Amanda read a series of opinion blog posts today and was intrigued by the viewpoints of the author, who wrote about her struggles of growing up as a Catholic, facing difficulties along the way, and making the serious and equally difficult decision to leave Catholicism.
You can find Elizabeth Broadbent’s personal essays here and here. You can read those viewpoints and gather your own opinion, as a lot of what she writes about may upset the diehard Catholics or those who ascribe 100% to every single one of its teachings without falter.
Amanda will be the last person to ever criticize any person for their decision to participate or not participate in a religion. It truly is a personal choice and not something that should be shoved into someone’s face or forced upon them as the only way to live life. Because religion is a deeply intimate choice, all of us is free to practice any religion out there, so long as we have a pure set of intentions and a sincerity to do it.
What was so telling and interesting about Elizabeth’s opinions was the similarities in what she has experienced in her own personal life and the parallels between what she has observed and I have observed.
She is absolutely right when she says the Catholic church is full of paradoxical behaviors, such as when it claims it is out to save our souls by inviting us to repent our sins to a human person on a regular basis, yet, it chooses not to repent its own questionable decisions in some of the fiery coverups of abuse and financial corruption out there.
Amanda can’t explain any of those things, but she is keenly aware of the strangeness of being a practicing Catholic and the broad spectrum of comforting and repelling it affords. Like Elizabeth, Amanda is setting out on her brave journey to write about her own ups and downs of Catholicism and the ultimate choices and decisions she has made to feel the most secure in her skin.
No path is perfect. Neither Catholicism nor any other organized religion is the one-size-fits-all answer. The right answer lies within you. It is up to each individual to make sense of how they see God, how God fits into their lives, and how they can love and honor God on their own terms without riding the compulsory conveyor belt of recitations without real-life application.
There is a happy medium between the conflicts of organized religion and the adoption of a life of spiritual faith. It’s up to each one of us to create that medium in our lives.
Amanda can’t possibly wait to share her journey with you when she publisher her memoir, which is untitled.