I started out life in the Catholic Church but very early in my teens moved over to the Episcopal Church, albeit not for a great reason – mostly because all my friends went to the same Episcopal Church and Saturday night sleepovers always meant Sunday church too. I grew to love the Episcopal service and officially became one in my late teens. The children were raised Episcopalian here in Bedford (although one child was christened in a Presbyterian church in NYC, the reason for which escapes me now!). Mr. EOS was brought up in a Congregational Church but is pretty much a non-church person now, even though I’d say he has a deep spirituality and connection to nature.
The kids went to church religiously (no pun intended) – there was no discussion, it’s what we did on Sundays. We were all very involved at church on many levels, finding comfort and peace in the message and also in the camaraderie of fellow parishioners.
Alas, I’m pretty much of a non-church goer now. My core group of old friends from church have moved to Florida or NC or Maine, a handful of the really old guard died, and worse, I found myself not liking the message and messenger anymore, as sermons occasionally had a political overtone. So I stopped going. I tried other churches but kept finding social justice ministers. Ugh.
I can’t decide how religious I actually am. I’d say I’m more a spiritual person than tied to a particular faith doctrine. I do believe in a higher being and do seek guidance from Him when I feel particularly doubtful about something.
I have read the Bible and keep a copy in the library but honestly, my real go-to bible is Markings, by Dag Hammarskjold. Written in 1964…
Hammarskjold left behind the manuscript of this book to be published after his death. It is the remarkable record of the spiritual struggle of a very private man who spent many years in the public eye, most notably as Secretary General of the United nations.
I have several copies of Markings, but the original, the one given to me in about 1968 by my dad, is dog-eared, marked up with notes, pages worn from turning so many times, and is such a treasure for me, I keep it in a very safe and secret place, like my own personal locked diary. It’s strange how one book can trace a personal journey, can represent so many aspects of the roads people take. For me, it’s Markings.
I tripped across a copy of this morning when reaching for something to read today. A Prayer for Owen Meany, a book I’ve read several times, is also a spiritual journey in some ways, not my own, but Owen believes himself to be God’s instrument and sets out to fulfill the fate he has prophesied for himself.
So, I’m outside, with my coffee still, the sun came out, brightly, and I’m going to set upon being reflective today.
Happy Sunday, redux!