Ok, so yesterday was Ash Wednesday, which means most of the Catholics of the world are giving something up for lent. I have to admit, I was not brought up a strict Catholic in the church's sense. My mother was and then rebelled against her upbringing by raising her children completely different. She did not debunk the entire Catholic religion, but she also did not force us to partake in the rites of passage. She raised us to be more open to all forms of religion and encouraged us to find which one, if any, fit our needs. Now, my Grandmother on the other hand was a devout Catholic. I can just imagine the battles that must have taken place when my mother refused to have any of us baptized.
Rites of passage aside, my mother did not remove all religion from our lives. She exposed us to many churches and beliefs. We attended Catholic services every now and again and went to Sunday school in a Congregational church. These are just some of the religious memories that stand out over the years.
Then, of course there was my Grandmother. She was adamant about making sure the Catholic religion was a part of our lives, whether my mother liked it or not. When ever I stayed with her, which was almost every summer of my childhood, she would dress me up in bonnets and white gloves and whisk me off to St. Joseph's Cathedral in the city. She taught me the prayers, the commandments, and the patience to get through a Catholic mass without fidgeting or falling asleep :)
Where do I stand today after being in the middle of two opposing religious viewpoints? I am an unofficial Catholic, baptized in water (with a splash of Vodka) by a true saint, my Grandmother. I have officially baptized my four children and they do attend religious education classes. But, I also instill the openness that my mother taught me and want my kids to know that believing in something bigger than them is important. They all know that they are free to choose where their faith will take them, but they will have the Catholic rites and religion as a foundation.
So, the question is... what am I going to give up for Lent? What will I remove from my life for 40 days and 40 nights? Nothing. That's right, nothing.
I've decided to add something to my life. I'm going to post a new blog entry everyday for the next 40 days. This may not sound like a sacrifice to many, but it can be just as hard to add something to your life as it is to take it away. Finding the time and interesting content for my blog has been something I've struggled with.
In a sense I am giving up on giving up this year for Lent :) I would love to hear some ideas for blog topics. Drop me a comment and wish me luck.
Kristin : )