I avoid talking about religion and politics. Both topics are polarizing. People typically have strong views about both, and those views are not generally changed by discussion.
But I have touched on the topic of faith in my care giving series. Maybe a few more comments now won't hurt.
I was raised a practicing Catholic. I owe a great deal of my good education to the Catholic Nuns who were my teachers from grades 1 to 8. And I believe my morality and views on life can be traced back to my religious upbringing.
As an adult, I like to think of myself as a good person, treating others as I would like to be treated, finding the good in everyone, keeping an open mind regarding others ideas and positions ... and I still believe there is a God. But I am not as comfortable with an organized religion as I was in my youth. In fact, against some of the precepts of my religious education, I do not believe that any one religion has the total attention of God to the exclusion of everyone else.
Mom still is a strong traditional Catholic. I take mom to Mass every Sunday. Mom's faith is a vital part of who she is, and she has many social contacts at church. She believes in all the traditions and the rituals. She has lived her whole life never questioning anything about her religion.
Looking back mom's relationship with her church and God, I can see how it sustained her. Her favorite saint was always St. Jude, Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes. Hopeless Causes. A sad indication of how she felt about her life for so long.
I guess in the end St. Jude came through for her. Dad died when mom was in her 40s. After he was gone, she finally was able to build a good life for herself. Work, travel, friends, hobbies - she finally a chance to live normally. But 24 years is a long time to live with such unhappiness. I often say, I wouldn't have put up with my dad, but put in her shoes with 2 young children, no job and no family support nearby ... who knows what I would have done.
Mom's faith was her lifeline, and St. Jude finally paid attention to her prayers. I can't help but wonder if she was just waiting and waiting for some divine intervention. Could things have been different if she took some kind of action.
Still, 24 years ... "hopeless causes" ... makes me sad even to this day.
I guess I am more of a questioner! As an adult, when I thought about God, I didn't find comfort and answers in organized religion. I believe that we all were created by God with intelligence, wit and strength, and we are expected to use those gifts as we live our lives. To sit back and wait for Him to fix things is to ignore the tools He gave us to fix things ourselves.
Still ... when I have lost strength and feel I can't take another step ... I turn to prayer.
So I do believe in God, the same God that mom believes in ... and I think He is fine with both our approaches. I don't think He judges on how we believe, just as long as we believe.
A well known poem called Footprints speaks most closely to how I felt this last year has been for me and my relationship with God.