to complete for my two courses.  All is finished and I just registered for my last class so by May I will be saying goodbye to the "and student" from my list of particulars and saying hello to a pretty hefty pay raise.  Other than that I've been soaking up the promise of a new year with my family, sans to do list and it's been great.

So back to our regularly scheduled program...The Happiness Project.  This month I'm focusing on Eternity, as in God and religion and all that jazz that people caution you not to talk about during cocktail parties (that and politics) because no matter what your view someone probably feels vehemently opposed.  But this is not a cocktail party, this is my personal blog and we're all big girls (and maybe a boy or two) here so I think we can discuss this topic as such.  I'm sure I'll get my fair share of e-mails calling me a heathen, but I've been called worse.  So let's dive in and try to be respectful.  I don't mind if someone disagrees with me, wants to make a different point, or wants to point out an error on my part.  I'm always up for a debate just so long as it remains in good taste.

Religion is a tricky thing for me.  I went to a Catholic grammar school, a Catholic high school, and even a Catholic college.  My mother was quasi involved with the Church while I was growing up.  So I have a strong Roman Catholic background, however, I find that my own beliefs differ very much from what I was taught and, to be honest, had a lot of reservations about getting Isabella baptized.  So here's the bulleted list of what I believe and don't believe.

I do believe...

  • in God.  A greater power.  The universal force of God.
  • in Jesus.  
  • in Mary.  Mary is my homegirl.  I've often thought about Mary, not the Mother of God Mary, but just the mother Mary.  Did she ever get frustrated with Jesus as a child?  Was it ever all too overwhelming for her?  Did she have someone she could vent with?  Whenever I'm really down I always pray to Mary.  I feel where God can be all fire and brimstone, I find her to be much more comforting.  
  • in being good to people and finding the good in people
  • more in the metaphysical act of spirituality than I do in organized religion.        
  • that thoughts have weight and that you can attract good things to you by positive thinking, and the reverse is true for negative thinking. 
I don't believe...
  • that Mary was a virgin. I know that's a big sticking point in the Catholic faith, I just don't believe in it.
  • that there's an old, bearded man in Heaven judging our every movement and making plans for us to go to Heaven or Hell or Purgatory
  • in the fact that the Catholic Church has become a big business.  $500 mandatory donation to get married in the Church.  We almost couldn't get Isabella baptized because we hadn't made $700 in donations to the Church during mass.  It infuriates me!  You also can't be considered a parishioner unless you donate xxx amount of dollars a year.  
  • in covering up the molestation of young children by priests
  • that priests shouldn't be allowed to be married.  If you look up the reasoning behind that little gem you'll realize that it is once again financial.  
  • that any one religion or belief system is better than another
I'm unsure about...
  • what happens after we die.  But I'd love to hear your beliefs on that.
  • whether or not Jesus was the Son of God or was he just a prophet.  
  • if I want Isabella to receive Communion/Religious education as she grows older.  I'm not sure how much religion I want crammed down her throat.  I want her to believe in something, I just don't know how much Catholicism I can take.  How are you all handling the religious instruction of your children?
So my ultimate resolutions for this month is to find out more about the beliefs of other religions, practice more of what I believe in, and research some more about the gray areas.  

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Katie said...

Thanks for sharing your beliefs. I've been struggling a lot with the afterlife thing since Marley was born last February. I want to believe in something more, but at times it seems so unrealistic...but that's the basis of faith, I guess. I sort of like the idea of reincarnation... I like the thought of my husband and I being trees, hanging out in the forest together ;) And now I sound like a crazy pants....

Caren with a "C" said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier Melissa. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some people call us Mormons because besides the Bible we also have a set of scriptures called The Book of Mormon which is a record of the people on the American continent from about 600 BC to 1000 AD. I believe in eternal life and that families are a central part of that plan. I believe that we can be together forever. You can go to to learn more if you wish.

Shari Lynne @ said...

Hi Melissa!
Thanks so much for sharing your heart. It's perfectly ok for you to have questions. I know that if you truly seek with all your will find God..Because He knows you by name and Loves you very much!
Shari Lynne

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