Sunday, September 2, 2012

"There is a lot of religion and spirituality that people don't talk about"

The other day I was listening to Maryland Morning on WYPR.  It is a morning news and information program.  They replayed an interview with Margo Adler (a voice familiar to NPR listeners) about paganism in the United States.  I had not realized that Ms. Adler is a Wiccan priestess.  The interview was not particularly about Wiccan practices, but more about spirituality in general and, in particular, spirituality that not everyone would necessarily be familiar with.

At about 3:23 in the interview, she was asked something like how religion fits into the current political discourse.  Her answer began with the quote that serves as the title for this blog entry.  So, before I take my own interpretation, it is critical to understand that she was making whatever comment she followed up with in the context of answering the question I described.

I believe she is right.  I believe there is also a converse--a lot of people don't spend much time at all talking about religion and spirituality.  Others spend a lot of time talking about it.  But there is a lot that people don't know about each other's practices, beliefs, or struggles beyond the basics of each religion's premises and practices that are part of our shared culture.

It caught my attention because I spend a lot of time thinking.  A lot of time struggling.  A lot of time trying to understand.  And I know that some of my friends do too.  We often come to different conclusions.  That is okay.  While some religions are based on the belief that it is possible to have a monopoly on the truth, I think that we can all agree that as individual humans none of us has a monopoly on the truth.  

What interests me is that within my own Catholic faith there are many who attend mass regularly but who don't have much to say about religion outside church.  I used to be that way.

Then I added teaching Sunday school.

Then I added playing in the worship band.

Now I blog.

All are ways to get in touch.  All are ways of sharing.  In Sunday school, I don't spend much time sharing my doubts.  I'll share the fact that some things remain a mystery, but I don't share my doubts with third graders.

When playing music that is not about doubts--that is about ways to increase the connection I (and hopefully others) feel with God through music.

When blogging, that is when I stop.  Think hard about what I believe.  Write it down.  Leave it for others to comment on.  And really listen for the whisper of God around me rather than what, as a child, I had always believed would come as a roar of revelation.  That is the type of spirituality and religious experience that I don't hear about much.  That is what I wonder how many other people have.

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