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Life, death and religion


ZJJ

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As a preface, I was born and raised a Catholic, but I have not been a practicing Catholic for many years. There are many doctrines of this faith I don't believe in, but that isn't what this post is about.

On Sunday, I was working one of my many jobs. It was business as usual. The work was the same, the coworkers were the same, etc. Go home that evening thinking that I would be doing this all again tomorrow. Get to work the next day only to find out that a coworker (JC) passed away the night before. Makes you sit think about how quickly life changes. Here I was working with this guy a mere 24 hours ago and now he is gone. There is a memorial that was set up in the store that everyone can see when you walk in. I was able to look at that memorial and hold my emotions in check until they added his picture. That made it more real that he was gone instead of just not scheduled to work.

Thursday night was the wake. I knew this would be tough for me when I finally see his body. However, that wasn't the tough part. The tough part was when the prayer service started. All the rituals from my upbringing came back to me. I had this "awakening" that I realized I missed, or maybe needed, these rituals. I cried through the service, but felt more at peace with myself when it was over.

In a way I was dreading the next day when the funeral service would be. That is when all my other coworkers would find out I am Catholic. It's not something I'm ashamed of, but not something that is often discussed in small southern towns.

So there I was Friday morning, in the middle of a group of people from my work. The conflicting emotions were traveling through me. I felt awkward amongst the coworkers who didn't know the rituals, but yet, I was able to feel the healing powers of the prayers and rituals. I considered finding a church to go to. To do something I felt wasn't needed if I believed in One God.

I wanted to discuss these feelings with a friend who has a closer relationship to God than I. When I mentioned this week briefly to him, his response was "death is hard .... especially when you believe in a false doctrine."

What happened to "love thy neighbor"? Why do some feel as if there is only one religion and those that follow a different religion are heathens? Doesn't that go against all that is taught in one's religion? Why can't we unite as believers in One God no matter what religion we believe in?

"Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only said the word and I shall be healed."

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Sorry to hear about your colleague, hope you feel better.

"False doctrines"? What a jerk. He's basically saying "it's your own fault that it hurts because your religion is not the same as mine. Mine is better. I'm better than you". What ever happened to "I'm sorry to hear that" and maybe just be quiet, listen and let people talk through their issues. Ever heard of the tale of the good samaritan? And he calls himself your "friend"? I have another word for that kind of people.

He doesn't have a closer relationship with God than you do. Exactly what he has a closer relationship with shall remain unnamed, but it's a body part of his.

Sorry if I get all riled up about this. I don't give a hoot about people's religious beliefs, as long as they obey the law of the land and don't harm other people. I don't mind people (Hassidic Jews, Amish, you name it) who prefer to deal only with people of their own kind. I do mind people who think they have all the answers, and whatever bad happens to those who do not share their view's, "well, that's what they get for being infidels" so to speak.

Smug, self-righteous and incompassionate *insert derogatory term of your preference* 's of all sorts get nothing but contempt from me, whether they hide behind the skirts of some religion or not.

Respectfully

krise madsen

PS: It's fairly well known that (religious & otherwise) rituals can help people through emotional hardship, so you should go ahead and find a Catholic church. And don't ever let anyone tell you that they've found God and you haven't. They're not. Better than you, that is.

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