Sunday, April 09, 2006

Make believe

While walking out of the Corner Cafe after brunch with Hodgie this afternoon, the masses were making there way out of the Church adjacent to our favorite breakfast nook, causing me to question the sudden swell in the town center's Sunday population.

Amid my speculation, Hodgie noted that it was Palm Sunday, which apparently carries with it a previously unforeseen obligation to attend the otherwise weekly Sunday service. I was baffled by this phenomenon. Why, I wondered, do certain days of the Church's calendar year seem to bring people out from under the rocks they otherwise hide under?

Now, these crowds of people are supposedly faithful followers of their God - true BELIEVERS in the Catholic faith, which in all manners of my convoluted (yet completely logical) thought process leads me to surmise that if these same people were absolutely and truly devoted to their belief in God as they seemingly appeared to be this morning, they would attend every Sunday, without fail.

But this doesn't seem to be the case.

To the deeply religious who read this blog regularly, please don't take my words the wrong way. I'm not criticizing, merely speculating. Although I no longer consider myself a practicing Catholic - at best you could label me a recovering one - I have nothing against the Church or the practice of religion in general. I do, however, as a practicing human being, take issue with what I like to call the wanna-be or obligatory believers, those who attend services and partake in religious rituals out of fearful obligation to a God or system of beliefs that, when it comes down to it, they know nothing about. They're not true believers, though they'll go to great lengths to try and show you that they are. This has always irked me.

I'll be the first to admit that it's the hardest thing in the world to believe in something. Anything. Be it a god, a government, Santa Claus, another person, a just cause, law, or even yourself for that matter. If you can, it's a small miracle. (And yes, I'm aware I borrowed this whole miracle idea from Without Limits, so sue me.) But believe me, these miracles don't happen often.

In conclusion, I'm not saying that I believe in, or know, God any more, or better, than the wanna-be "faithful" who make their thrice-yearly visits to Church when they feel obligated to do so. I don't. But I do know that I'm sure as hell not gonna find myself getting closer to God, or believing in him more, within the walls of a supposedly sacred building that I sporadically visit out of faithful obligation only three or four Sunday mornings over the course of a given year. Heck, as far as I'm concerned, I'm as close to God running along the banks of the Quinapoxet River on my weekly Sunday morning jaunt as I'm ever going to get.

At least I'm not kidding myself.

Quote of the day:

What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.
-Ezra Pound

1 comment:

stephen said...

Hey Mario,

Your thoughts here remind me of one of my favorite addresses by Pope John Paul II:

"You will hear people tell you that your religious practices are hopelessly out of date, that they hamper your style and your future, that with everything that social and scientific progress has to offer, you will be able to organize your own lives and that God has played out his role. Even many religious persons adopt such attitudes, breathing them in from the surrounding atmosphere without noticing the practical atheism that is at their origin."

From the address at Galway, Ireland, September 30, 1979.