Growing up, weaned in religion and charismatic duties to the church, it has always been sort of a norm in our hometown. Sunday masses, offerings, confessions, baptisms and communions; everyone was at the local chapel by 7am on days of obligation.
Going to a similar school with head administrators wearing flowing clothes and hidden hair reinforces this notion and belief. We have to be urged by a deeper force to do good, think good and breathe good for others, for greater glory and lastly for ourselves.
Keeping faith in religion has never been a problem for me. Nor has it been a burden in any way. Religion is something that molds people, directs their actions and promotes values in varying degrees of acceptance, repentance and supplication. Sure, we are all governed by different principles, some founded on stronger foundations than others. And yet, there are still different stand points on how you use that belief and zeal in your daily life.
Alms are given to the poor for it is an act of goodness in His liking. Yes, I couldn't agree more. Yet, I remember being prodded into doling out things that are intended for the "poor." I am not selfish, I would like to believe it that way but there is something about "giving" as you are "instructed" that just doesn't tick right. I guess what I'm trying to say is that charity should be given in ways as if someone sticks us up at knife point. I believe that charity is not instructed by means of grades in a class in high school or fear of time spent in future purgatories of our own making.
Sharing the gift of bounty should be that is it is : sharing. Wholehearted, not out of compromise or a social norm. I am not bashing beliefs, this is just a brief realization of how those boxes of canned goods, candles and old clothes have been procured. Are they out of charity or compromise by those who gave them?
Instilling religion in educational structures are integral in our national identity. We believe, in faith, in keeping our moral compasses straight; ever searching for true north in our daily undertakings. Those journals should have been passed with nothing but empty pages of genuine belief, maybe a couple of pages or so, I believe; rather than giving up several fillers of made-up acts of mercy, kindness and charity. Also, staying up late all night in efforts to produce overnight defenders of faith is something that I have always failed to understand.
Did we do those things out of normalcy or out of genuine belief? Shouldn't that be founded in religion - one in which we compound over a span of time rather than an overnight metamorphosis or epiphany? Just a thought in a chilly afternoon office squander.
Please enlighten me with your example.