Friday, April 03, 2009

Losing My Religion

For almost thirteen years, I studied in a Catholic School here in Davao City ran by the notorious (este) caring sisters or nuns. They have taught us through the help of the competitive faculty to pray and learn how to thank God for all the wonderful blessings that He had bestowed upon us. Every hour, we pray before the official lecture starts. If it’s our Chinese subject, we pray in Mandarin, one of the main languages in Mainland China (I can still speak and write a few Mandarin characters). I can even recite the Lord’s Prayer in Mandarin.

Well, that’s not the whole point.

Ideally, every first Friday of the month, we always have this Friday ritual, the First Friday Mass. Once a month, our batch will sponsor a Eucharistic celebration in our Parish Church, just meters away from school.

For thirteen years, they all have taught the same values, philosophies and teachings of Christ and have also interpreted the Holy Bible as well. Okay, I have nothing against with these since I have studied in a private and sectarian school; as if I have a choice. But sometimes, I do not understand some things regarding their teachings which somehow changed a little bit of my beliefs.

Apparently, they have taught us how to be simple, to reach out for the poor and needy and most of all, be the nicest-man-on-the-planet-to-have-a-deportment-award-in-graduation. I hate it when some of us will be graded according to our donations. The more donations, the more incentive points you’ll get. I just loathed that scheme. Where’s the essence of “reaching out to the poor”? I mean, this shouldn’t be practiced at all. Because young as we are, we already have this mentality that if we give something to the less fortunate, we must have an equal blessing and should be received ASAP. Now that’s not cool. This is also similar during the Mission Month, on October, where the mission boxes are distributed to all sections from preschool to high school. Now here comes this unhealthy competition. Since the teachers really wanted to help those poor people, some of them relate the heart-warming activity to our grades. The same practice goes on and on and on.

And then, we now go to the nuns. Like what I’ve written earlier, they have taught us to be simple in all aspects of life. I think they should reconsider on practicing that too on their own selves aside from practicing the vow of Chastity. While walking in a plush mall a few years back, I saw this gang-of-sistahs, headbanging on an expensive sandals store. Nah, I’m just kidding with the headbangin’ thing, but the thing is the cheapest pair of sandals on that shop ranges from a thousand to five thousand bucks! And yeah, who would have thought that they were the first users of the N-series. Even the richest kid in school didn’t have an N-series phone, not until two months after the sisters had started using it.

Speaking of my belief, yes, I still believe in God, the only God who had saved us from the fires of hell, the ever forgiving God who always treat us equally as His sons and daughters of the heavens above. I didn’t doubt on God’s existence. I always believe that He is just there. But sometimes, the ones that preach the word of God had some serious trouble. I think all of you have heard certain issues regarding priests as well as popes that have sons and daughters or worse one of the church leaders convicted to rape and sexual abuse/harassment to innocent people. If we review the history of church, we might have noticed that there are some provisions that were indeed barbaric and satanic.

Another good example is this. I have a friend who had a neighbor that goes to church everyday, and chants different prayers on different saints every hour. She also has numerous statues of saints in her house. But she is famous for her crappy attitude. I mean, she easily gets mad when things aren’t on smooth pace. Wow, now that’s… ugh… appalling.

Here's the thing. I believe that I don’t need to confess my sins to the priest. Why not communicate to God directly and ask for forgiveness? It doesn’t matter if you need to pray the Act of Contrition or whatever chants or prayers they demand to us after confession.

These scenarios have made me upset; I was thwarted by these, actually. I mean what’s the essence of practicing good moral values if the mentors didn’t do those things in the first place? Change starts within us - and the process is gradual.

Don’t get me wrong. I do NOT detest them because of their behavior. No, I can’t blame the institution, the people or the congregation for having these flaws. I mean, we are all human beings, prone to mistakes and mishaps. We are all bound to experience such mistakes. Indeed, mistakes in life make us grow stronger and more mature. Now that’s the nature of life.

So for those who have doubted my religion, wherein I’m gradually changing to an Atheist, the answer is no. I still believe in the subsistence of God.

I know doing good things to others isn’t enough.
It is NOT enough.

I’m still searching for an answer in this profound world. It’s like finding a needle in a one-hectare grassy field.

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