02 January 2011

Keeping the Faith

I've already watched The Book of Eli before, but I watched it again tonight with my dad. Like any other in-depth movies, it got me to thinking again.

Like most Filipinos, I was raised to be a Catholic. My mom and my papa are both Catholic and naturally, I was too. I went to a Catholic school, went to church on Sundays and took the Holy Communion. I've gone to recollections and retreats and I usually come home a lot better than before, thinking it was about time I'd change my ways. But of course, like any other teenager, I couldn't keep my word. I wanted to explore... To do things I've never done before. Like all bad actions, there were consequences and I continue to face them everyday.

I'd like to think I'm not like most Filipinos though. I do not take everything as they are and I've learned to question everything, even my God. When I was in first year high school, I had this friend whose religion is Born Again Christian and she talked to me about everything there is to know about their faith. Then when I was in third year high school, the same thing happened. I've come to notice that the Born Again Christians have better grasp on their faith than Catholics. The reason I think it is so, is because we Catholics are more into rituals; going to Church every Sunday, every first Friday of the month, every Sacred holiday. And what do we do? The same thing over and over and over, year in year out. It's repetitive and it's human nature to get used to it. It becomes more of a routine. Personally, I've noticed: whenever we recite our prayer before meals, we bless our food. But do we really understand and solemnize the prayer that we say? Or we just say it out of habit? I think it becomes more of a memorized poem rather than a form of communication with God. It's the same thing with all our memorized prayers, and I think that's why these prayers have lost their meaning to us.

That's exactly what I want to do: find meaning in my faith. I'm not saying I've lost mine, but I think it's only right to question so that I can find out what I truly want to believe in. I'd be lying if I said I had no doubts. I want to study all sorts of religions and beliefs; I even want to study Buddhism because I think it's the best way of life.

Since I lived in Quezon City, I've been exposed to Christianity more. I got a chance to attend service in Victory and I very much liked it. What I'm really trying to say here is that I want to have a firm grasp in my faith, hold it a little tighter, embrace it, believe in it, live it. I am a firm believer that there is heaven and hell. Heaven is not up in the sky and it's not about being able to hop in the clouds. It's about finding a place where you'll be most happy and contented, living life without question and doubt, surrounded by people you love and people who love you. But hell, hell is everywhere. It's in dark alleys where there are bad people waiting for opportunities to jump on you and scare the shit out of you, robbing you of your life and happiness. It's in casinos filled with greed, feasts that make you gluttonous, bars and prostitutes making you lustful, beds and couches that make you lazy, and the list goes on... I think our main purpose in life is to avoid those places and just find that one place that we could call our heaven :-)

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