Monday, October 23, 2006

All in a Sunday's Work

I spent the majority of yesterday not doing much of anything. I waited until after 6 PM before I started working on the living room. I had to rearrange the whole room and try to make space for the furniture that is coming tomorrow morning. I didn't even touch my bedroom, so that is where I'll be working tonight. Once I finished moving things around I sat down to catch my breath and turned on TLC's new show "The Monastery." The premise of the show is to put some former addicts and for the most part faithless men in a St. Benedict monastery for 40 days and see what happens. This intrigued me because I read and enjoyed Kathleen Norris' "The Cloister Walk" in college. Since reading that book, I've wondered how I would change if I didn't have life's daily distractions and was put in an uber-religious and stripped down environment such as a cloister. Would I become a better Christian? Would I finally be able to have the type of relationship with God that I know I need? Would I be able to actively live a faithful life? Currently I have faith, but it is the same faith that I have that my parents care for me. For me, God and Jesus's life and sacrifice are a given. I just need to constantly work on personalizing that relationship. Considering the fact that I am a Seventh-day Adventist and there are many doctrinal differences in my beliefs than those of Catholics, I wonder how life in a cloister or monastery would work for me. The 3:30 AM wake up calls would be a huge obstacle. I was blown away by the response of a monk on the show when asked by one of the visiting men about Mary's perpetual virginhood. The visitor couldn't see how a married woman would remain a virgin. The monk's response was that to ask such a question was blasphemy. I don't see how asking about the church's doctrines to gain a better understanding of the teaching and those who follow it are a bad thing. Aren't we supposed to study scripture and ask questions? I also don't understand the idea of putting Mary on the same level as God. She was a human that was used by God to bring about the birth of Jesus. That does not make her an immortal or someone to be worshipped and prayed to. It does not put her on the same level as our Creator and Savior. How can you blaspheme someone who is not God?

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