My Quest to Learn More about My Religion
Baltimore Travel Blog› entry 1 of 9 › view all entries
For those of you that read my first blog, this is the second phase of a multi-part goal to see the world.
During Phase 2, I plan on visiting Fatima and Lourdes in Portugal and France, respectively. My mother is SUPER religious. She’s very strict in her Catholic faith. My brothers and sisters used to always make jokes about all the statues of Saints my mother had around our house. Growing up, my mother had St. Anthony, St. Jude, Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary and all the other saints and religious figures protecting our home. My mom used to yell at us every single Sunday morning to wake us up to go to Catholic mass. My brother used to respond to her each Sunday with his usual remark, "I feel like we're already at mass, this house looks like the inside of a Church, with all your statues and candles all over the place!" This infuriated my mother! Unfortunately, as we got older my siblings and I sort of all stopped going to mass during high school
After high school, I attended mass only sometimes, with my college roommate or with my friend Izzy. When I moved to a new area in Maryland years after college, I decided I needed a sense of community. I walked into the local Church building and felt right at home. I spoke to the priest and became involved in the Parish. I got involved with the Parish Council, with youth group events and my husband and I signed up for RCIA classes. So little by little, I found my way back to mass on my own. I think I was going through a rebellious stage in high school, and because I didn't feel comfortable with anyone in the Parish I attended back then, I just stopped going. But in my new Parish, I started learning about God. I started believing in my faith.
Now I have to be honest here… I'm not one of those super religious persons. I am very spiritual and have a lot of faith in God, but I’m not one to go around preaching about my religion and can’t say that I have strong faith in statues or other religious artifacts, as many people do. My mom for example thinks that prayer - and prayer alone - will solve every problem in the world. I completely disagree. I don't think that prayer alone will help you find a job, or end world wars, or help you get out a bad bout of depression or end an abusive relationship. I think that prayer, coupled with the desire to find a job, and the motivation to go look for one, and the courage to network with people, and the gusto to refine your skills will help you find a job. Prayer, coupled with the willingness to seek help for your depression, to find yourself and determine what's making you depressed and put out of your life those things that bring you down, will make you kick your depression. You get the point, right? I think that prayer helps, but you have to give 100% of yourself to get to where you want to get. You can't rely on prayer alone.
Enough of my babbling.... back to my trip here.... so my mom has always talked about her desire to go to Fatima and Lourdes. For years, she has talked about all the people that claim miraculous healing there. I'm intrigued more than anything else. I do want to see what this is all about… and maybe find some healing for some things. I decided to go with my mother on this trip to visit these holy cities and see what all the hype is about.