Catholic by Culture – Católica por cultura

Catholic by Culture

A while back, I went to mass.

I tuned out for sometime, but the priest drew me back in when he began to talk about the birthing experience. What I vaguely remember is that he said that women experience labor pain because that was God’s way of punishing us. “Really?” I thought. How can this be? He is all love. Why on earth would He want this for us?

In my memoir, I share a bit about being raised Catholic, and I now declare myself as Catholic by culture.

credit: www.elephantjournal.com
credit: http://www.elephantjournal.com

I first started thinking about my religion when I went to Spain back in 2007. I’d go into churches and they were quite lonely.  I asked a friend of mine, Rosario, about this and she replied, “Ni se les para una mosca.” This literally means that not even a fly goes there. But, she also made it clear that there a lot Spaniards who are Catholic value catholicism in a cultural and social manner. 

I’m a believer.

 One of my favorite places in L.A. would be the Lady of Angels Cathedral.  I am a big believer of saints, angels, the Virgin Mary, and of course, God; the Universe.  However, I am saying that I am not a devout Catholic. And, like the Dalai Lama, I don’t believe that you need a religion. Your heart, kindness, and compassion is all you need. I have never had more faith, nor have I been as kind and as compassionate as I am now that I have become less religious and more spiritual.

Are you Catholic (or another religion) by culture? 

Católica por Cultura

Hace un tiempo, fui a misa.

No estaba poniendo mucho atención por algún tiempo, pero el sacerdote me llamó la atención cuando comenzó a hablar acerca de la experiencia del parto. Me acuerdo que dijo, “Las mujeres experimentan el dolor del parto porque era la manera de que Dios las quiso castigar.”  “¿En serio?” Pensé. ¿Cómo puede ser esto? Él es amor. ¿Por qué demonios iba a querer esto para nosotras?

En mi memoria, comparto un poco de lo que ha sido ser criada en la fe católica y  ahora digo que soy católica por cultura. 

credit: www.elephantjournal.com "Esta es mi religión. No hay necesidad de templos, no hay necesidad de la filosofía complicada. Nuestro propio cerebro, nuestro propio corazón es nuestro templo; y la filosofia es la bondad."
credit: http://www.elephantjournal.com “Esta es mi religión. No hay necesidad de templos, no hay necesidad de la filosofía complicada. Nuestro propio cerebro, nuestro propio corazón es nuestro templo; y la filosofia es la bondad.”

Empecé a pensar más acerca de mi religión cuando fui a España en 2007. Iba a las iglesias y se me hacía extraño que estaban muy solas. Le pregunté a una amiga, Rosario, sobre esto y ella respondió: “No se les para ni una mosca.”  Pero, también aclaró que hay muchos españoles Católicos que valoran la religión de una forma cultural y social.

Soy creyente.

Uno de mis lugares favoritos en L.A. es la Catedral de Los Ángeles.  Creo en los santos, los ángeles, la Virgen María, y por supuesto en Dios: el Universo. Sin embargo, estoy diciendo que no soy devota o practicante.  Al igual que el Dalai Lama, no creo que se necesita una religión. Tu corazón, la bondad y la compasión es todo lo que se necesita. Nunca he tenido más fe, ni he sido tan amable y tan compasiva como lo soy ahora que soy menos religiosa y más espiritual.

¿Has sido criado en la fe católica y no eres practicante o devota? 

8 thoughts on “Catholic by Culture – Católica por cultura

  1. La mejor religión es la que se practica día a día, con nuestro amor hacia el prójimo y nuestro deseo de hacer el bien. A veces veo que los que más visitan la iglesia y leen la Biblia no son los mejores cristianos.

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    1. Si, estoy de acuerdo contigo. La verdad que pienso que no necesita una religión. También sé que hay personas que tienen una religión y la practican, pero algunos no han sido las personas más agradables.

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  2. Para las antiguas religiones matrìsticas basadas en la Naturaleza, la fe era bondad y la religión amor. No creo en Dios como un ser cuya misión sea aplicar castigos, esa parece más una concepción patriarcal respecto de las mujeres.
    Muy interesante tu planteo, te mando un saludo

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    1. Estoy de acuerdo. No creo que Dios nos quiera castigar. Aparte de mi viaje a España, empecé esta entrada de esta manera porque no fue la primera vez que había escuchado algo así de un sacerdote. Esto me hizo contemplar mi religión y la verdad que no creo que se necesite una religión. Creo que solamente se necesita la fe, ser bondadoso y compasivo. Saludos.

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  3. Elizabeth:

    Great question. I agree with the responses above (although I cheated and used Google Translate as my Spanish is atrocious :-).

    My own journey is somewhat circular in that I was raised Catholic but drifted away from most types of religion and spirituality during my early adulthood. Eventually, I learned some hard lessons about the emptiness of the culture of materialism that is dominant in Western Culture (and especially in the U.S.) and I began to explore philosophy and theology again with an open mind. To my surprise, I ended back at Catholicism, albeit in a much deeper and different light than my youth. I have a deep appreciation for all of the other major ancient religions (e.g. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam) but am especially drawn to the combination of intellectual depth and mystical sacramentalism found in Catholicism.

    I am cognizant of the hypocrisy of many “religious” people. Indeed, in the New Testament the group that Jesus was most critical of were the Pharisees, the devout religious leaders of his day. For me religion has provided a coherent community, an intellectual framework for having Love as the foundation of existence and a set of practices that help me connect with the Divine.

    Peace/Paz
    W. Ockham

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    1. Hi William, thank you for visiting, commenting, and following my blog. I appreciate it. As you can tell from my post, I have drifted from my religion; however, I’m more spiritual now that I have ever been. I agree with the predominance of materialism in the Western Culture. I’m originally from L.A., and it is everywhere there. I think it’s great that you explored other religions and that you came back to Catholicism. That connection with the Divine is who we are. I believe it’s all in whatever makes us peaceful and joyful. Many blessings, Liz.

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  4. Hola guapa! interesting and impressive post, indeed… God NEVER punishes anyone, it seems that we “punish” ourselves whenever we don’t respect his 10 commandments… and he NEVER does anything in our place! Btw, I’m an AA = agnostic-atheist, but I do respect my fellows’ faith as long as they don’t try to impose it to me! 🙂 Otherwise, I like, I admire and I respect Dalai Lama… have you ever heard of Matthieu Ricard, his French interpreter and translator?…
    http://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/rainbow-flowers-of-my-village-invite-us-to-meditate-on-life/

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    1. Hola Melanie! Thank you for dropping by my blog, and taking a look at this post. Yes, I agree with you. We are the ones that punish ourselves. I completely respect that you are agnostic-atheist, and like you, I don’t like it when a religion is imposed on me. 🙂 I love the Dalai Lama, too. I saw him a few years ago, and it was one of the most peaceful gathering I ever went to. I remember reading Matthieu Ricard’s book. I believe it’s called Happiness. I enjoyed it reading it. Blessings, Liz

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