Interests in Spirituality

Encountering the Divine

Spiritual Blog


Posted by Jennifer Mata on February 4, 2010 at 6:02 PM

I've been thinking lately about what it means to me when I say I am Catholic. If I try to contextualize it, I understand that being Catholic here in the US, in Venezuela and in, lets say, Rome, means very different things. And even within those cultures there are degrees and variations of what is categorized as Catolic and what it really means. If I compare myself to traditional Catholics, I know they would say I am not one, at least not one of them.

I came to embrace Catholicism late in life, inspite of my grandmother insistance that I do it sooner, and by doing so I have adapted bits and pieces of it to my life. I have taken that which makes me feel good, that which works for me, and left the rest to be. I know for some that seems odd, a sell out of sorts, but for me it simply works and that's why I keep it around. I do worry about it now and then, and feel the need to explain what "kind" of Catholic I am when people inquire about my religious background and practices, and sometimes feel like I should give it some serious thought and come to terms that maybe I am not what people consider a Catholic after all, and should possible rethink my definition and maybe look for a different more selfexplanatory label for myself. And then today I came across this:

"The aim is to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of spirituality, not to reject it entirely. A derivate aim, enormously important in itself, is to understand that we need not believe everything attached to a particular view or group in order to commit ourselves to it. We may be critical adherents, advocates, friends, or supporters." (Noddings, 2005, p. 84)

So there you have it. I guess I can still call myself a Catholic and just keep on explaining to others, who may need to know, what "kind" I tend to be. And that, will be ok, at least for me, for now.

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