?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

 (I am, shall we say, resurrecting my LJ in its honor)

My religion definitely has its ebbs and flows, and I doubt that I'm alone in this. But I was reflecting today, all of my Easters at SU have been really good and faith-affirming. From when I was a tiny freshman who just wanted Jesus to be my boyfriend, to today when religion makes up the driving force of my life and really the bulk from where I draw my personality and goals and ethical "selfhood." If that makes sense. I can't imagine my life without my faith and my love of God; it's brought so many good things and wonderful people for me.

On Good Friday I spent most of my time at St Pius's adoration chapel. It was amazing; I've really been struggling to work myself back into orthodox Christianity somehow - it's very lonely on the fringes - and part of my resistance was just that the gospel is irrational. And terribly bland and bureaucratized by present day religious institutions. The Trinity? Dusty old theology I want no part in :-p But at the same time, I am inspired and moved by a God so small and humble to not only dwell among humanity but to die for us. I can't really connect with images of God the strong, barrel-chested, omni-everything deity; such a figure may inspire reverence but not the personal connection and intimacy and love that I need. I am needy :-p

So the Good Friday imagery did a lot for me - I'm not usually into the suffering and self-denial portions of religion, but on Friday I connected. I stayed at church from twelve to three, the traditional times acknowledged as the hours Jesus spent on the cross. And the very mundane and temporal aspects of being there affected me a lot: what did it mean to hang there for hours, knowing somehow it was witnessing God but not knowing exactly how, as it was so antithetical to glory or even humanitarian love. The very human dread of death just permeates the suffering on the cross, and while I don't think Jesus thought of himself as God, he felt more connected to God than anyone else, therefore this extinguishing of God's presence in the world would seem wrong.Christians today have been spoiled on the ending: yay, Jesus lives! And that takes a lot of the sting out of the uncertainty of death, without this modern day watering down, that Jesus would have felt in approaching the cross. So Good Friday is about accepting God's will, unto death. I'm not sure I could be that strong or self-sacrificing, especially in light of a God who is less than public or obvious. I wear my crucifix necklace not because I'm a poser Catholic (ha) but as a reminder of its political implications: stand against the state; your example will force it into a mockery of itself. The imagery of a dying God against the strong and unforgiving execution of the state is just amazing, and should challenge me everyday to consider my social responsibilities as a Christian.

Saturday was the Easter Vigil at St Pius. Which, in light of Good Friday, was such an emotional relief to me: after all my mourning, Jesus is back! We received a catechumen and several candidates into the church, which was seriously nostalgic for me. All the baby Catholics! I should go dig up the, mm, Facebook note about my own baptism and confirmation? I believe I wrote it on FB :-p But yes, nostalgia. And I got to see Janet after the Mass. It turns out that she's moving to Maryland sometime, but I'm moving to NJ, so we're both moving on. I promised that we would keep in touch, and we will; she's so good to me. Plus she wants to come see my graduation and meet my parents. Yes :-p

And today was so so good. I managed to get myself an invitation over to Dr Martin and Dr Bohmbach's for an Easter supper, and further imposed on them by asking if I could come to church before where they were preaching. So that was really good; she did most of the liturgy and he gave the sermon. It's so neat to hear  them preach too; I rarely do, and it's a very different audience than hearing them lecture. Plus, as much as I share religion with them on a scholarly level, it's good to also connect on a faith level. So the gospel today was the road to Emmaus, and Dr Martin talked about how Luke has his travel metaphor running through the gospel, as an expression of discipleship. And just when these disciples had been disappointed and certain that their visions of a glorious messiah were done for, having just put Jesus to rest in the tomb, Jesus is really still with them. So Jesus' ministry continues with our own actions, even when they appear from our vantage point to be very DIY and singular.

Then they took me home and fed me :-D Really, they even accommodated my inconvenient vegetarianism, so we had an asparagus quiche and I mangled vegetables into a salad :-p I met their cats, we talked about life and academia and politics and family. I expressed all my excitement and anxiety not so much about grad school, but about jobs and housing and independence, all the adult things like that :-p It was a semi-transition into, I don't know, post-graduation non-studentship :-p Just being together in a more casual way. I fucking love them, I was so grateful for their hospitality and so touched. We do need to keep in touch, I want them to remain in my life.

So I am loved, and I am blessed. How did I wind up with so many wonderful people in my life? When I entered the religion major, or made religion a part of my life generally, I had no idea it would take me as far as it has. I can't even count my blessings, they're so abundant. I love the direction of my life, I love the confidence I feel that I am driven - if not called - to pursue this, and I love feeling like I grow in my faith and closer to God every day. I always want to feel this inspired, and to better live out the reciprocal love of all the love that's been given to me.