As many of my long time readers know, I have what I call "religion issues." I grew up in an Evangelical Christian setting (and yes I will write more about it someday). I joined a Neopagan group when I was 19 and practiced Wicca for a few years. I left. Went through an atheist thing, and then fell into the academic study of religion. I feel sometimes as I just can't escape and that maybe surrender is a better option.
At the end of my undergrad years, I was considering converting to Catholicism. There was a big gap though between my politics and those of the Catholic church. I struggled with reconciling these differences. A friend accused me of being a hypocrite and that basically killed my desire to convert. When I meet H, the interest was awakened again as H's brand of Catholicism seemed up my alley. But it became clear as we dated that he was in his own crisis of religion and thus me converting because of him wasn't going to fly. Plus I felt that if I converted it should be because of my own desire.
Years have gone by and I still have no religion. Sometimes I feel comfortable in this place. The children have not been raised with any religion in particular. They know about religion because, well, that's what mama does for work. But we do not attend church. We don't pray as a family. No grace, no bed time prayers. We don't meditate. We don't cast spells. We do nothing. And sometimes that is really okay with me. But most of the time I feel like there is something missing. I don't know what it is, and i don't assume that all people feel this lack. But for me it is there.
For a while I played around with being a Neopagan again but that didn't cut it. I've thought about the UU but I just don't feel comfortable in the practice. Both things felt sort of disingenuous to me. What I loved was the Catholic stuff that filtered through to us from H's mom. I loved that she lit candles for us and prayed to St. Jude to help us through our troubles. I love my images of the Virgin of Guadalupe that I have throughout the house. I love the idea of Mass, and using the Rosary to pray.
On the other side of all this, is a feeling that I there is something deficient about me for even wanting religion. Can't I just live without it? I feel silly when I talk to people about what I feel missing. The response among many of my friends is that religion is bull shit and unnecessary. And if I did do a religion it should be a nice liberal politically correct one like the UUs or Buddhism. I certainly shouldn't be trying to reconcile my radical liberal self with something like Catholicism.
Thus as Christmas approaches I find myself at an impasse in terms of religion. Do I move forward towards Catholicism which I feel drawn to and reconciled that my practice will be different from my politics? Do I just live with the lack and hope it goes away?