The law: in letter or spirit …

I’ve just returned from an interesting evening with a Catholic friend and a Unitarian friend.  The religion of these friends was not something I really had thought of prior to our evening, but as it turned out I found it to be most illuminating.  My Catholic friend was commenting on how when he invited the Unitarian friend to receive communion, the Unitarian did not bless himself.  He wasn’t furious about the event but he was insistent that “as his guest” the Unitarian friend should follow the customs of Mass, otherwise not take part in them at all.

I tried to point out that I have gone to Mass with this friend and I never once blessed myself (i.e. using my fingers to trace the path of a cross on my head and torso).

“That’s different,” he said, “you were raised Fundamentalist Christian, and so those things weren’t followed.”

Whereas this Unitarian friend had apparently been to many Masses with him, and by now he should know all the rules … and by not following them, he is insulting the religion (and therefore our Catholic friend).

Truthfully … I found this all to be very silly.  I wanted to shout, “Do you think God cares!?!?!”  Of course God doesn’t care.

This is one of the reasons why spirituality has become SO convoluted in modern times.  Every religion, and branch of religion, has their own rules to follow … and if you don’t follow them then you aren’t a “real Christian”, or a “real Catholic”, or whatever the religion is.

So I decided to try a more subtle tactic than shouting about how silly the whole thing was (lol).  I asked him if he thought that someone would lose their status as a Catholic if they failed to bless themselves before communion.

He replied, “Well, that simply wouldn’t be done!”

“Nevertheless,” I said, “would they cease to be a Catholic if this was the case?”

“Well, no,” my friend replied.

As we talked about it more, it became clear that it was not the spiritual implications that were causing my friend to be upset, but rather the social implications.  At this point I tried to take things to a different level.  I said that some of the most wonderful spiritual experiences I have ever had have come while worshipping God in a Catholic church (which is definitely true).  Since I don’t know all the rules, my focus is on connecting with God and having a unique, spiritual experience.

My friend acceded that, yes, connecting with God is ultimately the most important thing … but he would not relent from his opinion that if you have been to a church (or whatever religious establishment) often enough, you will have learned the rules and they should be followed.

I never said to him that, I actually DO know that blessing oneself is a Catholic tradition and that, since I am not Catholic, I choose not to make the gesture.  It would be an empty gesture, done only for show.

In saying this I am not trying to offend anyone Catholic who finds this deeply meaningful.  There are things that I find deeply meaningful in my spiritual expression that many people would not.  My point is that my own personal expressions of faith/love/zeal are exactly that … my own.  We ALL should be able to be together, and be ourselves, and commune with God … without getting into all these silly semantics about expression.  If one person wants to cross themselves, and another person wants to kneel and bow toward Mecca … we can do so in the same room, and still be worshipping God … and it isn’t offensive!

This whole idea that we have to impose our spiritual faith (or really, religion) on others has caused TOO many wars, TOO many deaths, and TOO many atrocities.  God wants our love, and we want to love God … so let’s just leave it at that.


Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

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