If you have read a few of my posts you will know I was raised a Catholic and have practiced my religious faith in the past. In my Catholicism classes I learned that ONE of the purposes of a Catholic mass and what made our religion so unique was it was to receive Communion, the body of Christ.
However, since I divorced, according to the Catholic rules, I am not allowed to receive the Eucharist unless I get my previous marriage annulled. I refuse to do so. I have seen the application for the annullment and I don't think it is any of their business with some of the questions asked. I also don't think I should fork up hundreds of dollars for someone to say my marriage was doomed from day one.
I talked to a Jesuit priest a year or two ago and he told me I could still go to church but I cannot participate in Communion, He said I should still go to church to praise our lord etc.
I've struggled with the Catholic Church and my religion because of my divorce.
This past year Hubby and I went to a retreat and we were told by a priest that there are some things the Catholic Church is out of date. I need to do what is comfortable for myself. He even suggested that I go to a different church who does not know our history and if I feel comfortable receiving communion, do so. It is between God and I.
I know we shouldn't pick and choose what we want to believe and do. At the same time, I can understand why the Catholic Church is losing members.
On another note, I raised my daughter as a Catholic. She was involved with the Church being an altar server, participated in some church groups etc until she was a teenager. Right before she was to confirm she fought me to go to Church or anything to do with religion. She was old enough to know what she wanted. I gave her tools to make her decide to that point.. I did not see any benefits of MAKING her confirm if her heart was not in it. I had her baptized when she was a baby. I believed Confirmation was her decision to make and if her heart was not in it, it was fruitless. With much adverse opinions from other family members I stood my ground and allowed her to make that choice.
I watched BabyGirl move away from the church for reasons of her own. I just prayed she would find her way back to God. She reassured me that she did believe in God. That's all I needed to know. She had some kind of belief in God.
She found a small church that she has been going to. It is not Catholic. It is a nondenominational church. She has been going regularly. I do not know much about it. I know who the Pastor is and who introduced her to it. I know she goes for 2 hours on Sundays. She told me once that the first hour is instruction, singing etc. The second hour the Pastor lectures.
I was relieved that she found a religion she was comfortable in.
This morning she wrote me an email. She was upset. She knew the church frowned upon homosexuals and kept it to herself as she knows how various religions are. She respected it. She brought her girlfriend to church with her yesterday. Her friend was having anxiety problems as she sometimes does. My daughter placed her hand on her girlfriends as an act of support and talked to her.
Out of nowhere, a higher member of the church approached her and told her as she would tell anyone else, any signs of PDA was inappropriate and she was not to do that. It shocked my daughter and her girlfriend, they walked out to shake the shock and eventually left.
She said she thought God wanted us to love one another and not hate.
My first thought was this is a perfect example of how people can jump into conclusions. It amazes me how people who are supposedly devout in their religion will take upon themselves to JUDGE others.
I told her regardless, what made this woman God? As long as they were not in a full blown make out session what was it to this woman? What is so wrong about holding hands anyway?
In my church, when we say the Our Father, we hold hands. I wonder, what this woman would have said if Hubby and I walked in holding hands. We are always holding hands. When we offer peace to one another during mass, I have seen spouses kiss each other, or hugged. Is that not allowed in church?
I encouraged her to take this woman to the side and explain to her what was going on to inform her that her judgement was wrong. I encouraged her to always remember that her relationship with God us all that matters. I told her clergy like that or even the CHURCH is only] go between,. She should not let ANYONE like this woman deter her from her belief and religion.
After I wrote my response to her I thought a lot more to say. I was offended and it wasn't even me. But then it makes me realize why so many people move away from organized religion.
When I see the Catholic commercials or ads asking those who were Catholics to "come home" I am not surprised why they have left. And for any religion who tends to judge.
But she is right. God loves everyone. God wants everyone to love one another.
I believe he is our maker. He is our Judge when the time comes. No one else should be doing the judging.