I cannot get my mind to focus during mass. My mind just wonders as I try to navigate through my thoughts. The biggest curse about being a historian is that I always compare everything that happens or is said to the past. When I see an object or a painting or hear something said, like the Nicene Creed, I do not only see it as a singular object, but as an entity with a beautiful lineage of philosophy, thought, and history embedded in it. The biggest blessing, and curse, that I have encountered in my faith is my reason. I am intrigued by this because both faith and reason come from God. If my reason does not correspond to the teachings of Christ I must be wrong. I understand how dangerous choosing the path of flawed logic over faith can be. I used the word “dangerous” because it would be me choosing my thought and my interpretation of things over what Christ would want. In many cases it can lead to a loss of faith, but surprisingly, for some, it can lead them to a confirmation of faith. It was my reason that brought me into the Catholic Church, and it is my faith that keeps me here. I can definitely relate to Saint Bernard of Clairveaux when he once said, “I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind.”
I am still learning and I struggle with my doubts. I have not always doubted my faith. I was raised in the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Growing up, I was raised as an elder’s daughter, and I would always feel that I had to fulfill a certain image and maintain a rigorous lifestyle to properly fill that position. I knew that I was being judged, and it became clearer to me as I reached my teenage years. So, with that being said, I just never questioned much. I never questioned my faith or why I did the things I was always taught to do. It was not until I met my fiancé and started undergrad that I begin to question everything. I have always admired those who can stand firmly by their faith no matter the circumstances. That is one of the many admirable traits I find in my fiancé. We are both practicing Catholics, but we have different interpretations regarding certain teachings, say creationism for example. I tend to go more with the evolutionary aspect of it and my fiancé sides more on what the Bible says regarding it (i.e. it’s not unimaginable for a perfect God to create the universe). I have always envied him for that. The conflict that I keep referring too has appeared to me in many different forms. I just want peace of mind. I want to be able to sit in mass and just focus on the liturgy and what is being said. I love my faith and my Church. I just wish I could get my spiritual life together. I am really tired of feeling like I am just drifting along.