Christianity

Without the Vigil

This is the first Easter I will be spending apart from my family, without going to church, and without any sort of recognition whatsoever. I will miss seeing my relatives and enjoying their company, but I just didn't want to do the traveling and have to say "no" ten times to invites to multiple masses, a special Saturday night religious ceremony my family has at dinner, and prayer times. To my family, the point of Easter was not chocolate, ham dinners, bunnies, nor eggs. It was always about Jesus' death and resurrection. We were always very devoted and serious Christians. And easter used to be my favorite church holiday of the whole year. I was raised semi-Catholic (never confirmed), and always kept one toe in the Roman Catholic pool. I would visit mass with my mother when she invited me, and my favorite service of any denomination was always the annual Easter vigil mass on Saturday nights (which is going on as I type this now). The late-into-the-night, 5-hour-long service was the high-point of my spiritual year. I memorized the songs as a child, knew the rhythm of the readings by the time I was a teen, and loved every single second. When other kids would be bored and restless, I was excited, attentive, and involved. And I wasn't even Catholic! There was a magic in the darkness of the sanctuary, a ripple of excitement when the candles were lit, and a thrumming thrill that flooded the entire church when the gospel readings were read, the lights came on, and the ecstatic songs of praise would ring out. I lived for those moments. I felt so at home, so fulfilled spiritually. (more…)

Christianity

Separation from God (Part 1: It’s your fault)

Dear Christian, Do you feel far from god? Are you struggling with emotions of guilt, shame, frustration, or exhaustion when you think about your devotionals, prayer time, church activities, and ministry work? I can easily recall acute feelings of guilt in respect to my Christian practices. I felt like my walk with the divine was often defined more by the belief that I should do something, rather than I was eager to do something. Even knowing what to do was a topic of confusion. How many prayer times is enough? Should I join another bible study? Do I need to attend church twice a week? Do most Christians do a daily devotional? In retrospect, I realize that my closeness to god hinged fully on emotion and the satisfaction that came from doing well in what I thought was expected of me, and the natural high that occurred when enjoying myself and my thoughts during those times. I know Christians often struggle with how to draw near to god. For example: (more…)

god

god vs. God

As a former Christian, I’m used to capitalizing the word God when speaking about the Christian god, Yahweh. Hell, I even spent two years of my life spelling it G-d so I wouldn’t offend the guy with a vowel. Since Read more…