My Spiritual Side is Calling Me Today

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.

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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!

 

19 thoughts on “My Spiritual Side is Calling Me Today

  1. We don’t often see the softer side of you. This is a nice peek into the non-snark EOS.

    I’m going to order markings now. Is there a difference from the original and the one published now?

    1. True, my snark side is predominant here. I didn’t start blogging for that reason, far from it. As you know, EOSredux was all about the flowers and ocean and sky. Oh well, somewhere along the way I took a turn. Those readers who left the blog would say it was a turn for the worse. I like my snarky side and think it’s probably more an honest representation of who I am. Yes, I can be kind and gentle and sweet. Just not every day!!! 🙂
      I don’t believe the contents of the book has changed. What has changed is the preface. There’s a version for sale now in which Jimmy Carter writes the foreword. It’s irrelevant to the core book. If you’re a purist, it might be fun to track down an original copy from 1964 with the black and white cover.

  2. Good choice, Markings. I have a copy from about 1970, hardback, with the jacket. It was given to me upon college graduation by my then girlfriend who thought I needed to be more spiritual. I scoffed, dumped her, eventually read the book, and six years later, became an Episcopal minister. Retired after 27 years.

    We Episcopalians are an odd breed. We come at social justice late in the game, leaving most of the heaving lifting to Presbyterians while E’s preferred to play tennis after church and wrote checks rather than getting our hands dirty. Lots of people have left the Episcopalian church because of the very controversial Katherine Schori became Presiding Bishop. Many Episcopalians came from Catholic roots and many I know have gone back to those roots or have joined a high Episcopal church, very similar to the catholic service.

    1. What a fabulous comment Rev, especially how it relates to the book Markings. Love it.

      It’s not an easy calling being a minister. You’re often giving solace to the grieving or forlorn. I know a couple of ministers who took time away to question their depth of faith. One stepped away. The other went back.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment.

      1. You also have a minister friend who’s in the clink. We’re all human and no matter our calling, we have doubts from time to time. Anyone who tells you they never question life is lying.

        I ordered the book now too Thanks for the recommendation.

        1. Yes, Heather is in jail and much to my horror, at her sentencing, she evoked God and said “I believe God is working through this, and I accept your [the judge’s] judgment”.

          God didn’t kill the cyclist. Heather did, choosing to drive drunk and text.

          Hope you like the book. Hint: it’s not a book you sit down and read all at once. It’s more of a “read a couple of pages, mark some things down and put it away until later” book. At least, that’s how it was/is for me. Your results may vary.

  3. I’ve stopped attending church regularly too. My late husband rarely missed, sang in the choir and sat on the Vestry. Our son was raised going to church but like many, he stopped around age 17 and didn’t go again until he had his own children. I’m happy that he’s chosen to give the children religious roots.

  4. I love talking about God. It’s probably my number one subject, but not everybody is receptive. My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. Hence church was crammed on me and I revolted for a long time. In college I took a theology course and came to see all faiths eventually lead to the Truth. (Radical Muslim excluded…) my boys sing in an Episcopalian choir, but I am not inspired by that service. I’m probably more new age. I love Jesus with all my heart, and believe in his teachings. I just have ideas about the crucifixion and Easter that differ from Christianity. Loving God and learning Jesus’ lessons of forgiveness are the most important things/lessons for humans to learn.

    One of the big things I learned when my boys were off at camp was that they (especially the 12 year old) amplify my classroom (this world). And without them pushing my buttons, I was not growing spiritually. I was able to rest deeply, though. This was a wonderful lesson because now I create miracles every day by becoming grateful for the challenges they give me, blessings abound!

    1. What an exquisite comment Martha, very thought-provoking as well. I never mind discussing religion with others – I’m open to learning new thoughts and to hearing other people’s passions and beliefs. I hate the overuse of this word, but in this case, your family is blessed to have you as a spiritual guide.

      I’m glad you were able to rest while the boys were gone. Did they both like their away-experiences? Were they as happy to be home as you were to have them back home?

      1. They had a blast! I was the worry-wart… the eldest took up the drums and wants to quit piano😱 They spent the first two days weeping that it would be a year before they go back, and the rest of the week recovering!

        1. Which one, the older or younger, did the archeological dig? Or wasn’t that this summer??

          Glad they had a blast. Drums???? Good luck. See my avatar? Me, playing drums, about age 5. Last time I saw the drums was a week after Christmas. 😂

        2. They both did the dig, which was amazing!

          I am very sensitive to sound, so my son can have electronic drum kit, or nothing until he moves out. He actually got good at camp, but acoustic drums are bonkers loud! I’ll never hear the Holy Spirit if those are going!

          Soon we are off to Sweden/Denmark, then the boys have a week of choir camp on Long Island and then it’s school….crazy how fast it is going

  5. There is a wonderful church in backcountry that isn’t political in the least. Lovely place. Stanwich Congregational church on taconic road. Check it out! 10:00 am service in the summer.

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