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Saturday, 11 January 2014

The One About Faith

Dear friends,

**Brace yourselfs for a very long post on this subject. There will not be a lot of pictures but I will tell you stories of my childhood - a trip down on memory lane - and I shall speak to you freely, from my heart, on a topic I was maybe a bit afraid of... Prepare yourself for an extensive reading!**

What does Faith mean to us nowadays?! Do we still have Faith? And what do YOU understand when I say the word Faith?
Faith is subjective confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion, or view (e.g. having strong political faith) without empirical evidence. The word faith is often used as a conceptual synonym for hope, trust, belief or knowledge. The English word is thought to date from 1200–50, from the Middle English feith, via Anglo-French fed, Old French feid, feit from Latin fidem, accusative of fidēs (trust), akin to fīdere (to trust). Now thatall is from HERE but now let me tell you what I think!
Do you have Faith enough to move mountains? Do you have Faith to JUMP?! Do you have Faith to put your leg in front and step without knowing for sure that there is a ladder there you could climb? I have asked myself these questions almost on a daily basis. If not in that form in another but I still did! Each time I am giving a different answer according to how I feel at that time. I feel so fickle when I say that... Faith can be understood in so many ways...
I remember being a wee lass and going with my Grandma to school even before being the age for that. My Grandma used to be a school teacher for 1st till 4th grade and she was the best in the school and everyone knew that and respected that. Every parent in town wanted to have their children in my Granny's class :) My Granny & Grandpa raised me and my sister up until we went to 5th grade and moved to Iasi, with our parents, and I am grateful for that. For their decision of raising us. If it would have been different, I would not be how I am and what I am today. I owe them so much and I love them without borders :* But let us get back to my story... my Grandma used to take me to her classes. I was such a troublesome wee lass - just like Merida from Brave ;)) - that she needed to keep constant supervision over me. My sister was more settled but I used to fight boys since I started walking... She could stay in kindergarden without any issues, I - on the other hand - had to be keeped under guard ;)) I learned really fast to read so by the time I went to the kindergarden I was being put to read children stories from books when the supervisors went on break... eh! but the one problem was the mean boys who would pick on me. Well they were not the proble, the problem was that I used to fight back. And in 99% of the cases win... Might also be due to my size and stature back then... I grew up fast and by the time I was 5-6 years old you could say that I was already 7-8. At a certain point I rejected going to kindergarden anymore so my Grandma would take me with her to school. I loved those times... I would go 100 times to the same english class or religion class until I would remember every little detail. That is also how I managed to trick one of the town priests who was holding religion classes. He came to my Grandma to complain over one of the children in her class who knew how to read and knew all the stories and the quotes from the bible and the 10 Commandments perfectly yet did not want to write anything to any test that he was giving the class... Well surprise! That child was me :) And I was being there just to be settled and I was paying attention for I really loved those "stories" and I was answering to the priests questions like any other child in class... Figure that one out ;))) The problem was I did not know how to write at that time being, so I could take no tests... Not to mention that I was not in the 1st - 4th grade... I was supposed to be in kindergarden ;))) Hey! But I always loved talking to older children as they always knew more ;) But that being told, I was always attracted to religion and faith. I always believed that there was someone up there watching us, taking care of us and also punishing us when needed.
When I was small I used to go to church with my Granny almost each Saturday or Sunday and I studied at school all the rituals of the Christian Orthodox faith. We used to go to pilgrimages to the monastaries in Romania. It was always fun and educational for me... weird to say that was fun but for me it was :) It was time away, traveling, with my sister and my grandparents and usually with my mum as well. Dad was never so much of a fan of church or believing or the Bible... he changed in the last 10 years but the beginnings were weird. But back to the point... I was born and raised in a Christian Orthodox family. A family that believes and prays and goes to church. Somewhere in the 1st-2nd year of Faculty both me and my mum changed the faith and we went protestant. Recently, as you very well know, I have married a wonderful Catholic Polish guy that I can now call My Husband! :) How does that stand under cultural and Faith acceptance?! We both agreed - my husband and me - that the best option, considering the fact that we live in Poland, is to baptise the children Christian Catholic so they could raise under the knowledge of the Faith and be culturally aware of what being part of a society means. Plus the rituals are quite nice and they get to learn and have Sunday schools ;) But! We also agreed that when they will grow up they will have their own choice over the religion that they will choose. That we will not push and pull and have fights! Freedom of mind is important for both me and my husband. But for me it is even more important to believe. To have Faith ! That is what keeps me through the day and the hard time and the sad times. We had so much fighting until now with all the paperwork for the wedding that we did not know how it would end up. Faith keeps you there, keeps you running, believing that if the wheels started they will also stop at a certain point and all will be done. And as my husband used to say: all in its rightful time! I had to have Faith that my Grandpa is well and that he is now up there, watching us and taking care of us. But who are we to know if that is right? Who are we to say that a person will go to Heaven vs. Hell? We will never know until we will reach the other side - and we don't even know when that will be... When I was small I feel that I believed more and I was much more closer to God than I am now, and so the saying that children are closer to God is indeed true. Oh, how I wish sometimes that I was a child again... I believe that as we grow older ot bodies and minds get more heavy with the knowledge of the world, with day-today problems, with the fight for money, that we forget what truly matters in life. Love and Faith and Family should be our top priorities yet we always put them last thinking we can figure those out when we will be at our pension... Yes, God can wait! Does he not see what important things we do now?! And hey! Who said God actually exists?! Have you any proof of him? Of course he exists! What kind of speaking is that? 
Einstein had previously explored the belief that man could not understand the nature of God. In an interview published in 1930 in G. S. Viereck's book Glimpses of the Great, Einstein, in response to a question about whether or not he believed in God, explained: Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things. For Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." He continued:
a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their super-personal value. It seems to me that what is important is the force of this superpersonal content ... regardless of whether any attempt is made to unite this content with a Divine Being, for otherwise it would not be possible to count Buddha and Spinoza as religious personalities. Accordingly a religious person is devout in the sense that he has no doubt of the significance of those super-personal objects and goals which neither require nor are capable of rational foundation ... In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect. If one conceives of religion and science according to these definitions then a conflict between them appears impossible. For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be...
I have seen atheists change their mind on their Faith but I have never seen a believer change into an atheist. I think you will rarely - if ever! - see something like that. I cannot say if I have Faith enough to move mountains now but I know that once, when I was younger, I had that. Time and People will change you, will hurt you, will leave you with scars that sometimes you will think they will never heal... But hey, also Time is your ally and the wholes in your heart will not dissapear but they will be filled by something/someone else. Be careful though with what/whom you will fill it, though! Think things through and follow your heart. It will tell you what to do ;) But the must important thing is never loose Faith. Pray and Love the People around you. Even when they will hurt you. Don't loose Faith! In Heaven there will not be only Orthodox people or Catholic people or Protestants. I believe that in Heaven there will be Christians - people that believe in Christ, no matter their religion!

Now don't go throwing rocks at me, please, but speak up your mind!

Yours truly,
The LadyBug With Strong Convictions