Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I Want to Believe
I'm jealous of real, religious people. People who know without a doubt what God wants of them and what's waiting for them on the other side. I went to church as a child. Every Sunday, rain or shine. In my memory, it was always cold on Sunday mornings, but that can't be true. We were observant Catholics, but I can't say we were especially devout. My grandmother used to go to confession every Saturday. She used to say,"What do I have to confess? That I missed church one week? Bah!" But she'd still go. My mother stopped listening to the Pope when she had two kids, eleven months apart, using the rhythm method. Most of what I truly feel about God I got from my dad. He was the one who would help me say my prayers in bed at night, cause it was nice to pray for other people and ask God's blessing for them and for me. Sometimes, we'd sing a little song called, "What Color is God" about how God is every color and no color because, I guessed, God was too big to be pinned down to just one race.
So I can't claim that Jesus is a close, personal friend like some people I know. I tried to be born again once, in high school. I came forward at a prayer group when they asked if anyone wanted to be saved. It was nice to have them all praying on me, but then they said I couldn't listen to AC DC anymore and well, that was that. Occassionally I find succor from a Catholic mass, especially when somebody dies. That's when the ritual seems most comforting to me. Sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit. I went to church in Italy once. I didn't understand a word they were saying but it was the same:sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit. I like the familiarity of it.
But all this doesn't really help when I get the existential heebie-jeebies in the middle of the night. Like Mulder, I want to believe. In aliens and government conspiracies or sweet salvation, it doesn't matter. I just would like to have absolute faith in something. I want to believe God is real. I want to believe that prayer works and it isn't just the list of puling demands that it sounds like. I want to feel forgiven, to have a squeaky clean soul again. I want to believe that Mama's kisses heal all wounds. I want to believe that my Daddy's arms are still strong enough to carry me upstairs to bed. But mostly I want to believe that when I die, I'll fall into the arms of almighty love and be safe forever more.