The Church in Spain where I got married
I have always had a strong faith in God, and I have felt him throughout my life. Not so much with organized religion—I’m a non-practicing Catholic. My mother was a devout Catholic, went to Church regularly, prayed daily and wanted her children to follow in her faith as well. Unfortunately, I had a hard time taking to the church. I didn’t believe in some of the sermons, and I always felt that the bible is just a small guide for our faith and that we shouldn’t take it literally.
Now that I married in a Catholic Church, I find myself wanting to return to the Church, but take from it what helps me with my faith. For example, several weeks ago, the priest we sat and listened to (well, since it was in German, I sat in my own thoughts while my husband later interpreted what the priest said) was a radical priest. He condemned so many people that there wasn’t anyone left to condemn. If the Catholic Church wanted to bring in parishioners, he wasn’t the one to assign to the task. My husband felt disgusted after mass, and didn’t want to go anymore. I told him all we have to do is avoid that priest’s masses. There’s nothing wrong with going to mass and following God’s word—taking away from it what guides our faith. At least, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it.
Religion, like many things, is very personal. Some don’t believe at all, some are up in the air, some are like me, and some have strong religious convictions. But no matter what, I couldn’t help watching CNN the past few days, waiting to hear from the new Pope. I’ve never done that in the past, but for some reason I found so much hope and change hanging in the air. Flags from different countries stood high in the crowds of people gathering in St. Peter’s square. Anderson Cooper interviewed several people from all parts of the world, and they also stated that they were looking for hope and change.
With all that’s gone on in the Catholic Church regarding sexual abuses, people want action and punishment against these priests. Catholics also want to see a change in bringing the church up-to-date in relation to the parishioners.
I couldn’t help but tear up watching all the people from all walks of life gather together in peace to find out about the next Pope. There were many Americans hoping Cardinal O’Malley would become Pope, but instead, a Pope was chosen from outside Europe—Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Buenos Aires, Argentina, who chose the name Francis. I didn’t know much about him, but I found him to be humble, and from what we were told, to be one who lives in the faith, not in the wealth. I wish him well and hope his legacy will be one of positive change.
God and Church,Bea