Tuesday, 2 September 2014

LAUREN: I'M A CATHOLIC

Another in our occasional series on readers with strong religious beliefs… we talk to Lauren, who is a Roman Catholic.

Lauren says:
I have been Catholic my whole life, having been baptized at a very early age like the rest of my family. As time goes on, I am more and more sure that this is the religion for me - I find security in the consistency of the church, knowing that even since its beginning, the teachings haven't really changed. The word 'Catholic' is derived from the Greek word 'Katholikos', which means universa;: very apt, because no matter where you go in the world and no matter what language it is, the Catholic mass is always the same!
This year is very important for me, as it's the year of my Confirmation. Unlike Baptism and First Holy Communion, for which we are guided by our parents, this sacrament is the choice of the individual, if they wish to spend the rest of their lives as a Catholic. I've been attending classes with other kids my age, and we all have different perspectives and very interesting questions too.
The Bible and the rosary are both important for reflection and prayer. We do pray through Mary and the saints, asking them to intercede for us, but contrary to some beliefs we don't actually pray TO Mary.  It bothers me that people are quick to villainise the Catholic Church, accusing it of corruption. There have been a few incidents in history, but how can those instances be used to blame the whole congregation, the whole church?
I wouldn't say it was easy to be a Catholic, but I believe it is worth it to strive for the ideals and morals. After all, the church considers love and forgiveness to be the most important things; and isn't that what we all desire in the end?

Cathy says:
Like Lauren, I was brought up a Catholic, and though I don't follow a religion these days, I loved the ritual and mystery of the religion when I was small. Do YOU have strong religious beliefs? Or are you happy to live your life without it? COMMENT BELOW to share your views… but as always, be respectful of other people's beliefs in what you post! 

12 comments:

  1. I'm not religious at all although if you're going to be religious, fine - it's when people use their religion as an excuse to spread bigotry and hatred or pretend they're better than everyone who doesn't follow that religion that I get annoyed. I've never found religion useful to me because I have my own morals and I don't need a book or a preacher to tell me what morals I should have. For example, I believe in LGBT equality but a lot of religions are still very much against it for unknown reasons. They may say they care about LGBT people - "love the sinner, hate the sin" - but they're still attempting to deny them marital rights and I could never be a part of a group who are told that some people are automatically lesser through no fault of their own. It's all very 'Animal Farm'. I think the reason why people like religion is that they like to belong and to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and also, it probably offers comfort to think they'll go to Heaven/Nirvana/their next reincarnation after death. No one wants to think their life will just end and that's it. I think it's great that people can draw comfort and acceptance from their faith but I'd rather not be told I'm going to burn in Hell because I prefer to draw comfort from bars of chocolate instead. The hellfire will melt my chocolate, see? If you're religious, marvellous, I hope you're happy in life. If you are rude or hateful or bigoted because of said religion or try to force others into your religion when they clearly don't want to be, please step back and reconsider what you're doing. Read your Holy Book carefully and realise that the Golden Rule (the highest rule in all religions) is not "Be super mean to thy neighbour because OMG, they're a disgusting *insert slur of your choice here* and should burn for it!". It's "Love thy neighbour" or variants of that. Being nice to people who've done nothing wrong is a moral we should all have, religious or not.
    Your friendly neighbourhood godless heathen, Blue. :-)

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    1. I totally get ur point blue that there r some people who do disgraceful, disgusting and horrific things in the name of their religion and thats horrifically terrible. I feel that people in the same religion are stereotyped massively and get quite a lot of abuse. This often results in ' if they're gonna think that of me and their opinions not gonna change then I'll be like that'. I totally agree with u bout lgbt rights but a lot of religions don't actually state that u should be abusive to homosexuals, its just that some disgraceful people have understood it wrongly or on purposely go to the wrong conclusions. So I think therefore other people have jumped to the wrong conclusions. Even if a religion states that it is wrong to do so, I think it's fine not to support it but not to be abusive about it. Hamdi:)xxx

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  2. I wonder if we should include atheism as a belief set, Blue? Agree that many awful things are done in the name of religions, but I love this series as it focuses on young people very strong in their beliefs… and closer to the true meaning of their various faiths than many older people can be. I think that if Jesus were around today he'd fairly horrified at some of what is done in his name; and some Christians would probably struggle to look him in the eye, let alone listen to his teachings. I think it's good to raise your concerns about religions in general, as it gets everyone thinking - thank you for doing so in a respectful way and keeping it general while still allowing Lauren and the other girls we've talked to to have their own faiths. 'Love thy neighbour' and 'thou shalt not kill' - if we all stuck more closely to those teachings the world would be a better, safer, happier place! xxx

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  3. Cathy, how do you find out what the next group blog is so that you can be in it?


    Miri

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    1. Email me here with ideas mailcathycassidy@googlemail.com or lurk on the Facebook fanpage where lots of the ideas for features first start out! xxx

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  4. I'm religious but I do get upset when a religion is stereotyped just because a few people. I think its the same with other things and its like dont judge a book by its cover. If people didn't judge people in a religion based on rumours, news tories and only a few bad people and people stuck to there beliefs we would be getting somewhere.Hamdi:)xxxt

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  5. I am a Muslim and I love my religion, Islam. It teaches me morality and self-acceptance and assists me in every aspect of my life. Even though I am Muslim, I do not judge people based on their religion since the person may not totally reflect their religious teachings. I love everyone coz we're one, big, happy family. (Don't I sound juvenile?)

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    1. No, I love that attitude… just the opposite of juvenile. I'd love it if you wanted to write about your religion for DREAMCATCHER, Rebelstylefreak! Email via the website or message on FB fanpage if you are interested. xxx

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  6. I am a Catholic but I'm also interested in others religions!

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  7. no one should worry about burning if ur a good person! I too follow lauren's faith!

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  8. I sent the comment before this. most people in my country Ireland are this faith. most kids are confirmed in sixth class which is the eighth year of school besides pre school and the last year of primary. some catholics pray in latin like long ago. these catholics are a bit different to normal catholics. a normal catholic child makes his or her communion in second class which is the fourth year of school but another child will make it in first class, which is obviously the third year of school. for some reason about 20 years ago they all made their communons in first class. and I'm quite sure the other catholics make their comfirmation in fifth, also a year earlier. love the post today. bye!

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  9. I am also a Catholic. One of my favourite subjects is Religious Studies because I enjoy learning about other religions as well. I believe that it's okay to live in a diverse society, as long as we respect other people's beliefs, and do not judge someone because of what they believe in, regardless of what religion they practice.

    Eve xx

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