Merry Christmas

Here it is Christmas Day and what am I doing? Writing. Why? Because sometimes You just got to write about something, and today is that day. Tonya and I just got back from church, a place I don't go to often. The church we went to was the church of my youth, Notre Dame Church in Southbridge. I was trying to remember the last time I was in there and I can't for the life of me remember. Needless to say it brought back a lot of memories, but I promise I won't go into them now.

Not just because of the memories the experience was a very emotional one for me. There is a lot of talk about this particular church closing down, lack of funds and attendance is the main reason. There were maybe 150 people at the mass, in a church that conservatively could hold a thousand. I remember some midnight masses where the church was that full. That fact, it's possible closing, made me very sad. But then I suppose to some extent, people like me who have fallen out of the church, could be to blame.

Growing up in the Catholic faith, you were always made to feel guilty, I think that could be why many have turned away. That and the regimentation of the church, the rules and rituals you have to follow,etc. Like the whole confession thing, why is that necessary? After all if you believe in God, he knows when you mess up, I don't have to tell a priest that. And as far as penance, don't worry,  I serve that as well.

So in the church, me being me, I looked around to see who else was there and I have to say I was quite surprised at the congregation. Notre Dame is what used to be considered the French-Canadian church in town, so I expected to only see lots of elderly citizens there. I was surprised, at least half, if not more, were what I consider kids, couples in their late twenties and thirties. There weren't many people our age, then there were the elderly. And again, me being me, I wondered why that is.

My generation (in my opinion anyway) was turned away from the church. For the reasons I mentioned earlier had something to do with it, and I think the whole sex abuse scandal didn't help. That seemed to effect my generation the most I think. After all we were brought up to never question a priest or his actions, they were the right hand of God and they weren't human, in the way that the rest of us are, they would never make mistakes. And I think we were, I don't want to say hurt, but certainly angry about this. And we drifted from the fold.

The elder generation, possibly tended to forgive more readily than my generation, with age comes wisdom, and the younger generation, while not to young to not know are probably more open minded about the whole thing. I think this is a good sign. Maybe people are again looking to the church for answers and guidance, looking for something that is no longer there in our political leaders. The older I get the more I seem to get it as far as religion, maybe I should say spirituality instead, goes. We all need something in our lives, no, I'm not going holy roller on you, but maybe we need the hope to think there is a heaven, there is a better place, and this life here on earth is just a stop on the way to a better life.

Will I continue to go back to church? I can't say. As I wrote a few posts ago, I have me beliefs and I am not sure I need to go to church to show my God that I believe, but we'll see.

Merry Christmas to everyone.
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