So today I find it ironic that I have begun, once again, to struggle with my faith. I see some fellow Bloggers in the same state, experiencing a dryness in their prayer life. For me, I have never had a problem with “prayer”, I always seem to be able to find meditation a welcome practice. I think it becomes the center of the practice I become at odds with. I have long ago eliminated my need to explore other forms of Christianity, I have no desire to be protestant in any iteration, or belong to a more progressive Unity fellowship or that type of practice, I have moved on from them. For me it is Catholic or nothing, well perhaps Catholic or Buddhist. But I have been down this path before too. I have begun reading a book I found, The Unexpected Way, On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism, By Paul Williams. I am hoping that gives me the insight I need to stay the course. Ok with that tho, I do need to look more deeply, I think, and try to really understand what makes me restless. I do know all I need I can find in the Church, but sometimes I wish maybe it seemed more relevant. The readings each Sunday seem in a language I can’t identify with for a message that I have to work too hard to make relevant to my life. Jesus had to leave and he left us the comforter, the Holy Spirit. Again I am drawn to trying to understand who the Holy Spirit really is, is it energy that we know exists that animates us and is us and is all around us? Or something more? Is our practice an out dated mode of expression that isn’t helping today? I do believe in God, nothing comes from nothing, there had to be something, a creator, the logos, the word that became everything. I do believe the church may have migrated from its original Jesus path as it grew too big to manage and as men’s ambition wanted to mold it to fit a particular political goal. I do think certain doctrines that may have been a part of the original teaching of Christ that have been abandoned – reincarnation for example – explains so much and so much less is left to the ill-defined “mystery”. We know there are certain orthodox Jewish sects that believe in reincarnation, so could Jesus have been one of them? I don’t want my heroes to be ancient saints and sages who were generally wildly misogynous and by our standards today a bit insane – beating themselves and denying themselves to discipline the flesh. I want peace, I want to practice peace, I want the peace the Jesus offered. I don’t want to feel fear that if I don’t follow the Church’s teaching something bad could happen, the worst being I would go to “hell”. And Pope Francis, help me understand, if Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, why do you say that freedom of speech doesn’t give anyone the right to insult others faith? Doesn’t that imply other faith traditions are just as valid? Is it really that we are trying to limit God, to confine him to our definitions when perhaps, he has designed traditions to meet all cultures, developed multiple ways to find God and be reunited with him (or her?)? And the worst thing of all, what if God himself is orchestrating my confusion, just as he orchestrated the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart against Moses and his people. What if God orchestrates my wandering and to what end, where do I go from here.