Letters to Jesus (Church, Religion, and Sacraments)-19
The contortions of my musings often terminate in some unusual conceptions. I was thinking how, on many forms (especially in hospitals) it asks a person to identify his/her religion. We dutifully write down Catholic, Methodist, Jew, Muslim, etc., But what about writing down: “I am all religions?” To do so there must not only be some courage but also some conviction about faiths other than the one in which one was raised.
At the necessary moment I am not sure I could make such a statement. The reason is more out of a feeling of betrayal to the religion of my baptism and upbringing than a fear, out of human respect, of not being taken seriously. I’ve got a lot of very strong history as a Catholic and I’m not willing to deny that. Yet, to becatholic, literally, means to be universal, open, and all-embracing. What I am thinking is: to be a good Catholic means to be all religions; to seek truth wherever it may be found.
In this life the perspectives from which we seek union with You are many and varied. You have made us in such a way that this drive manifests Your glory and the glory of mankind. Thus it would seem an affront to ignore, dismiss, or totally reject, in the name of any one religion, the perceptions and insights of other religions. There can be no blame in seeking God. How can it be that in the name of one religion we reject, out-of-hand, so much of what are the good and sincere insights of other faiths?
To make the judgment that a cafeteria-style spirituality is dilettante, immature, and self-serving is an affront to the Spirit of God at work in mankind. Religious bias rears no uglier head than when it eschews the valuable insights offered by another religion. We’d probably never do it, but we should each be able to state sincerely, and with hope, that we are all religions.