I want to throw a disclaimer out here. I am not writing this to preach to you. I just have all these thoughts bouncing around in my head during this pretty important time of the year, and this is the best outlet I have for them. So you get the honor of reading them!
Let me give you some background, first. We are Catholic. I know for some people, faith is a huge stumbling block. And something about the word "Catholic" just seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way. I have never understood this. I was raised Catholic, as was my husband, and for us, it is our faith. This is not to say that we think it is the ONLY faith, or the TRUE faith, or what have you. It is simply what WE believe. Before meeting my husband, I had never so much as dated someone with the same religious background as me. I never considered it an issue, and for the most part, it wasn't. But being with someone who was raised in the same belief system I was has made a HUGE impact on our relationship. Because, see, that's the thing about faith, or about belief. Most of the time, it's like an ingrained understanding of something. Trying to explain it to someone who doesn't come from the same background will typically cause nothing but headache. But discussing it with someone who has the same basic belief subset as you, that is a whole different story.
And speaking of stories, in this season of life, sacrifice and death, I have a good one for you. It's based on a conversation I had several years ago with a friend of my father's, who happened to be an atheist. Now, again, let me state - your faith or lack thereof, is NONE of my business. I firmly believe that everyone has the right to believe the way they want to. I happen to believe in God, to believe that He sent His son to earth to save us, and that His son died on the cross so that we might live. I know not everyone believes this way, and that is fine with me. I just happen to believe this to be true. Well, this self-proclaimed atheist friend of my fathers happened to engage me in philosophical debate about God. His basic pretense was that why is he supposed to believe in God if he can't see him? That the human mind simply wasn't capable of that kind of comprehension. That he shouldn't take one person's word that such a thing exists, because how can that person know that it is so? That there is no such thing as real faith. So I asked him quite simply - "Do you believe in space? In the concept that there is this vast, infinite space out there, that we can't see, or hear, or feel, or touch?" And he answered me yes. And I asked him - "And WHY is it that you believe that this space is out there? Because a scientist told you that?" And again, he answered yes. And so then I asked him - "And this concept of space, that this scientist has told you about, is so vast that it is beyond your ability to comprehend just HOW vast it is, correct?" And again, he answered yes. And my response to that was "Well, that is how I believe in God. I don't know what he looks like, or sounds like, or feels like. I will never see him in my lifetime to KNOW that he is here. But I know. I believe. The same way YOU believe in space." He had no response for me. I literally left him speechless. He later told my father he had NEVER had someone approach the concept of faith to him like that, and that it really made him stop and think. I was 19 - he was in his mid 40's.
I'm interested to know how YOU, if you do, believe in God. What is it in your faith of God that just makes you feel that he is real? And if you don't, why is it that you don't believe in Him? Really, I am very interested. I encourage you to leave a comment and tell me why! (And no, I'm not trying to start any kind of debate here. This is my blog, after all, and hey, I can talk about whatever I want to, right?)
It has been very entertaining for us this year, watching as Monster Boy learns more and more about the world around him through school and at home. Some of the things that this child comes up with simply astound me. Oh, to be 5 years old again!
A few words currently inhabiting his vocabulary: Apparently, Supposedly, Ordinary, Ordinarily, Traumatize, Outstanding... there are more, I just can't think of them all to list. And yes, he uses them all appropriately.
Monster Boy attends a Catholic preschool, for a number of reasons. But he loves it there, and it is in a small parish where we have been welcomed with open arms. We are grateful for that. So, since he attends a Catholic preschool, of course he is learning about God. As this is the season of Easter, this week he has been learning about how Jesus died for us. Today, he tells me "Mom, I am so glad that Jesus took three days to rise from the dead. Because then he was ALIVE again!". It is amazing to me how quickly he picks up on things.
And then we have our entertaining discussions. Yesterday, he asked me if we could paint Easter Eggs. So I tell him "Sure we can! I just have to boil the eggs so they won't break, and then we can dye them." And he looks at me in horror and says "DIE THEM? You mean, we have to KILL them before we can paint them??!!" Oh honey. So I explained that dyeing eggs was just another way of saying paint them. (I did not, however, explain that yes, technically boiling the eggs would be killing them before we paint them, or eat them for that matter. I don't think he's quite ready for that discussion yet.) And dye eggs we did, tonight. And tomorrow, we head down to our church bright and early in the morning for an Easter Egg hunt. Miss Sunshine should be quite entertaining at this!
Happy Easter everyone!