Monday, November 28, 2005

Lost and Confused

We have been cleaning house more and more, and yesterday I was asked to go through a large box of books in our basement. It was full of books from my childhood - school books, notebooks, the children's versions of Tom Sawyer and Robin Hood - as well as Christian books from my teen years. I couldn't bring myself to throw out some of them. I kept the Bibles I owned as a kid, with my name doodled on the inside covers (which was probably a sin but hey, I was like nine years old). I also kept the Christian version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears entitled "The Three Bears Go Into The Ministry" (you think I'm making this up, don't you?).

This morning I was reading excerpts from one of the adult books on Christian living to Mother.

"The Word of God says, 'Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?' God makes it perfectly clear that a believer is not to marry an unbeliever. If that's true, then why date an unbeliever? You don't share any common spiritual ground."

I guess you could say I'm guilty of being unequally yoked in my current relationship, along with plenty of other sins I commit daily. (I'm not even going to get into how offensive I find it that those of other religions or no religion are 'darkness' out to contaminate those of us in the 'light'.) I said to Mother, "This whole Christian life thing is really not feasible." She said, "Yeah, but some people do it. How do they do it?" I replied, "You don't know that they do; it just appears to others that they do. You never really know." She said, "Well, that's why the Bible says that the road is narrow. Broad is the road to destruction and most people enter there."

I said to her, "Suppose a teacher gives a test to a class. She tells the class, 'I have made this test extremely hard... unbelievably hard. Only about two of you will pass, and those of you who fail will burn in hell for all eternity.' Can you imagine such a thing?" She said the Holy Spirit gives us the answers.

I guess it's a bad analogy. Supposedly God doesn't make it hard for us, Adam did, or the Devil, or whatever. And the Holy Spirit doesn't take away the difficulty and struggle of getting the answer right simply by providing it.

On Thanksgiving we drove past a church, one of those big, beautiful ones that has been around for a hundred years, and I was filled with such a longing. I don't know why. Part of the religious life appeals to me so much. I used to be so pious, you know? Now it's like, to hell with everything, and I don't think that's me either. I need to figure out where 'me' lies.

I'm even craving C.S. Lewis. What's going on, folks?

On another note, I think the whole hell thing has been bothering me again. Last night I had a disturbing dream, something about me living the wrong way and going to be punished for it, but I don't remember the details. It's fuzzy.

Do I deserve to go to hell? Do any of us?

7 comments:

Oberon said...

.......i think hell.......is being in the dark........God is the Light of the world.......so being enlightened......is being near God.......seek Truth and you will find God.

fp said...

you're not unequally yoked
----------------------------------
TO YOUNG PEOPLE: WE FIND HAPPINESS ONLY IN GOD



VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Holy Father to the young Dutch participants in the first National Day of Catholic Youth, celebrated in Nieuwegein, Netherlands, on November 27.


After pointing out that many of the young people present at this event also participated in World Youth Day, held in August in Cologne, Germany, Benedict XVI writes: "Dear friends, Jesus is your true friend and Lord, enter into a relationship of true friendship with Him. He awaits you, and only in Him will you find happiness. How easy it is to content oneself with superficial pleasures, ... to live only for oneself in the apparent enjoyment of life. But sooner or later one becomes aware that this is not true happiness, because true happiness is much deeper and is only to be found in Jesus."


"For this reason, I invite you to seek the Lord every day, He wants nothing other than your true happiness." On this subject, the Pope invites young people to dedicate moments of the day "to being exclusively in the company of the Lord. ... Recitation of the Rosary may help you to learn the art of praying with the simplicity and depth of Mary. It is important that participation in the Eucharist should be the center of your life. ... Adore God in church and remain kneeling before the tabernacle."


In his Message to the young people the Holy Father writes that it is in the Sacrament of Penance that Jesus "awaits you to forgive your sins and reconcile yourselves with His love. ... What a great opportunity the Lord has given us with this Sacrament for interior renewal and for progress in our Christian lives. I recommend that you make good and constant use of it."


"If you follow Jesus, you never feel alone because you are part of the Church, which is a great family in which you can grow in true friendship with so many brothers and sisters in the faith, scattered in every corner of the world. Jesus needs you to 'renew' modern society. Concern yourselves with increasing your knowledge of the faith, so as to be authentic witnesses thereof. Dedicate yourselves to an ever better understanding of Catholic doctrine," in which "the satisfying response to your deepest questions" is to be found.


The Pope concludes his Message with assurances of his prayers for the young people meeting in Nieuwegein, in the hope that they "generously welcome the call of the Lord. ... Only by responding positively to His call, however demanding it may seem, is it possible to find happiness and peace of heart."

(sorry bout the double post)

WOLVERINE said...

Hell's not really a bad place once ya get past th' lack of A/C.

Anonymous said...

wow fp has a lot of spare time on his hands ..!!!!

sojourness said...

Fp, I guess saying 'unequally yoked' is giving myself too much credit for being 'light.' Ha.

But according to the tradition I was brought up in, I am.

Wolvie... you're too much, lol.

Anonymous, be nice, you ;)

Anonymous said...

your post shares a weird coincidence with something that happened last night. I found out through FB that X' has a gf. I saw the little thing that says "in a relationship with ____" and I then allowed myself to stalk every aspect of his profile. I was so upset at finding out, lots of reasons, too many to list but one includes that he won't be (I'm safe to assume) visiting in two weekends. So that's that for background. In one of the pics I saw the girl was wearing a very christian shirt (x' is really christian) and i thought "maybe what he needs is christian gf...

sojourness said...

I'm sorry hon. And I was getting all psyched about referring to him as X' too. But, look on the bright side... it's not like you don't have several backups, lol.