Originally, I meant to write these thoughts in my other journal – a mistress to my main, if you will.
I was raised a Catholic. We went to church on Sundays, from what I remember. When I moved overseas, I went to an English-speaking Catholic school run by nuns. Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic were the order of the day – along with classes on religion. I vaguely remember asking questions in those classes – I’d heard all the stories before it seemed. Usually my questions weren’t welcome.
I also remember that I never had my first communion as I was supposed to. I was fidgety, talkative, and otherwise a little shiftless when I wasn’t supposed to be. The importance of the Sacraments were lost on me then.
Through conversation with several people, I’ve slowly found myself drawn back to that with which I had been raised. I couldn’t help but notice that there was knowledge in the bible, whether I believed in its tenets or not.
There are two things that strike me as the crux of why Christianity appeals to man.
1.The Concept of Ultimate Sin
I used to despise this concept. That I was a sinner at birth and there was nothing I could do to change that. I’m not the past, my forefathers, the deeds or misdeeds they’ve committed – yet I’m painted with the same brush? Tarnished by things of which I had no concept or understanding of at birth. It seems like a cruel trick.
But now I realize, I think, the actual importance of the concept. That is, eventually you come to terms with the idea that man is flawed. That you, yourself are flawed. That the only one who is perfect is God, and that you can only strive for perfection. This concept is not oppression, rather it is liberating. Tie this concept with the idea that God loves you – no matter what – and you’ve got a recipe for liberating mankind from disease of self loathing he is often prone to. Some days I wish I wasn’t me and that I could just die or disappear. Slowly, I’m coming to accept myself…
…whoever that is.
2. The Concept of Redemption
From my understand – this is the idea that one can atone for one’s sins; the idea that one is not forever condemned by virtue of one’s birth. It’s an important concept, I believe, because the belief that one is forever condemned by a mistake is soul killing. You may not realize it – but you can always stop what you’re doing and do the right thing today.
This is the idea that though the Devil may win from time to time – the war is not yet lost. Not by a long shot.
Combine those thoughts with another concept (one I think is oft misunderstood) – “You are all equal in the eyes of the Lord“. Many believe means that all humans are equal and try to endeavour to treat them as such if not engineer it to be “on earth as it is in Heaven“. I believe they’re wrong. To be equal in the eyes of the Lord is to receive equal Judgement on the last day – to attempt conflate being equal in God’s eyes is the same as trying measure the days God spent creating the universe, the world, and everything in it, in increments of 24 hours – a man-made unit of time.
P.S. That song, Cantata 147 by J.H. Bach is the first song I learned how to play on the piano. It was my first favorite song before it was unseated by another. It’s now my second favorite song.