Tuesday, 15 July 2008

World Youth Day and Hubby's Birthday

1. World Youth Day is really an amazing event. It's wonderful to see
so much joy in this city.

For the first time that I can remember, there is real and widespread
discussion about religion in this country, ranging from some very
narrow-minded whinging, to some very considered discussion. It's
important that this occurs in such a secular country because faith
shouldn't be something that we're bullied into keeping private simply
because some atheists are so vocal about hatred of any religion and,
especially so willing to bash Christianity. Believe me, when your Dad
is atheist (I would hate to be that bitter and cynical about
everything) and your Mum can be a bit of an over-the-top
fundamentalist traditionalist (I would hate to not be able to relax!)
you spend a lot of time thinking about what you believe and why.

Almost a quarter of this country is Catholic and the majority of
Australians are Christian. The majority of Australians do have a
religion. The majority of people in this country do have faith and do
believe in God. But it's so hidden, something we might think about in
our heads - and leave it at that.

At the moment, seeing people from all around the world converge in
this city, in an event of this magnitude, I'm proud of being a
Catholic. I'm proud of the link, and the participation, with our
Christian brothers and sister and our Jewish and Muslim cousins -
because we're here to celebrate our faith in the same God. I'm proud
to see people come together in the name of love and the messages of
Christ, and it all makes the whingers seem so petty - as if they just
don't get it.
Well, they don't get it.
But that's okay too.

It's true that having a faith is not necessary to make someone a "good
person". It's true that people have done nasty things in the past in
the name of religion. But all that doesn't discount the role of
religion and faith - something that permeates through every society,
every culture, every age. Those who have felt it, know it's there
because they have felt it. They know that they are loved. We are never
alone - and there is great comfort in knowing that.

Somehow that knowledge takes that bitterness and puts into perspective
all the pettiness.
We're part of something much bigger and greater than all of that.

2. Hubby turns 30 today.
Today also marks 10 years since we first got together. Hubby is my
sweetness and light and I have so much admiration for him. I have seen
him become this strong, loving, kind and gentle man and I'm so proud
of everything he has done and the person he has become. He's such a
wonderful angel and I'm so very lucky to have him.


Anonymous said...

We're moving more towards not publicly expressing faith here in the U.S. (I know the media would make it seem otherwise in lieu of our election propaganda; I am talking more about what's "acceptable" in the day-to-day life of a regular person.) It's good to hear about people from different faiths coming together to celebrate the fact that they have a faith. Glad you are enjoying the experience!

Happy birthday to hubby!

Mr. Guinness said...

Bravo Jezzy!!
Life and faith are intertwined, that is for sure. As a Catholic myself, and a Eucharisitic Minister for over ten years, my parish priests have a hard time with me. "Why aren't you more involved at the Church?", they ask. "Becasue it's not the ones at Church I worry about , but the ones that aren't!"
If you only knew the number of people in a month that know I'm a Catholic, and come up to me in the Pub and say something like, "I know you're a Catholic, can I talk to you a minute?". In some respects I almost feel like a priest for the questions they ask, and the advise they seek are really beyond me, but I answer from the heart and you know what? Eventually I see a number of them showing up on Sunday morning, and later chatting with the real Padre.
(Hope God does extra points! St. Paul was the guy that "took it to the others",....and that is a good thing!
Mr. Guinness