I Don't Go To Church (to talk to God)
Like many Irish people, I was brought up in a strict Catholic house where mass was a 'must' every Sunday.
I followed the rules as I didn't know any better. Now don't get me wrong, I never found it a chore, in fact I quite enjoyed going to church every Sunday and even when it came to Lent in my teenage years I would take it upon myself to go to mass every day. I'm not sure if that was in the hope I would receive a little praise from my parents and others or if it was feeding my ego. Maybe a bit of both.
However, as I became older I most definitely (in my own opinion) became wiser and while I love to visit a church for its serenity and peace, I rarely, if ever, go to a church service. I would never disrespect anyone for their religion and I admire those who find the sanctity and community of a church comforting and healing.
During a recent conversation with a close relative, their answer to something I said was "But you don't even go to mass!". That was when I replied with the statement:
"I realised a long time ago that I don't need to visit a church to talk to God" .
In years gone by I would have felt anger and upset at their remark but now I feel pity for their ignorance and knowing they feel dominated by something that rules every aspect of their lives. In my mind and through my work with ACIM* I know that we are all connected and all created equal, so rather than judging that person; I now see their innocence, I send them love and I move on.
Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I feel calm and zen-like all of the time. In fact the very next day after I had the above conversation someone else said something that was far less trivial to me and I became upset beyond belief. I'm human just like everyone at the end of the day. The reason I share the above story is because I felt such peace around the comments and know that the more I work on myself the more situations like that will wash over me. However, I am still a work in progress with a long long way to go! If you have a church that you love and you feel a part of, then that is wonderful and I'm glad that so many of you find solace in them. For me, the church especially the Catholic church and all it signifies is domination and my life is so much richer and more fulfilled without it.
Judge me if you must but try to send me love at the same time, knowing we are all connected and all equal.
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*A Course In Miracles