Donnerstag, 28. Juni 2012

Pilgrim

For this post, I was inspired by Emma. I so much admire the way she talks about herself and her faith to God in her blog. She made me thinking why I have such a hard time to express my relationship to God. To be honest I fear to be called a freak for believing in God. I am not sure why I care. It makes me think my faith is not very strong if I can't even stand by God, if I feel embrassed to admit I like God. But on the other hand I love talking about God ( I keep saying "God" because I am trying to not picture God as male or female) and religion if I am sure I have found a like minded soul. So today I stand up and just dare to talk, no matter who listens:


God and me, we have a funny relationship. I am not sure what to call it. I could call myself a protestant but what does that say about God and me? I work for a catholic NGO, the Caritas, but what does that tell you? I am a big fan of the ecumenical movement but somehow the combination of catholic and protestant religion is not what it's all about for me, it is not where it should stop. Maybe I could say I don't believe in religion, I believe in God. To me a religion is just one way to live my life with God, never the only possible way. I can find God in a mosque, as well as in a forest and sometimes I can't find God in a church or at home, you never know... 


Today my employee Caritas invited us on a one day pilgrimage and I happily joined in. My, what an event it was! A bus toke us to the outskirts of the city from where we walked a few miles towards a huge old monastery. There was singing and praying on the way there and a long service at the monastery. Lots and lots of singing, a lot of other rather catholic stuff I don't know how to name it. I enjoyed it immensly, despite the big crowd. We were more than 2000 people, which was rather daunting to me at first. But being part of 2000 people, singing and praying together is a wonderful experience and God was near by and he didn't mind me being a protestant I am sure... Another good thing was to stand next to my big boss, praying and singing with him, exchanging the "peace be with you".


To me God is a divine power. I feel it is easier to imagine God abstract than figurative. Jesus is another issue here. He is so very tangible but that makes it even harder for me to understand him. So hard to understand how he can be Gods son. I am sure he wouldn't have wanted to seperate religions the way he does, in those who believe in him and those who don't. So very sad it went that way, isn't it?
Since I am a mother I feel much closer to Mary though. In the monastery today there was a sculpture of Mary with her dead son on her lap. It was created during the years of the black death in Europe. It made me cry. I could feel her pain. Next to me sat my friend who just lost her baby a few weeks ago in the 4th month of pregnancy. She is heartbroken not just by that death but by what God did to her. She stopped going to church, she only came today because she had signed up for it before it happend. And she wanted to give it a chance. And somehow, seeing Marys pain helped her to understand God didn't want her baby to die, God is crying with her and wants to comfort her. I think today she toke Gods hand again.


Of course, this is not all there is to say about God and me. I hope to continue my spiritual journey and thoughts here with you from time to time. 

Kommentare:

  1. beautiful, thanks for sharing!

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  2. Wow what a beautiful and honest post. Thank you for sharing. Many of your thoughts and beliefs resonate with me. I am a Christian but I don't subscribe to any one particular denomination.

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  3. After one week without any internet I came back to my blog and there your post popped up - perfectly timed to give me some smiling and soulfood. I am catholic since I was born and that is where I feel at home. Whereever in the world I am staying, I try to join a catholic service. However, I am a big fan of the ecomenical movement, too. It just happend that I was born in a catholic region... My husband is atheist and a lot of discussion made me stronger in my faith but also more critical regarding the religious organisations (THE church). I think it is a strange development that one who is religious has to be afraid of being called a freak. My experience in a mostly atheistic society is that people think about me as a weak and naive person as I believe in God. I am not smart enough to identify the religious organisations' power structures and so on.
    Eventually, my husband and I decided to get through the catholic marriage preparation and had a catholic wedding. This was a really nice experience - afterwards friends came to us to talk with us/my husband that they have some kind of faith in them and their experiences.
    And finally, one thing I think is important. It is ok to doubt; as long as you have doubts and you try to figure out where your faith is founded and where it should lead - your faith is alive! :)
    All the best, Barbara

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  4. Dear Gesche - there is so much to discuss! I have never been on a Pilgrimage, I wish I could have joined you. I did not really know much about Catholicism until we moved to the US, and now I have a very dear friend who is a devout Catholic. I have not though about the Ecumenical movement, to be honest, I had to google a bit... Sometimes my catholic friend and I discuss theological doctrine, as we are both interested in the history of the Church. Mostly we end by simply agreeing that Christ redeemed us. That is enough. I asked my husband what we would say, how we would describe ourselves. Protestant assumes another party that you protest against, and the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Protestants has changed a lot over the past 500 years. He answered: a "mere" Christian, referring to the book "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis, who came to faith in his thirties, and wrote in part to dismiss the misconceptions about Christians. I am not going to list them now, they are numerous! Whenever those misconceptions reflect truth, it is because Christians are fallen people, and sinners, too. We are no different from someone who does not believe - we are sinners who have been redeemed, and are now called to bear the fruits of the Spirit. If I were good, if I could be good, I would not have needed salvation, a Redeemer, someone without sin to die on a cross to pay for my sin. (Paul explains much better in The Book of Romans.)
    The only way believers can move closer to one another, is by talking, discussing these matters in love, without pride. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And Peace be with you!

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  5. Liebe Gesche,
    du hast den post geschrieben, der mir schon laenger im Kopf herumgeistert. Danke dafuer. Eines Tages kommt meiner dazu.

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