#SOL20 Day 7 “Religion”

SOL20This March I will be participating in the montOld Friend from Far Awayh-long Slice of Life Challenge. Each day I will be posting a ‘slice’ from my life. This year I am using Natalie Goldberg’s book Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir to provide my sparks for memoir writing. Each post will be a quick write using one of Natalie’s exercises.

EASILY OFFENDED? Skip my slice today and come back tomorrow. My religion memories are from a child’s perspective and probably bordering on blasphemy. 😉


17 thoughts on “#SOL20 Day 7 “Religion”

  1. Oh, Paula! I could write about this topic for hours! Love the description of the confessional (“climbing into a closet”)and comparing penances with your siblings! I also love the fact that we can see your writing in your notebook. Very cool!

  2. I live in a heavily Catholic area and have a number of friends who embrace these traditions. I am Episcopal which we jokingly say is “all of the pageantry and none of the guilt.” I love our little historical church, but my children haven’t embraced any of it. Religion is often not age-appropriate. I hope now you have found a way to balance your spiritual life.

    1. Ok Margaret, I seriously love that line, “all of the pageantry and none of the guilt”! PERFECT! Yes, I am creating a rich spiritual life that involves more gratitude and kindness and less guilt and contrition. It’s been a long and interesting road!

  3. This is spot on! The humor with which you recount it all is fabulous! My favorite part of church growing up was checking out all the shoes as people went up to communion! I purposely always made sure I had that end seat in the pew so I would have a clear view where I could linger at each shoe. Sometimes I would rate them. I think all the prayers and songs just seeped into my memory over time! Thanks for the laugh!

  4. Paula, your post made me smile today. I was raised Baptist but converted to Catholicism as a young adult. My experiences in two very different religions give me a different perspective than many, I think. I am a bit more liberal about things. I do my best to cultivate a spiritual life. I appreciate the smile.

  5. Catholic school for 12 years … do I have slices to write! I love how you infused humor – because really we do need to laugh. There were so many things I look back on with fondness and things that really had issues. Humor helps you move through both… I just might use this spark!

  6. Yes, traditional religion can be very confusing or dull and boring, that’s how I found it growing up. My perspective now is totally different and my spiritual life is more important than anything else. I enjoyed reading your experiences which tie in with those of my Catholic friends…

  7. Cradle Catholic here, but with a questioning mother (she was known as “the heretic” in Catholic high school, believed in birth control (gasp!), dared to ask “why”). All but left the Church after an episode where they denounced a nun from the pulpit for joining a Catholic sect that ordains women priests. I in good conscience did not force my children to be confirmed, knowing their spiritual journey of faith should be one they carve out for themselves. Still finding my path, choosing old and new ways to profess my faith in a higher power (which seems to have grown since I stopped attending Mass…hmmmm).

  8. “Shake hands? With him?” Plus the 👀! Made me smile. I grew up going to a Catholic school, so I relate. Your post brought back a lot of memories for me. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Anytime my sons complain about going to Mass, I remind them that we promised God at their baptism that we would bring them each week to learn more about Him. Always interesting to get different people’s perspectives of ways we connect with God. Thank you for sharing your memories. I also love how you write in your journal and share.

  10. I remember being so nervous for confession. I mean, what harm could a girl of 6,8,10 do?
    I always said fighting with my sister because truthfully, I couldn’t think of anything else.
    I remember questioning why my parents were not allowed to receive communion with my sister and I. (Gotta love those wafers) Well, it was because they were each married before to others so they had been…divorced 😲😲😲 How dare they? The sinners. Anyway, it made my parents think twice about going. So my planned worked, no more church on Sunday mornings. No I have something to confess 😉

    As an adult I made up my own mind and became a member of a church I felt right for me. Do I think one needs to be in a building to pray and have a moment with the big guy upstairs? Absolutely not. You do what’s right for you. Believe in what you want. Just believe in something special, something that gets you through to the next day. ❤️

  11. Hello friend! This brought a smile to my face. Religion can be so confusing as a child. I took it upon my 11-year old self to go to church every week and drag my 9-year old sister with me. My parents had no opinion, so I took her to the closest church (Quakers/beautiful people). Thank goodness we weren’t closer to some Satanic cult. I asked too many questions in Sunday School and so they transferred me to the adult group. It was very intimidating sitting at a long wooden table with much older adults! I decided after my research that we should be baptized by actual water and so transferred us to the First Church of Christ a year later. I still have the memories of walking down the main highway with wet hair and surprising my parents! My spiritual journey has taken me many places since then and I am now a member of the First Presbyterian Church. I never try to tell anyone what to believe because I continue to evolve and learn. Like the old saying goes, sitting in a garage doesn’t make you a car, and sitting in a church doesn’t make you a spiritual person or Christian, but I do find strength and guidance from a church family.

    1. Now that is a spiritual journey I can truly respect! Asking existential questions and having honest answers, reflecting on what is meaningful and brings meaning to our lives, and seeking out those places that welcome our search for meaning is being authentic and spiritual. You are certainly someone I have looked up to my whole life and I respect you even more knowing how you’ve searched for strength and guidance. Hugs, my friend!!

  12. I am not Catholic, but sometimes I wonder about how are appropriate our church is! Usually it’s fine. But I remember as a kid being so afraid of the devil, and of people I loved going to Hell. But I still take my kids nearly every Sunday!

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