My lack of posts is partially due to the fact that I am easily overwhelmed by day-to-day life with a toddler. But the biggest reason is that I’m suffering from a sort of spiritual block, kind of like a writer’s block.
After I wrote that post about suffering and read up on the issue I realized that understanding God’s role in suffering requires understanding Christian doctrine and all its nuances. I found John Paul II’s letter on suffering and all of Jennifer’s posts on the topic very interesting, but often waaay over my head. I’ve found the same thing with most of the books I’ve read on Catholicism and Christianity.
As a person who went to church on Easter for the first time ever just yesterday, has never been to church with her parents, only attended Sunday school once or twice with friends, didn’t live in a house that had a Bible until a couple years ago and didn’t even know who this Jesus person was supposed to be until around high school, there is just so much I don’t know. And it’s really overwhelming.
I read something about why Jesus had to die for our sins and the author casually mentions something about a “new covenant”. (There was an old one? What exactly is a covenant, again?) I read something about joining in Jesus’ suffering and the author casually throws out the concept of “grace”. (No idea what that’s about). Another author mentions in passing the good news that Jesus conquered death (didn’t the pre-Jesus Jews believe in an afterlife?) and that his resurrection means that we’ll be resurrected (how do we get from A to B on that one?) All of these concepts are so elementary, yet so over my head. [I list these examples to illustrate a point only — I don’t want my kind readers to spend too much time trying to explain this stuff to me via this post. I’ll clarify my questions and re-post them individually later.]
So I find myself at a standstill right now, and often slide back into my old atheist mindset since that’s what’s comfortable for me. All the books and info I read to try to deepen my faith assume that the reader has some sort of basic knowledge of Christianity and the stories of the Bible. (It might be because I usually read Catholic authors. For some reason their doesn’t seem to be a lot of Christianity 101 type stuff by Catholics. It’s either heavy Catholic theology or apologetics aimed at Protestant converts.)
So anyway, if I’m quiet on the spirituality front for a while, that’s why. I feel really overwhelmed by what I don’t know and don’t understand right now. And I get frustrated when I look around and see that SO many other people totally have a handle on this. I don’t usually think of myself as an idiot but, man, I’ve been trying to understand how Christ’s death on the cross conquered sin and evil and death for like five months now and just cannot wrap my mind around it.
I’m going to go hit the books (probably starting with cardboard picture books aimed at toddlers since that appears to be my level of understanding) and possibly toss out a few questions to you readers, and hopefully I’ll one day get this stuff figured out. Wish me luck. Or, better yet, pray for me. 🙂
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