Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Autobiographical Paper on Religious Affiliation Essay

Autobiographical Paper on Religious Affiliation - Essay Example I was baptized and grew up in a middle-class Catholic family in New Orleans where I thought almost everyone is Catholic as I grew up, and I never felt that we were a "minority within a minority" (Carey, P. in Phelps, 1997, p.7). I had an uncle who is a Catholic priest, and the way he lived his life as a servant of Christ in the Church had an impact on me. His kindness towards others made me see a bit of how Jesus was when he walked this earth two thousand years ago. His preaching, his life of prayer, and his dedication to his flock drove home the message that there was something, and someone, greater and beyond this life. Of course, my young mind never looked at events from a theological or religious view, because to me he was just my uncle who would visit and shower us with cheer and tell us stories about where he'd been, what he'd done, and the thousand and one things that a priest is supposed to be doing. My parents were a huge influence on my beliefs. The way they cared for me taught me how to love and use my heart and mind to face the mysteries of this world. How they loved each other despite the trials and joys of family life were for me a sign of how God takes care of us. They taught me how to pray, and more importantly, they told me why. Allow me to briefly discuss one case in point: the Trinity as a Family where God is a Father, Jesus is the Son and my brother, and the Holy Spirit is Love. I can never explain fully how there can be three Persons in One God, but I understood as I grew up that maybe God is a family too where everyone loves each other, just as we did in my family. We did things together: prayed at home and went to Sunday Mass; spent time having fun, laughing and talking and enjoying each other's company. Maybe God has been doing it for all eternity, and that is why He is happy and wants us to share in that happiness (Mt. 11: 25-30). My Mom and I also prayed the Holy Rosary at home to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus. Many non-Catholics never understood the Rosary, because they think it is a form of worship, but it is not (Cavendish, 2000). Like people in love who never tire of saying the same things to one another, we Catholics who love the mother of Jesus also do the same. We show her honor, not worship, in the same way I show mom and dad the honor they deserve for being good parents. Novenas and other devotions to the saints are the same thing. We see them as paths to God, the same way that if we want to get a job we ask the help of someone close to us so that we do not have much of a hard time. Going to the saints and to Mary is the same thing. Of course, some people get carried away and give too much time to Mary and the saints that they forget Jesus, but the Catholic Church keeps on reminding us about this danger. So yes, my religious upbringing had a strong impact on my faith, helped by the examples my mom, dad, and uncle showed me that we can be happy doing the good things we enjoy, being men and women of virtue, prayer, and faith (Copeland, 2000). Search for Meaning Hunt et al. (1975) discussed the presence of a religious factor in secular achievement of African-Americans and investigated the presence of Protestant and Catholic

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