Faith, Relationship, and Religion

I used to have a really hard time with the concept of faith. I used to point out gaping holes in the bible and exclaim that the world is so corrupt. And if there really was a God, He wouldn’t let these terrible things happen. It took a long time (21 years to be exact) for me to grasp the idea that faith is not reason, it’s not science, nor is it logical. Faith is simply hoping for good when all signs point in the other direction.

I have to hope that something bigger is out there that can reconcile humankind. I’ve read the atheist blogs and respect their opinions, but I just can’t accept it as my own belief system. No, I’m not naive. I know there are terrible, dark, revolting things people do. Are they God-led things? I propose not. There are some truly beautiful things on this Earth too – a newborn baby, a sunset over the Montana sky, a honest exchange of love between two people. God is here, there, everywhere. I have faith because it is essential  for me to see good.

“The desire for God is written in the human heart because man is created by God, for God and He never ceases to draw man to Himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” I have always loved this line in the Catechism and continually go back to it. Welcome to faith. It is a huge leap, no it doesn’t make sense, and sometimes it can be incredibly frustrating. But this, for me, is my continual journey in Christ, where faith is the absolute core. Without it, I have nothing.

I wish more people respected this journey. It is quite clear that Christianity is increasingly losing its footing. It has a bad reputation, and understandably. The popular trend today is to bash religion. (Do you remember the whole relationship over religion video? It went viral, and everyone was like, yea religion is ridiculous! All you need is relationship!) I beg to differ. As Christians, we are called to community. We are called to love our community. And this is strictly rooted in faith. As a practicing Catholic, I have no relationship without religion. They are intimately interconnected. I must go to church each week, with a humble heart and a loving soul in order to keep up the “relationship”. I must go to reconciliation. These are things I do to keep my faith.

My faith makes me a better patron of this earth. Period. When I sin, I don’t feel all consuming guilt, I feel as if I have done a disservice to myself and God. I aim to avoid sin, because I know it makes me a better human being. Sin is sin is sin. It wears many masks, but it is one thing, distance from God. Striving to lead a sinless life is not meant to condemn us, but free us. In this, I find deep faith and freedom.

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