alone, American Grown, catholic, chile, christian, christianity, church, costa rica, ecuador, expats, expats in Ecuador, god, Loja, meditation, new year, new year's day, otavalo, religon, spirit, spirituality, super soul sunday
I hadn’t been to church in year. I stopped going one Sunday in L.A. when I realized the Christianity I was practicing wasn’t fully inline with the Christianity of mainstream. (But to be honest, I have always been unhappily struggling to confirm myself to the rules of mainstream Christianity.) So I sat on the sofa and flipped on OWN and discovered Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, which has changed my life. I’m definitely more of a spiritual person, a happier person, a more compassionate person, a more confident goal achiever. Listening to other views on God, meditation, spirituality has resonated with me in ways attending church never could provide.
But last week, I had an urge to go to church on the first Sunday of the new year, so I went today. My Ecuadorian friend’s mom said I could attend with her. It was your typical Evangelist Christian (non-catholic, Christian church). It reminded me of the churches that I had attended in Costa Rica and Loja, Eucador.
As the music started and the musicians played and sang with passion, I felt nothing. Yeah, something was lacking there. I could only think of how I felt more connected to God sitting alone in the Catholic church in Otavalo. I’m not sure why.
I began going to Catholic churches to observe their beauty when I walked into the main cathedral of Santiago, Chile in autumn 2007. Everything was so new for me. I’m not sure if I had ever explored a Catholic church before then. It was definitely my first time seeing someone having confession with a priest , and I was shocked that the priest listened to the parishioner’s’ words right there in the open foyer of the church with a line of people waiting for their turn to confession. Where was the god father scenes of people in a little wooden booth confession behind a screen where the father could not see his/her face? Movies are sometimes nothing like reality. And the movies of people feeling the holy spirit and jumping about church missed me today as I tuned in and out of the service. I could only think how much I prefer the silence and meditative mood of getting in contact with God. But in reality this is nothing new, I have always struggled unhappily with mainstream Christianity.
As I left church I thought, maybe I would try church again in another year to see if something might change. But as of now, I think I prefer strolling into a random Catholic church, sitting alone and being with God.