Easter was the first day I had been in a church in some time. Not for any major atheist reason…I just don’t feel the pull. After Catholic elementary school, Catholic high school, a Jesuit college, and then a Jesuit grad school, you’d think I’d be canonized by now. But I don’t go to Mass on Sundays religiously, pun intended. Truth be told, it’s easy to be wary since Vatican II, but also more recently since everytime the Church is in the news, it’s not to celebrate the priesthood.
I’m having a really tough time. But a life is not worth living without some semblance of faith. Most of us feel a certain spirituality, even if we don’t identify it with a denomination. I believe in trusting the Universe, whatever form it may take. Faith allows us to show up, day after difficult day, long after everyone else has given up and gone home. It’s believing that the questions will one day have answers, that this intense sadness will one day bring joy, that the unendurable can be endured, and that we will understand what we are supposed to be learning from all of this.
If you work to build something you believe in, you may often do so against the insistence of others. You mow down your crop, go the distance, and maybe, just maybe, your pain is eased. Either way, you’ve dared to take yourself to a place you have never been before. You had faith that what lies out there is bigger than you are. That the only thing to do is listen, feel, take a risk, believe, and hold out for a small miracle. For faith and fear cannot occupy the same bench in the dugout.
It only seems like others have it all figured out. Their challenges are not simpler, their careers not more rewarding, their relationships are not easier, their grass is not greener. But there is a need to stop focusing on them – and start “talking to the cornfield.”