What is faith? How does it manifest itself?
I have faith. I’ve always had it. I don’t know why, I just do. Is faith tied to religion? Or do faith and religion just gently touch, one able to exist without the other?
I was raised with religion, though our home could not be called strict or devout. Religion was just a part of our life: Sunday mass, Catholic school, and a guiding principle to good behaviour and lessons learned.
My mind is scientific enough to have questioned divinity and creation, to have prompted me to seek answers not initially forthcoming in my education. But though I have questioned organised religion, and the answers that I have found disputing unequivocal obeisance are logical and rational, it does not mean that my faith is null and void.
For me, faith and religion are not the same. Faith is an intangible thing while religion is ritual. It is structure. Faith is different, it is not bound by rules. They are dissimilar, but within the confines of religion my faith soars. I derive a certain pleasure from the ritual. As I gaze upon the perfection of stained glass above an altar, hymns and chants ringing out within the hallowed walls, I allow myself to be immersed in the holiness of the moment. I give myself up to the rites, to ceremony.
Times fraught with emotional or physical pain are when my faith manifests itself the most. Faith fills up the dark hole of confusion and despair with a light that holds me within it. Healing me, encouraging my strength. I never expect complete answers nor do I expect things to be wrapped up neatly, all disagreeable feelings disposed of as though they never happened. My faith is strength within, helping me to continue with whatever journey I am on. It helps me to hold on until I recognise the answers that, perhaps, have been in front of me all along. I pull my faith about me as a blanket. Cocooning myself in security, in safety, helping me to have strength in my convictions for another day..
*And on this holy day I celebrate my religion, Spring’s rebirth, hope and new beginnings. I wish you all a Happy Easter and a blessed year to come…C
Photograph taken from Pinterest