¿Catholic or not ... Just Semantics ?
Xiomara J. Pages
August 5, 2014
(This article was written after reading a Posting about Being Catholic that my youngest son JP wrote on his wall in Facebook and the other Comments from different people and friends)
Usually when people, and specially people I love and respect, get into a conversation about Religion or Politics I am very careful of what I say, and try to listen and respect everyone's point of view. But I would like to add my two cents on this 'conversation'.
Catholicism, or being Christian, is not very popular these days. I was born in a Latin Country in the Caribbean, raised in a home with Catholic Foundations and much love and care. My father was the eldest one of eight children to a very practicing Catholic Mother...So, my parents were married by the Catholic Church.....and although they didn't practice, my sister and I were baptized, took First Communion, Confirmation, etc. etc......
My Baptism, 1951
I married as well by the Catholic Church like my sister...but it was not a practice at my home to attend Church regularly, only in Easter, Christmas, etc. or whenever we wanted to, and attended many times, I remember, to thank God for many good things that happened to us, or to pray for the sick or the departed ones in the family. My Dad taught me to pray when I was about 3 years old , I still do every night, and as long as my parents lived we always asked for their parental Blessing.
I was not used to have confessions (although my Dad's godfather was a priest, Dad was not too sympathetic to the Clergy ) and my practicing Catholic paternal grandmother would take us to mass, when she came to visit us in the city, or when we spent Summer vacation in her town. I grew up with very strong beliefs in God, in a very happy home with values and morals, and respecting, serving and loving others.
When I met the father of my children (who was then a practicing Catholic from childhood), we became friends and prior to be engaged and be married, I started being a practicing Catholic like him....I did it with all my heart. I studied Bible courses, helped and learned in different Church groups and retreats. There are things I don't agree with in the Catholic Church, but I respect it dearly. I don't attack nor criticize.
I respect my friends and family members from wherever they come from, in religious terms. God respects our freedom, and gave me a mission, one of love for others, accepting and loving, building and not destroying nor hating... however, I do understand very well, I cannot call myself Catholic, because I stopped attending Church regularly some time before my divorce.
So what I say is...that I am a Christian (I believe in God, in Christ with all my heart and try to take Him with me in everything I say or do) but it's more accurate to say, that I was raised in a Catholic background, practiced the religion fully and completely before and during my 29-year marriage, did a lot of great things for the Church and with the Church, as the Church did for all of us as a family...and now, after my divorce, I keep certain things, but I cannot call myself a Catholic.. only that I was raised and keep certain basic fundaments of Catholicism.. I don't attend a specific church at the present, I pray always, I am fully aware of my friends and my family's needs and do all the good things I can for them and others, thru my life, my journalism and books, my motivational speeches, my cultural and artistic groups, etc. even what I post in my Facebook and my blog and website or my radio programs.
I take care of a 34-year old daughter with a rare disorder from birth... people from different practices of Religion come and visit us, pray with us, and help us with physical and emotional needs (money, incontinence supplies, nutrition shakes, singing, praying, etc), and only God is my strength to bear everything difficult in my life and to enjoy life to the fullest. I don't feel I am in sin, only that I chose to be away from the Rituals, the Mass, @ the Catholic Church (although I attend mass sometimes if I want to, the same way I visit the churches of some of my friends as well).....because I am always doing my mission (God's call to help or support everyone I meet, everywhere, even in the streets, in my path thru this life).
Xiomara con Sandra su hija, 2013.
I know many people who say they are CATHOLICS, but they believe in Re-incarnation, or attend Yoruba rituals, or are Spiritualists, or go to Buddhism's Meditations, or talk about Metaphysics, etc. I am fine with all of them, I respect them, but I know very well, a practicing Catholic do not do these things, yet they call themselves Catholics or even 'practicing Catholics".
I am glad I raised my children in the Catholic Church and taht they attended Catholic Schools until High School... I am grateful for all the help I received from that Church in their raising....
Xiomara con su hijo menor JP,
I pray for everyone. Now days I pray for Cuba, Venezuela, Ukraine, Israel and the innocents in Palestine as well, for the Christians who are persecuted throughout the world... and for so many other countries, I pray for peace in the world, and for every good thing in the Planet or the Universe.....but I also believe in democracy and freedom, which I couldn't have in my native land, and had to go thru a lot to come to United States of America and later here to establish myself..... so I respect everyone, But JP, my son, just posted a point on his Facebook wall, about what it means to be Catholic...and that is not just Semantics. That's all !!