I was brought up in the Catholic faith.
My earliest understandings about divinity were shaped and molding by the church.
My mind was tamed by tradition and trained to listen to the church for guidance.
During basic training we were only allowed the bible(or your denominations scripture). I read a bit every night and went to church on Sundays.
On two occasions I went to a different mass by accident and each time came away feeling a real need for the routine and structure of the catholic service.
Today with everything that has taken place in the church and my own self examinations I have broadly expanded how I practice my faith.
after having a little girl, my wife and I are discussing what tradition we want her to grow up in.
To me the choice is between a tradition that encourages compliance or one that encourages soul reliance.
Let me explain.
My experience with the Catholic Church and the Army were similar. There is an established hierarchy. There is one supreme commander. The individual folds into the greater good of the whole. The glory of the whole is the greatest good. Inside the whole there is safety and purpose, a sense of routine and belonging.
Army of One
Catholic of One
This all fits for me.
Remember when the army slogan was:
"Be all That You Can Be"
We weren't mired in two wars back then so the emphasis on the individual makes sense.
Anyway, being an integral part of something bigger is a big deal to me. Being a part of the Army filled me. Being at Catholic mass filled me.
Problem was that these fillings became fleeting.
I had a wonderful conversation yesterday with author Tracey Cramer-Kelly about her experiences with veterans at biker rallies in the mid-west.
We talked about mindfulness and yoga, PTSD and TBI. But our conversation kept coming back to faith.
At first we talked around the issue. Religion being a fragile space for conversation.
But we both explained our belief that a missing element
among warriors returning home
-belonging to something bigger-.
I think you can meditate till the cows come home but if you aren't working towards recognizing divinity(something bigger) in the stillness that could be a problem.
I talk about soul because I believe each one of us has one under our armor.
I believe that soul is divine.
I believe soul likes getting to know itself.
I think the military and the Catholic Church tapped into the powers of my soul without me really understanding what was happening.
I train now because I understand better what happens and
as that days practice settles me down
I come to a space of security,
I train my mind
on my belief that
an infinite soul
created by God
with the free will
Be All That I Can Be
the Rest of Eternity.
Why settle for something bigger,
the idea of soul