Falling Back On Religion
My one constant in life
Livy Wren - CONTRIBUTOR
I grew up with religion being a central point in my life. I went to church every Sunday morning with my family and went to a Catholic elementary school. However, as I got older things changed. Soon, hockey schedules got in the way of church and I was transferred to a public school. Needless to say, religion became much less centralised in my life and the influence it had decreased. This is not to say that I’ve become any less religious. If anything, I would say I am more religious today than I ever was when I went to church weekly. As the influence of religious institutions in my life decreased, my actual faith increased.
In my experience there is little discussion in Catholic schools or church to what faith truly is. The meaning and importance of faith are seen to have already been decided and so scarcely debated. It is outside of these institutions that one’s faith can be found on a personal level, as it is here that faith can be personal and not communal. The difficulty with this is that, as with most other personal aspects of one’s life, there are ups and downs. When it comes to faith, these ups and downs are seen in times where one leans on it or overlooks it.
Personally, while I always identify as religious, my faith is not a large part of my life when things are going well. In times of complete happiness and content there is little need for religion. I know this is wrong, as you should thank God for the good and not simply ask him to fix the bad. However, when things are all dandy I tend to forget that my faith may have had a hand in the happiness. Be this good or bad, it is something that I seldom notice in good times.
It is in times of hardship that my religion becomes crucial. When things are not going my way, when I’ve had an argument with a friend or when assignments are due and I can no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel, this is when I turn back to my faith. That is due to the fact that religion has always been a constant in my life. No matter how long it has been since I have been to a church, I always feel at home whenever I walk into one.
Despite a slight change in liturgy wording over the last few years (i.e., “and with you” became “and with your spirit”), mass has been one of the few things in my life that has remained the same. Friendships, schools and interests have all changed. But religion has not. Thus when things are not going my way I know I can turn to my faith to comfort me and offer me stability.
My faith has not been an essential part of my everyday life for some time now. Nonetheless, I can trust that when I need it, my faith will always be there for me to fall back on.