“Keep The Faith, Sweetheart”

The above quote is from Disney’s The Rescuers, and it just fits so well with what I want to write about today.

Today marks the start of Catholic School’s Week!

While I’m not in high school anymore, I still like celebrating this week–I’m a Catholic school girl through and through, and I am so proud of it. Catholic school gave me so many opportunities. I did so much: three sports, academic team, theatre, dance, choir, Ambassadors (I got a name tag with this one), student council, you name it. I wanted to do it all. And because of the small size of my little Catholic school, I could.

Catholic School’s Week was always the best week of the entire year, especially when I was little. For an entire week, we got to ditch the plaid jumpers (these are real, people) and dress up according to various themes, eat ice cream, play school wide bingo, and have a special Mass where the Bishop of the Diocese paid a visit. I loved those church services–the prettiest songs were always chosen, other Catholic schools in the area gathered together, and my little spirit was so high off of the week’s festivities that I could hardly sit still due to the overwhelming amount of happiness abounding.

Some of my best memories are from Catholic School’s Week, if that wasn’t apparent.

Because this week is Catholic School’s Week, I want to talk about how I continue my faith away from the structure of Theology classes and Friday Masses.

I’m one of those people who truly believes that good people are good people, no matter their religion. I think religion is just a way for a person to become their best self; I just happen to identify with how the Catholic faith operates. I love the routine and the peaceful rhythm of the Mass. A Catholic service is one event I could always attend alone without feeling uncomfortable and judged; it’s just so quiet and nice and reverent. Catholic Masses are almost an hour-long meditation for me. While many say that the Catholic tradition consists of  “cult” like responses and prayers, I view the Mass as a repetitive action to come up with your best ideas and revelations about your relationship with the Creator. Almost like taking a shower (weird, but hear me out): you’ve taken a shower so many times in your life, that the act of taking a shower leads to your most mind-blowing, deepest, and revolutionary thoughts.

College is a collision of cultures, ideas, races, and lifestyles. I love it. Because of this extraordinary collision, I’ve gone to a few different protestant services throughout my three years of college. I’ve come to appreciate the different viewpoints, but I always have come back to my Catholic upbringing. I can appreciate different faiths because, to me, no one has it exactly right. None of us really know what’s really and truly out there and what the Creator of the universe looks like. I happen to like Morgan Freeman’s interpretation of God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty. He’s got such a good voice.

Anyways. Like I said, I don’t think Catholics are the end-all, be-all. Neither do I think protestants. Or Wicans. Or anybody.

Religion is a way to become your best self, and find the relationship with God that works for you–Catholicism, in my opinion (mine…it doesn’t have to be yours, that’s the beauty of free will), has got a lot of it right. I believe you need good works to achieve salvation. I truly do. I don’t  believe you need to identify with one religion or another to get to that place we call Heaven. I think being nice and good to people is honestly one of the few things you need to know to achieve happiness and a purpose in this world.

Whatever faith you identify with, “Keep the faith, sweetheart” {Rufus the cat from The Rescuers}. College will introduce you to many different faiths other than your own; understand the different faiths, listen to different points of view, and find what works for you.

As for me, I’ll always be that Catholic school girl who received so many opportunities because of her Catholic education. I’ll never forget it–plaid skirts, Friday Masses, eccentric (but loving and absolutely awesome) Nuns, Theology classes where we had the freedom to voice any religious perspective, and the most fun week in the history of weeks.

Happy Catholic School’s Week, everyone!


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