Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Faith or Religion?

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 11, 2008

Just recently, a comment was made to me regarding my postings and all that they contained.  This started me thinking on the question, what is the difference between a person of faith and a religious person?  Is there a difference?

I consider myself to be a person of faith.  Meaning, I try as much as possible to live my life by God’s direction through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He does this often through daily reflections and/or biblical readings; or through people that He places in my path for the day by their comments and reactions; and often times through permanent persons – that is through the friends that He has placed in my life for the means of encouragement, growth, and sanctification.  It’s up to me, though, to listen to what He’s telling me through these instruments of communication; and it’s up to me to act accordingly in whatever He is calling me to do.

This is why I consider myself a person of Faith, rather than a Religious person.  My Faith is alive and well, lived moment by moment not just day by day.  I act and pray according to a Faith (a belief) that God is in charge and in control of all that I experience. 

I guess one could say that my Religious Title is Roman Catholic, but my Faith is in Jesus Christ, God the Father Almighty, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (You Catholics out there, sound familiar? )  And as such, I do attend daily Mass and fulfill my obligation for Mass on Sunday.  But again, not because I have to, or because I feel I should, but because I want to!  I want to be close to Jesus.  I want to receive Him daily in the Holy Eucharist.  I want to be “made worthy” to be in His presence as often as possible.  Day by day, moment by moment, my Faith requires me to live according to my wants and my desires that I have for a union with God. 

Faith or Religion?  Both work together.  My religion, Roman Catholic, gives me a place to go and a way to worship God to the fullest!  It allows me the opportunity to have forgiveness of my sins (Sacrament of Reconciliation) and to receive my Savior – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.  No other religion can offer this.  No other religion has the Divine Creator so directly connected to His creation.  The Divine is alive and well, and by the practices of worship and devotion found within my religion, my faith is alive and well and even more so than when I try to do so on my own. 

I guess the conclusion I’ve reached as I’ve typed up this reflection is this: I am both a person of Faith and a Religious person because they both are alive and well within my own life, day by day and moment by moment.  This is the prime example of BOTH / AND, which I like to refer to as – GOOD THEOLOGY.  Which, if you don’t find BOTH / AND in your religion, perhaps its a good idea to ask “Why not?”.

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