David Cifarelli – Editor In Chief
Religion and spirituality: two very similar terms with two almost completely different definitions, at least from my perspective.
My senior seminar class is addressing the conversation between the two concepts in our Podcast series, which we are completely over the course of the semester. The central question we chose to focus on was “Why are We Here?” This question is being answered in a number of ways and outlets including culture, creative expression and religion or spirituality. Being one of the hosts of the Podcast, I have to talk about my own self-identification every episode – guess its time to rough draft this one.
I was raised in the Catholic faith almost blindly. Like most who follow the religion, I was baptized as a child and attended catechism classes throughout my youth. This was mostly done because of the fact that my mother is a Catholic schoolteacher and the only still practicing Catholic in the family. She decided to bring my brother and I up in the faith. For some time, I enjoyed it, I even considered being a priest once when I was nine. But all that began to change around the time I was in middle school.
I started to become bored with the weekly routine of going to church and saying prayers. I wanted to do something more than just pledge allegiance to an almighty being that lived endlessly. I started not seeing the purpose in going to mass and being a devout Catholic – so I questioned leaving the faith.
However, my mother’s happiness drove me to stay with the Church through my Confirmation. I did not know what I was going to do with this Sacrament after the fact, but I knew it would make my mom happy.
Coming to college I completely disregarded my religion, which is kind of ironic considering Assumption was always my top choice despite it being a Catholic institution. But I pushed myself to not completely let go of God but to accept him in other forms. And those forms come through service, thoughts, emotions, supernatural occurrences and fate – especially fate.
You see, now I no longer consider myself religious. I consider myself spiritual. I still believe in a higher being that governs our fate and the afterlife (especially the concept of Reincarnation). I also believe that everything has a soul. Every rock, every tree, every ocean and every table has some purpose greater than itself that connects it to our “holy” maker. I just do not believe in the stories of how those things came to be anymore.
So even though I left the church and no longer attend mass regularly, I still find my spirituality to be a huge part of my life. I would never disregard my Catholic upbringing or bash the religion my mother has chosen to dedicate herself to. I just simply wish to explore it through other means besides prayer and services.
I want to teach others what it means to be a good person. I want to show others my compassion through actions and communicative efforts. I want to understand others on more levels than just the superficial. I want to be in tune with the spirits of this earth whether they exist in couches and chairs or people and places. I want to be spiritual, and I can use what the Catholic Church taught me to do that.