I think I have a decently strong spiritual faith. I believe in God, in the Trinity that God has with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe that He is all powerful. I have faith.
But is faith enough?
That's the question I've been struggling with recently. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts. God knows I haven't come to any firm conclusions on my own.
I suppose some background information is in order. I was raised Catholic and went to church pretty much every Sunday. We didn't miss many weeks. I went to church school when it was Sunday school and even when it was CCD, and I'm not even sure what that stood for! I even went to a Catholic college, where I was confirmed. For those who aren't Catholic, this is basically becoming an adult in faith. Before confirmation my parents and Godparents were responsible for me faith-wise. By being confirmed I accepted responsibility for my own faith.
Since getting married, Scott and I have discussed going to church many times. We have gone off and on. We're currently off. Scott's upbringing was different from mine. He's most comfortable with going to Catholic mass, but has never felt any guilt over not going. We went for a few months to a church in Washington. I really enjoyed the choir (the music is one of the things I miss most about going to church) but the congregation wasn't overly friendly. Unfortunately Catholics aren't known for their outgoing friendliness. Scott wasn't put off by not being greeted at the door. However, he couldn't handle the very old priest. The poor man started coughing in the middle of his sermons and when he regained his composure he'd forget where he was until someone shouted something out to remind him. That's what did Scott in. We haven't made our way back to church since then.
I've tried different things to become involved, working with a youth group, attending non-denominational Christian services, bible study groups. I enjoy exploring my faith. I enjoy renewing it. I like smiling with God. I just don't like exploring, renewing, and smiling without Scott.
I want him to be part of my faith life. I want it to be our life together, not mine. Our talks about faith leave me feeling like our beliefs are in tune, but putting them into practice...we're not driven to do that in the same way, or we weren't.
What's happened is that I don't miss mass as much. I think of going back to church in very non-faith ways.
"It would be a great way to meet people when we move."
"I do miss the music. Maybe I could join a choir."
"I like the intellectual conversation."
"It would probably be good for the kids..."
But I've found that when I think about going to church I don't think about God. God is in the rest of my life, in my heart. So, is religion necessary? Or can I make it, should I be trying to make it, on faith alone?