I’ve been thinking

Yeah, I know, look out.  Kirsten’s been thinking.  That can be a scary thing sometimes!  And this is kind of a whopper.

I’ve been thinking about my ties to my religion – Catholicism.  Why, when on so many levels (the whole anti-gay thing, “pro-life”, women not allowed to be priests) that I still identify and find comfort in attending mass.  And mixed with that, I’ve been trying to figure out why things like experiencing the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier brings me to tears and seeing Old Glory at the Smithsonian.

And I think I have an answer.  Ceremony.  The military is fraught with ceremonies.  And they aren’t casual about it.  There is always pomp and circumstance with any ceremony no matter how small.  A Catholic mass may seem constraining to some because of all the standing, sitting, kneeling, etc.  But there is comfort in routine.  I find comfort in the routine found in ceremonies.  There is purpose to each part of a ceremony whether you believe in the purpose of it or not.  Ceremonies are a way of showing respect for those involved.

I don’t think there is enough respect for people in general in our world.  There is so much acting before thinking and not caring about the other guy.  These ceremonies in my life remind me that we are all on this crazy ride of life together.  It brings a supportive community into my life and my family’s life.   And for that I am thankful.


One response to this post.

  1. It’s interesting, because I’ve had similar conversations with both my husband (a “recovering Catholic” by his own definition) and a Catholic nun. My husband has renounced his Catholicism, but said that, for many of his family and friends who still embrace the religion despite disagreeing with several of its tenets, it’s because of the comfort and familiarity that the history and ceremony brings. The nun said the same thing when I dared to (politely and respectfully) asked her if she ever felt constrained or disagreed with any of the politics or policies – she said that she felt for herself, and many Catholics, the comfort and benefits of it outweighed the parts she disagreed with.

    Interesting. 🙂

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