Religion that is. I believe at some level even my generation-who has been disproportionately disenchanted and disinterested in religion-want it to work.
Consider the case of Pope Francis. Whether he turns out to be the saint sought after or not, the public interest in a compassionate pope shows some desire by people to see even the worst cases redeemed. I mean this is the church of the crusades, inquisition, no women priests, gays are horrible and the sex abuse of children.
it's also the church of Dorothy Day, the Catholic Social Worker movement, a living wage, liberation theology, Mother Theresa and the badass Joan of Arc. Oh and Catholic Charities- one of the single largest social services provider in the United States.
Now, I am still a Unitarian Universalist not interested in converting back. Reconversion? Hmm.
But the point remains that for all our distance from religion, there is this something in it.
We long for the good story again, the religion that goes back to the essence of it all. Not superstition or oppression but the religion that enlightened and lifted. The one that even made some saints, that brought individuals into the insight we are still uncovering. It's more than the spiritual experiences we have alone. Spirituality is defined by the experience of a person in relationship with another (God, Buddha, nature...) but religion is distinctly about the community (from religare binding). It is about being bond together for something greater than our individual selves.
But Pope Francis isn't the answer. If and when he disappoints us, let's use it as a moment for something greater.
To start to really dive in. Get off Facebook and into the trenches together.
None of us can do it all alone. That's sort of the point.
The question in this new year, I suppose, is not only what we will decide to do for our lives, but perhaps more importantly what we might do for all of our lives- together.