I attended mass every Saturday night with my parents,and somethimes on Sunday mornings, and listened to the priest talk of a God who stood above me, an unreachable source of strength. This God loved me, but sinners should beware of his wrath. It was a confusing message to me, one that didn't allow any slack for my humanness. Why would God make me fallible yet expect perfection? Maybe there were people who were perfect: those who believed, relentlessly, comfortable with a God they both loved and feared. They believed so easily, without question. If they could achieve this relationship with the Almighty why couldn't I? Didn't I meet the special criteria? Was I deficient or just a born sinner? Needless to say, they seemed to have a direct line to God and his love and I wasn't feeling any part of it. This was my first experience with judgment.
They had something I didn't and my judgment saw them as better than me.
I struggled through my teens and early adult years trying to fit into the mold the church and my parents had shaped for me. When I was 37, a life crisis along with a lot of insecurities leads me to a whole new way of believing. A way encouraged by others, but not by force or fear. I was surprised to find people who didn't care about how I believed as long as it helped me. I found a God of my own understanding and practiced this brand of spiritually with great success.
On occasion I found myself confronted with those saintly people who could have been ghosts from my past. They seemed to take great joy in reminding me of the rules and regulations around receiving God's love. Since they had received it,