But I don’t really know.
Is there a point where you “break up” with your Catholicism? Because if it’s when you stop attending church, then I stopped being Catholic a while ago.
How do you know when it’s “over” with a religion…?
It’s not that I don’t believe in God anymore.
Actually, it’s almost the opposite. I feel as if I have a more meaningful and personal relationship with God than I’ve had in years.
And I don’t have any personal quandaries with Jesus. He seems like my kind of dude, a rebellious heart who fits in with the misfits and the unappreciated among us. Also, I’m 99% sure he was a psychonaut witch anyway so we’re basically the same person.
My main problem has been with the followers of the faith: The Holier-Than-Thou’s.
Also, some of the opinions the church holds are completely outdated and unacceptable, in my Christian understanding of the world.
But how will I know when the transformation of “not Catholic” is complete?
There’s still a lot of information that I was brought up with that will never leave my mind. I have a vast working knowledge of all things Catholic and still value many of the things that are preached to the congregation of the Catholic church.
However, I don’t practice the faith and I don’t know that I will return any time soon.
I mean, I’ve completely accepted myself as a psychic witch at this point in my life, among other things discussed as evil and punishable in the Bible so I’m not exactly sure where I stand with the followers of The Good Book.
The cool part is that I know where I stand with God.
The challenge for me is that I was raised with the faith, something that I can’t go back and redo, and I value that religious foundation more than I can properly put into words. I value it so much that I am even considering sending my own children to Catholic school when the day comes. But I refuse to isolate my children or myself from knowledge of other faiths or religious/spiritual perspectives. Something that, unfortunately, I wasn’t raised with learning about. Something that I am working on changing pending the arrival of my own children.
So what do I do?
Do I just stick with calling myself Catholic because it’s easier to explain to people in small talk when the topic presents itself? Or do I share the truth?
A coworker recently shared the term “Cradle Catholic” with me which made me realize I’m not the only person who was raised Catholic that strayed from the faith. It seems to be more common that I’ve realized, actually.
Which makes me wonder – have Catholicism and Christianity turned into something that people no longer connect with? Has the idea of God in an organized understanding become hard to relate to? Or have we all just evolved into Godless heathens?
Some people might be inclined to say the latter, especially if they are fervent believers in there being only one true way to worship and understand God.
I think there’s more than one reason that has contributed to Catholicism/Christianity’s decline in recent years, especially with the younger generations. However, I also think that the movement toward generalized spirituality is a bigger contributing factor than many are accounting for.
Spirituality, in a general sense, has no limitations for things that Christianity seems to have staunch rules against. Things like who you can love, what you choose to do with your body, where you choose to spend your time and money are all independently chosen and not mandated through a central point like organized religion. Following a spiritual path requires nothing but your ability to be open minded, accepting, and to create your own individual relationship with The Creator. You aren’t required to give money or raise your family in one specific way. If you make mistakes, you are expected to learn from them and act accordingly instead of repent and carry around shame and guilt for human existence.
For me, spirituality has filled in the gaps in all the ways Catholicism made me feel disconnected and afraid of God. So while I still believe in something bigger than myself, I’m open to the ways that entity can decide to connect with and communicate with me.
But I’m still lost how to label my newly developing identity. Do I just continue to go with Catholic? Or is there something out there on the census tick box that will perfectly describe all that I have come to learn and understand about my place in this vast creation of time and space?
Spirituality has become a trendy term… and you all know how I feel about that…