Saturday, June 03, 2006

Mixing it up

In study group last night, we were talking about pic-and-mix religion. You know, choosing some things, ignoring other - like pic and mix sweeties. I like gummy bears and jelly babies in my pic and mix, but not dolly mixtures. Therefore, I won't choose them. Sweets are one thing. But...

Lots of people seem to pic and mix from different religions and systems and practices, others are selective within one faith. Over at A Catholic Life, Moneybags has an interesting post on different Catholic-but-not-quite sweetie bags. It doesn't even have to be religious. The current government seem to be basing their policy choices at the moment on what ever the headlines of the day are - knife amnesty or TB not picking up his congressional medal, anyone - rather than basing their policy on their socialist (in theory) principles.

We - people, that is - always want to follow the path that is easy and fun - the path of least resistance. We place value on things that make us feel good - happy, cheerful, fulfilled, satisfied ... whatever floats your boat. They give us a feeling of self-worth. They validate our existence. I feel, therefore I am. We become attached to these feelings and they become commodities. We will do anything to obtain them and give up anything in exchange for them - money, time, relationships.

In doing so, we also avoid anything that takes away these feelings and replaces them with ones that don't make us feel good - guilt, shame, sadness, grief. We will do anything to get rid of them and give up anything that might restore our feeling of self worth - money, time, relationships.

The problem is, of course, that life is not that easy. We only know the good and fun because we know the bad and crappy. It is the bad that gives the good it's value. Being a Catholic is about more than saying your favourite prayers or singing your favourite songs. At its most basic, being a Catholic is about following Jesus Christ, who embraced the good and the bad. As hard as it often is, aren't we called do the same?

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