On this Easter morning, I find myself awake rather early, listening to songs of praise and worship. I think it is the perfect opportunity to share the roles prayer and faith play in my life.
As fair as my religious identification goes, I consider myself to be Roman Catholic and have been raised that way all my life. I have experienced The Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Reconciliation. While I have not been Confirmed, I am seriously considering it. I have had doubts in the past regarding some Catholic teachings, but the words of acceptance and love expressed by Pope Francis have reaffirmed my beliefs.
Although I don’t usually go to Church except for Christmas Eve and Easter, there was a time my family and I went every Sunday. The funny thing is, I feel closer to God now than I did when I was going to Church every week. I can’t exactly explain that, but I think it has to do with the openness of my heart and my desire to live daily life from a place of gratitude.
I think a person’s faith is a very personal and individual thing. I believe it has absolutely no place in politics. I have an immense respect for diversity when it comes to different religions and choices in spiritual life. I think the main things that tie everyone together are a love and veneration of a higher power; love, kindness, and respect for our fellow living entities; and a desire to live a life of goodness. That is spirituality in its purest form – without the misinterpretation of scripture, without the belief that any human being is better than another. Personally, I don’t think God ever intended or wanted wars to be fought in His name.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer. In times of trouble, I find myself in (albeit one-sided) conversations with God – asking for the alleviation of pain, suffering, and fear or for courage and grace to face the unknown. In times of celebration and blessing, I try express my sincerest gratitude. There are moments I feel so immensely blessed that tears of gratitude freely fall. I may not be able to do huge things for my friends who also struggle with chronic illness, but one thing I can ALWAYS do is pray for them. And I try to do it often.
I believe in Angels. I believe that when our loved ones pass, they do protect, watch over, and guide us. They can also send us messages. I may discuss my personal experience with this more in depth in the future. But it is pretty amazing.
Right now our world is a pretty scary place. But I try to trust in the inherent goodness of humanity. I always have. I don’t think anyone is born to hate. It is something that is taught. I believe that love, compassion, respect, charity, and acceptance can overcome all evil. I see it in small acts of goodness every single day. Our planet is full of good, loving people.
It is on the hardest, most frightening days that I hold hardest onto my faith. But even then I try to say “Thank you.” Because I am so very blessed. And that is not something I take lightly.
I hope everyone celebrating has a beautiful Easter – filled with the love family and God’s blessings.