Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Breaking Down Or Breaking Through?

At this time in my life I often feel like my spiritual life is falling apart or at least cracking at the foundation. At the same time I do not feel a crisis of faith. I believe in God as much as I always have. However, the way I relate to this God may be changing. The part of my spiritual life that seems to be falling apart is my relationship with the religion in which I was raised. I was raised a strict Catholic and much of my life was filled with the spiritual practices and piety of this tradition. I have not rejected this part of me, and the Church has not done anything to drive me away. I'm not really sure what my problem is. To use a term coined by another, I think the Church is simply no longer feeding me and the hunger and longing I feel is not being satisfied. This is certainly true on the parish level. The only part of the Church that speaks to me is the monastic and contemplative life as lived in places like the Abbey of Gethsemani. I still feel very spiritual and I have a deep appreciation for silence, solitude, being in the moment, and having a sense of oneness with the other. The sometimes complicated theology of my Church seems overly complex when compared to the simple precepts of Buddhism. In spite of my attraction to Buddhism I know I will never be a real Buddhist. I am Christian and Catholic in the marrow of my bones. Someday I will likely find my way back to the Church from the spiritual side trip I seem to be on now. I don't know where I am going but I do not feel lost. Today I heard a song by George Harrison that had a lyric that struck me deeply. It simply said, "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there". So, I will walk the road ahead of me and see where it takes me. All roads, however long and winding they are, eventually take us home.

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