Word association

I’ve heard it’s a good practice for writers who don’t know what to write about to try random word association to get stories started. I’ve read that a lot of bloggers (really I’ve only read of one), try that too.

So I found an online random word generator, and I’m going to see where it takes me.

Catholic:

The first thing that pops into my head, sadly, is the adjective form that I memorized for the GRE. It’s funny because as an adjective “catholic” means universal or comprehensive. I wish I still had access to the Oxford English Dictionary so I can trace the definition back. I have a feeling it relates to when “everyone” was Catholic (as in the religion) and therefore something being catholic related to how universal the religion was.

But on a more personal note, I once considered converting to Catholicism.

I was raised in a fairly religious routine. And by fairly, I mean we went to church when we didn’t have other things to do on Sunday mornings (like beat the church crowds to the grocery store). We said a prayer before meals and before bed, but as a general rule, they were recited poem-like prayers.

The churches we’ve gone to are generally non-denominational churches that are generally pentecostal in nature. That is to say, there’s a lot of dancing and singing and arm waving. No snakes or speaking in tongues were involved (usually).

When I was in college I went to mass a few times with my friend who is no longer Catholic. I don’t know what drew me in the most, the beauty of colored lights shining down on me from the stained glass, the brightness of the room, the people all doing the same things (genuflecting, standing, “And also with you.”) or the fact that I felt like they were actually serious about it.

Going to mass was such a peaceful experience. I left feeling relaxed about the possible presence of God and not riled up and forced to do things I didn’t want to do (peer pressure to show your love of God via hand-raising, anyone?).

However, there are aspects of the Catholic church that I do not really agree with, and no I’m not talking about the old priest-little boy thing. I mean, I disagree with that, but I’m talking about fundamental beliefs of the church.

While I don’t have a perfected view on religion, I do know that the basic feeling that arises in me as a result of Catholic mass is what I feel religion should feel like. I think it should be peaceful and calming, that there’s comfort in others finding God in a similar way to you.

I’m glad I didn’t convert to Catholicism, obviously. I mean, there’s a lot that goes into converting, so I probably would have figured out somewhere along the way that it wasn’t for me. But I’m also glad I got to experience that side of religion.

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