Friday, January 15, 2021

Finding spirituality while at school

I don’t know any of the prayers, so I pray silently. I don’t know any of the hymns, so I hum quietly. I really don’t know all that I should know about the Catholic Church, but I go anyway.

As I made my way out of the Newman Center Catholic Church, I dipped my index and middle finger in the bath of holy water. I quickly did the Trinitarian and shook the pastor’s hand. “Have a nice weekend,” he said.

Growing up, I was barely a religious person. My parents didn’t go to church, so I didn’t go to church. Sure, we celebrated Christmas with presents and we got all dressed up on Easter, but other than the holidays, we never affiliated ourselves with any faith.

We just called ourselves Catholic because it was easy.

As a child, I never saw any reason to be spiritual. I respected other people’s traditions, but religion never garnered any interest in my life. I was too focused on girlfriends and smoking pot and drinking alcohol to try and be concerned about my spiritual wellbeing.

Faith just wasn’t important back then.

Now that I’m in college, I like believing in a higher power.

I know that sounds kind of weird. Why would a wiser and more educated person all of the sudden start believing in a religion? Doesn’t religion hinder actual learning and knowledge?

To a certain extent, yes, religious fanatics can be corrupted by their faith and in turn become blind to actual evidence.

In 2012, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe said he doesn’t believe people are causing global warming and only God can change the climate.

After quoting Genesis 8:22, Inhofe said, “My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

And this guy is in the Senate.

That right there is fanaticism.

I attend church every few Sundays, but that’s not because of my ties to the Catholic faith. I legitimately just like going to church. The songs are fun, everyone is extremely nice and sometimes they give away free goodie bags to students during midterms and finals.

I like to consider myself to be Baha’i — well, at least learning to be Baha’i. Baha’is believe in a coexistence between science and religion. Get too religious and you become a fanatic. Get too scientific and you become a cynic. Baha’is find the middle ground to live a truthful life.

One aspect about the Baha’i faith that I love is I can pray however, whenever and wherever I like, so if I want to go to a Catholic church, I can go to a Catholic church without feeling guilty.

Spirituality is a part of me that I’ve never discovered before, and I’m happy I figuring this out in college.

There’s more to our lives other than spending hours on class work, binge-watching Netflix shows and hitting up the Monopole for cheap wings and beer. That stuff is all great, but there’s something more — something that gives meaning to our existence other than what’s right in front of us, something spiritual.

Email Griffin Kelly at opinions

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