I am catholic, I was babtised catholic, went to catholic schools up until college and for most of this religion seemed like something everyone must have in their lives. Last week I found out that 49% of Britain doesn't follow any type of religion, this surprised me. But when I told the boyfriend he laughed and said do you not live in the same country as me, of course 49% of people don't believe in religion. He doesn't believe in any God or higher power. This is of course one of those things that takes a huge amount of compromise in our relationship.
I unfortunately did not get to go to London to see the Pope as I had work and has it was my first week it trumped a day trip. Before on the blog I have mentioned the difficulties I have been through, without meaning to sound like a cliche, religion had been one of the things that has got me through.
When something scary or challenging comes along I pray and you feel suddenly as if someone is on your side. When I didn't do well at college and was scared and was unsure of what the next step could be for me, I spent 9 months volunteering at a Catholic retreat centre that works with children and teenagers. Through this I spent an Easter taking disabled children and children to the shrine in Lordes France. While there I sat in front of the share surrounded by hundreds of people from many different countries and I felt a part of someone thing bigger, that I have only ever since felt in a church or in a religious environment.
I belong to a community, a religious youth community and on Saturday that religious youth group along with others from all over the country went to see the Pope. One of the members of our youth group was the young person that got to welcome and touch the Pope and he was so unbelievably excited about it and when I was him welcome the Pope I was emotionally moved even though I couldn't be there. Some members said it was it was amazing, some actually described it as life changing.
I'm not saying that there aren't faults with the Catholic Church my word there are. I don't believe that gays shouldn't get married. I don't believe contraception shouldn't be used especially when in movement towards stopping AIDS. I don't personally feel that abortion is right but I do believe that women should have the right to choose.
But I do believe that even in this modern day when believing in a religion and a God can mean that you are judged as less intelligent than those that don't, that there is a place for God and faith. Do I wish that it could be in a world where religion didn't divide people and cause wars, yes. Do I personally wish.that my church would move forward with the rest of the world and be more accepting, yes. But I also wish that people could be accepting and let young people that have found something to believe in something good that is not gangs on street corners, drugs, drink or crime. That people could not beat those young people down as having found nothing more than an imaginary friend. So maybe next time someone tells you their religion don't shy away from it, ask questions. But my religion always makes me ask more questions about other peoples faith how many atheists can says they need as always searching for more?
So God bless :)
Song for today: Coldplay - Kingdom Come
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