In my “cultivate” year ( my theme/word for 2015), one of the areas I identified as needing cultivation was my spiritual life. It’s something that was long on my mind even before the death of Dad, but ever since, it’s something I think about fairly frequently.
I was raised Roman Catholic and was very involved in the church growing up beyond my religious education classes. I participated in the youth group, taught a few CCD classes, went on spiritual retreats, and so on. I regularly attended Mass through high school, but lapsed through college and grad school. I started going back when I was dating my ex-husband who took his religion fairly seriously. It was one of the main reasons we didn’t live together before we were married, though both of these points are topics for another day. We were married in a full Catholic ceremony and mass in the local cathedral with all the pomp and circumstance of a formal Catholic wedding. We made a new family tradition of going to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve ( though it seems a lot of churches are not doing this anymore?!?)
From the time my marriage fell apart until the day of my Dad’s funeral, I had not been to church. And honestly, I haven’t since, with the one exception being a memorial Mass for my father about 2 months after his death. I think about going a lot, but haven’t made it yet.
All that being said, I consider myself a very spiritual person. While I don’t subscribe to many of the beliefs of the Catholic Church, I still hold true to so many of the values and ideals. I pray nightly. I’ve lately been thinking of spirituality as a process and somewhat of a road map that helps me through tough times or to provide comfort/explanation when there often is no reasoning. It’s personal to me and my life experience, and as I grow/adapt in life, I’m finding how I want that spiritual practice to fit in.