Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for April, 2008

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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A Funny thing happened to me today…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 8, 2008

I was in my car this afternoon talking with my friend Carol on my cell, that I had just plugged in to begin charging, with my keys in the ignition so that I could roll down my power-windows and get some air flow into the car, when my brain stopped working.  It’s important to note, my laptop had just been brought back to life with XP still loading and waiting for my information, whilst running on its battery.  Too many things were going on at once, and like my laptop, I was experiencing a crash. 

I had just completed an interview for a potential job for the summer, and my friend had just gotten a new client, so needless to say – my mind wasn’t on where my keys were.    After I had arranged my evening with Carol, I grabbed the computer, threw in my sweater into the back seat because it was too hot to wear it, made sure my keys weren’t in the pocket (my mind was really distracted from my keys and their location though), locked the doors and went back towards the main classroom building.  It wasn’t until an hour and a half later while talking with my friend John, that I realized, my keys were not with me !!! 

I paused, thought for a moment, and then truly busted out laughing!  My friend just looked at me like, “Anne, what’s so funny?”  It was rather embarrassing to have to tell him where my keys were, but it reminded me of something totally profound.  Where is God?  Where is He in my  life at this precise moment?  Do I know where He is, or have a forgotten that He’s there and just kind of walked away hoping He would be there when I got back?  

When I arrived at the parking lot, my car was still there, windows were partially down, my keys were in the ignition and ready to turn on the engine, and what’s more, my phone was plugged in to the cigarette lighter drawing amperadge.  And I thought, isn’t this interesting?  My car is still here, but it shouldn’t be.  And just like God, my car seemed to be smiling at me saying, “I wondered when you would come back.”  However, God has a marvelous sense of humor, remember, my keys are still locked inside the car.

God, how can I reach you?  I’m too small to reach so high, and I’m too finite to contemplate the infinite.  How can I reach you? … how am I ever going to unlock my car?… my spare key is at home …

John and I tried for 10 full minutes with various whathaveyous to try and reach the lock with no avail.  I was even determined enough to try and stick my arm in there to reach the lock.  All I got was a pretty good size knot and bruise.  After exhausting all our meager resources, a kind man came over to the car, assessed the situation and suggested, “Why not press the power-lock button?”  

Just like God and His Word.  Why not “press the power button”?  In Sacred Scripture He is always availible, always ready to reach out and talk to our hearts.  I try to always carry around a small pocket bible.  It’s full of scribbles and references, notes, prayers and reflections.  Gee, maybe I can reach You, Lord.  Guess I should open it up and “press the power button”.

My friend John and I tried for 10 minutes without even once considering the power lock button, which was right there within reach the entire time!  Oh, man!  Right in front of our noses!  We both laughed, even harder than before, all the way down the hill and I continued to laugh as I dropped him off at his domicile.

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