I am an unwilling atheist.
I am confident that there is no other world than the one we currently occupy, and yet I don’t want that confidence.
I read Biblical Testaments as moralistic tales, and envy those for whom some sense of reality emerges and comfort is gained.
I watch some sing hymns and get truly involved and moved, whilst for me they are lyrics to read and appreciate.
Personally sermons are well structured, strongly emotive speeches from the pulpit, and yet for others they are inspirational testimonies of belief.
I have met those that have willingly devoted their lives to the church in one way or another, and yet cannot comprehend the might of their motivation.
For me religion is fascinating. Raised in the Catholic Church I have come into contact with many forms of iconography, exceptional architecture, striking sculpture and beautiful paintings and drawings, all of which are based on a world created through many pages in a large book that is supported over an altar.
I have spoken to a variety of people about their Lourdes’ experience and listened to stories of arising from the water dry and different. Intelligent aware individuals tell me how they felt stronger after that moment. I do not believe this to be ridiculous, and I shun those that do. I do not undermine their belief by placations and pacifications. Instead I see it as faith. And not just faith, but a strong faith.
I would look at Lourdes, take in the architecture, the iconography, the stories of Sainthood and miracles that circle around the spring and see just that. Nothing otherworldly, nothing religiously provocative. Just a place, a thing and a story.
Innate cynicism is unfortunately one of the harshest killers of faith.
I read works inspired by the religious world, works such as Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy, and they inspire strong admiration from me. These pieces, and others using similar inspiration, are beautiful and full of so much depth of meaning. They bring forth all this emotion from me, but not faith.
I envy all those people with real honest faith because they will always have something or someone to turn to, something or someone that is constantly and consistently there.
The pessimistic cynics of the world don’t have that.
I don’t have that.
I wish I did.