For several years I wrote a blog called “Far from Rome,” but I decided to bring that to an end and start fresh here. It’s partly because I wanted a change of scenery, but also because I’d gotten tired of the title. I don’t define my faith with reference to Rome, and I don’t want to give the impression that I do.
I write primarily for myself, but no one who makes their writing available to everyone online writes only for themselves. So I write also for people who, like me, have come to find the conventional forms of Christian faith inadequate and are trying to articulate a more authentic understanding of the Christian message.
This is something with which I’ve been preoccupied since I was an undergrad. After a bout with depression that began in high school (and during which I rejected religion entirely), I had a series of experiences that profoundly changed my way of thinking.
I won’t bore you with the details – not now, at least. Suffice it to say, the experiences did not send me running back to the fairly conventional Catholic faith of my youth. But they did convince me that, at the heart of Christianity, underneath thick accretions of inauthenticity, is something very important and very true.
So I changed my major to Religious Studies, began learning Zen meditation (which I still practise), and eventually started going back to church (something I stopped doing last fall…but that’s a long story). Later I got a degree in education and became a high school religion teacher in the Catholic school system (something I’ve moved on from, though I’m still a teacher).
Along the way I’ve read hundreds of books about theology, philosophy, biblical criticism, mysticism and contemplative spirituality, other religions (particularly Buddhism and Judaism), spiritual development, and developmental psychology, among other things. I’ve come across many resources that have helped me to understand the Christian message in a new and, I think, more authentic way.
I write about it because doing so helps me to remember the things I’ve read and thought about, to understand them better, and to make connections between them. I share what I write in the hope that it might be of some interest to others who are on a similar path. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated.
4 July, 2011