Today’s Prayer to Passage is from the book ‘The Writing Life’ by the impeccable Annie Dillard.
My prayer today is, “Dear God, speak to me of simplicity. Amen.”
Following my prayer, I held the closed book in my hands and opened it to this passage on page 78:
“Admire the world for never ending on you—as you would admire an opponent, without taking your eyes from him, or walking away.
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.
After Michelangelo died, someone found in his studio a piece of paper on which he had written a note to his apprentice, in the handwriting of his old age: ‘Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and do not waste time.'”
That was so lovely to read. Thank You.
And with that, here is my follow-up interview of Mary, age 24. I posted my first interview of Mary yesterday. Because my interviews have so much content for one blog post, I am planning to divide them. I had previously planned to save Mary’s follow-up interview for a later date. Instead, of course, I am keeping it simple and sharing it now.
Do you think God created everything that is? Do you believe there is a Creator God? What are your beliefs about creation?
“I go back and forth about this. I believe the Universe was created and is continually evolving and changing. Hence my believing that people create their own realities. I guess I don’t really have a solid thought that I feel comfortable putting into words.”
You said about raising a child, “It would be a big deal, not being Catholic.” Why?
“It would be a big deal because it would be outside the box of what we do. It wouldn’t fit in the social norm box that is my family. We’re Catholic, we go to church, we pray before meals, we baptize our children when they’re a month old, etcetera, etcetera. To deviate from those family norms would be catastrophic. OK, it probably wouldn’t be catastrophic, but my mother and grandmother would have major issues with it. And probably the rest of my famiy too, with the exception of my sister, but they wouldn’t say anything about it directly to me.”
Do you feel that it would be a big deal not being Christian? And if so, why?
“Yes. Being Christian, and not specifically Catholic, isn’t really that big of a deal. There isn’t a great deal of religious diversity in the area in which I, and my family, grew up. Virtually everyone I know from that area is Christian. Basically, they’re practicing Christians, or they’re not. But to fit into a different category is probably a scarier thing.”
Do you consider yourself a Christian?
“No. I don’t really affiliate myself with any one religion at this point in my life. Partly because I’m being rebellious to being put in a box by labeling myself something. Partly because I’m not sure what I’d label myself if I even wanted to. I’d say I’m an Eclectic Spiritual Individual. I think there are a lot of positive things in the Christian faith, and I’m certainly not dismissing the religion as a whole. But I don’t know that I necessarily believe that Jesus was the Son of God, so I can’t say that I’m Christian.”
How do you see Jesus Christ? What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
“I believe that Jesus was a man, a very divine man. I believe that he found that divinity in himself, and everyone else, that I believe we all have. Therefore, everyone has the ability to be as divine as that. He was certainly a good man. He stood for great things. I just don’t know if I believe that he died and rose again to take away all of our sins.”
What do you believe will happen to you after you die?
“I believe that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transferred. I think that our souls are here on earth for a reason, to learn something. If we don’t learn that, or haven’t fully accomplished what we came here to do, I think we come back to earth to try to learn it again. I believe our Essence, Soul, Divinity lives on in some form. Perhaps we come back with a different task to accomplish.”
In your words, what are your thoughts on the afterlife, Heaven, and hell?
“I do believe in Afterlife, but not necessarily heaven or hell. I believe that we exist in some other dimension, but not ones that punish or reward our souls.”
In your words, what does the term “salvation” mean to you?
“Salvation, to me, is a very Christian word. One that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. The thought of needing to be saved doesn’t appeal to me, which implies that I’m a horrible piece of human that needs to be saved or I’ll burn in hell all my life for having sex outside of marriage. Sarcasm. I’ve never really understood what it means to have salvation. What, so I’m saved now, because I go to church every week? Or are there different rules? And who decides these? If there were such a thing as salvation, I’d believe that it is different for everyone, because spirituality is individual. But the Church doesn’t seem to think on those same wavelengths.”
In your words, what does the term “eternal life” mean to you?
“Eternal life, to me, means that on some level of existence, our soul exists always. I think we’re granted eternal life. No matter what. Even if that eternal life is coming back to earth time and time again, sufferening until we somehow learn what we need to learn.”
In your words, what does the term “Holy Trinity” mean to you?
“Holy Trinity means Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. It fits right in with the patriarchal bullshit the Catholic faith is built on. And yes, you may quote me as saying patriarchal bullshit, because that’s exactly what it is. Anyway, it means that God is all three of those things, and they’re all God.”