Where I Want to Be

Spirituality is a strange and powerful thing. As someone who has grown up in a Catholic home and who has been raised with that faith, I can attest to the idea of “taking religion for granted”. From a young age, I understood the morals and themes of my belief as well as the obligation to attend particular services; however, to some extent, I was blind to see the impact religion has on one’s self. The moment that I stopped blindly walking through the motions of religion and began to hear what was happening around me, was the second that I saw how much larger spirituality is. I have found it to be so much more than those common routines. Religion expands the way you can see the world around you. As these horizons expand, new limits and be pushed and a person can discover more about their brothers and sisters around the world, as well as uncovering more about themselves.

However, the challenge with this idea that I face, is how do I push myself further?

I think that one clear option taught as a student is to simply pay more attention. It sounds naggy and simply but honestly, too often I find myself distracted and focused on what I will be doing next when I should be focused on a moment of prayer. These quick, self-centered bursts take my attention away from the lessons and teachings of the Lord. I believe that if I can channel myself more into the present tense during times of prayer, I will go so much further into what religion has to offer.

I believe that another viable (and probably more effective) option is to learn from everyone else! I think it is easy to fall into the trap of seeing one faith as my/your faith, and then labeling all the other religions as just that… other. This is something that I have come to actively avoid. I genuinely think that this is like looking at religion with blinders on as you only see one small bit of it. Spirituality in all forms is something that is so innately human that to ignore all but one leaf of it may very well result in seeing the world in a small and less empowering way. When a person can stretch past what they know in religion and begin to listen to and learn from the beliefs of others, then they will go so much further in seeing the world. “They are the ones who decided at some point that spirituality was a quest worth pursuing actively, a pursuit requiring time and energy” (Robert Wuthnow). This is a quest that I hope to continue if not truly start as my junior year begins.

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