Yesterday we visited the church we're getting married in, in less than 2 weeks. EEK!
Secret confession: I think the reason that I like this church so much is that it reminds me of the church I grew up in. It looks different, and it's Catholic, not Anglican, but it just smells the same. I walk in and am filled with memories of being a child in church. From sitting on the pews and being restless, to thinking the best part was getting to sing and shaking people's hands. Anyways, what I wanted to say was that while we were sitting there I was overwhelmed, good overwhelmed, by the fact that in less than 2 weeks I'll be standing at the entrance of this church, between my parents, walking into a space that feels familiar to me, in order to get married. And that, that fills me with happiness. I might be off my rocker, but I feel like when I walk into that church with my mom, she'll get it. She'll totally know why if I had to get married in a church, why this was the church that I wanted to be married in.
And then, going to place where the priest probably never intended... the sermon was about this idea of heaven and hell and how heaven is more of a state of being than a place. That our souls are contained in our bodies but that we can be in heaven now or after death. But if heaven isn't a place (which is what we generally understand heaven to be) but rather a state of being, where do souls going after death? Are they walking amongst us, or merging with god, or evolving to a higher plane/dimension/alternate universe? It made me think about James Redfield's Celestine Prophecy, which I read years ago. (Yes, I suspect this is NOT what the priest intended at all...)! If we believe in a soul and this priest is right in saying that heaven is a state of being, are the concepts of nirvana and enlightenment, or shamanism even, really that far fetched. Oh yes, I'm sure that my new age interpretation of scripture doesn't adhere to Catholic scripture, then again, if the Bible is meant to be a metaphorical lesson/allegory, then why are we always bogged down in semantics instead of focusing on all the amazing possibilities that are afforded by looking at the various other religions and how the ideas can overlap to create a very rich idea of spirituality? Seriously, I find that far more intriguing than any one path and it seems far more in keeping with an idea of god's message than anything else. I mean seriously, if I was god, I'd totally want people to work together across borders and cultures, in order to get a richer sense of the world that was created. Yeah.
On the same vein...
Recently I read that women are slightly more likely (7%) to associate with a religion than men. Sitting in the congregation, soaking in memories of what church used to mean to me, I realized that if we were going to raise a child in a Catholic church, I would want it to be in a congregation like this one. Although he doesn't talk much about it, I know that I am sort of leading P away from the fold because of my questions and my insistence on having a spiritual life that is meaningful instead of by rote, which makes me wonder what that might mean in relation to the idea that women associate more with religion, however more slightly, than men. Is there any connection? I mean, if language, culture, and religion are typical taught at home by mothers, does it follow that the church (or spiritual) path of the family is often more influenced by the mother? And does this even bear any relevance nowadays when fathers play such a significant and involved role in parenting.