The other day I participated in a “Way of Suffering” ritual designed for kids. While I had twofold feelings about the ritual, I still joined it because my girfriend is an active catholic and took my curiousity. Actually I support all religions until they support global well-being and improve people’s quality of life by giving good principles that those people do not adapt using common sense. Long story short: catholic churches are cold, dark, most things relate to Jesus and represent his suffering. I find more “God” when I take a walk in the park, in the woods or along riverside. Long story long, as follows.
First, I participated in the preparation of the ritual, since all of us (adults and kids) were chosen to read the brief summary of a stage how Jesus suffered. Then the whole thing started, a strong highschool boy carried around a cross, two girls chanted after each stage we visited, going round the inside of the church. We got down on our knees (which was a good excercise for the thighs), and those who were familiar with the chant, joined the singing. After that, we all went back to the sacristy and the pastor did farewell to every one of us.
If I had to look for the manifestation of demons somewhere, I’d start in churches. I have very little understanding why it has to be like that. The cold, deep sadness and the chants almost turning to cries, the pointless grief over Jesus just led me nowhere closer to joy. I saw suffering there, and children are taught about suffering, too. They are thought about heaven, pidgeons, old wise men and this greatly-suffered idol of catholicism.
There were not only negative things there, though. I managed to make a small conversation with the pastor after the ritual, and I disappointed positively. The overall attitude of hers was just how I would have wanted to see. She was happy, and focused on teaching the younglings to express love towards each other. She sort of told heaven is not a place, rather a state of mind where we are happy and joyful, and her catholic concept of hell is almost the same as the satanist definition of “without God”. And I think the point of this whole thing. Religions should be tools of the same purpose, to make followers happy, not ashamed. Even their greeting “praise the Lord Jesus Christ” should be reconsidered respect to the goal, which should be, instead of worshipping a man and talk about his suffering, to be happy, to improve quality of life. I’m not sure yet how should we replace this dogma, neither I have to bother myself about it (that’s what Pope Francis is for, lol), but these facts sort of embarass me, and even if I’m not bothered by evangelizers, I’m wishing for a change. The ideal setup for christianity, in my head, is closer to the so-called hippy culture, which focused on being happy and love each other. Focusing on “The son of God” is almost as wrong as having marijuana. It might fill a hole, but leads to nowhere on the long run. As written in the Bible (which is not such a bad book in general), even Jesus asked to follow, not to worship him. We are living in deep misinterpretations here, that should be reformed. And I see some chance for being done so. There are open-minded pastors and priests, even this Francis guy seems “cool”. Maybe changes are on our doorsteps. But until they ring – for the love of God, lol – teach the young to common sense rather to make them learn about suffering. And if you wish to teach them to Jesus at all costs, at least focus on the philosophical side of his life, not the overmystified one. Or bring fun and joy to the church if you are involved in any. Amen.