Politics drove me away from religion. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Everywhere I looked, I saw “Christians” that didn’t believe what I believed, so I guess I started to wonder if I believed what they believed, and from there, what did I believe at all?
I’m slowly making my way back. I’ve been reading a really great series on leaving and coming back to faith. My main takeaway is that when a person is raised with religion as a main part of their life then a piece of them is always tied to that experience. There’s a religion-shaped hole that needs to be filled. Even if your brain can’t explain all the mystical bits, it still likes the feeling you get when everybody is singing along and loving each other.
Unfortunately, my wife’s Catholic church wasn’t a place like I needed. It didn’t have the loving, giving community that I needed. So I continued to stay away. It was too hard to go to a different church and besides, my wife’s religion puzzle-piece is designed for solitude and introspection. Our pieces didn’t seem to match.
But that may be changing. The new priest at her church is trying to turn things around. He is trying to resurrect a dying church by building a community around it. I have yet to hear him preach, but I’m excited. My daughters came home with good things to say. Yes, my 7yo and 4yo daughter actually paid attention in church. OMG indeed!
I’m also encourage by the changes happening at the top of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis is putting the church’s focus firmly on compassion and mercy toward all people. In the most recent synod they discussed how to include and support families in all their forms. From the ideal Catholic family to divorced, cohabiting, and even homosexual families.
So the church is slowly making its way back toward my politics, so I guess I can try to make my way back toward the church, too.