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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."