I cannot express my gratitude for my Catholic background with words. It is not the religion that I thank. It is the depth of Christian mysticism. There are parts of the experience of ritual and church that bring meaning and light, but for me they are not part of doctrine. Hard as we try, the written word will not bring people to realization.
When I think about Catholicism, I think about things that are bold misrepresentations, the things that people think they know about the life of Jesus that made him the one Christ. Jesus taught that we are the Christ, all of us. Yet the world of Christianity appears to worship the water-bearer rather than the water.
Fun facts. At the time of Jesus, men had multiple wives. We know that Mary had barely hit her teen years, but she was likely Joseph’s third wife, or fifth. He was an old guy.
There were not a lot of humans on the planet at the time. I picture the scene in the movies where Jesus entered Jerusalem and was greeted by the masses holding palm fronds. Picture Lake Stevens, WA. The size of the city was more like that. 100 people gathered around swinging plants in their hands. It just doesn’t match the Hollywood renditions.
Jesus was called Rabbi. It could have been a title of respect, but unlikely. To be a rabbi, a person had to be married. Also, Jesus is known to be around 30 as his final ministry evolved. Elders of 30 often had grandchildren.
There are documents and information that have led people to believe that Jesus studied the Egyptian religions and mysticism in depth, even that he was away in travels learning from other cultures and spiritual teachers. I find it humorous that people who are Christian often see Jesus as Christian too. Jesus was Jewish. He learned and taught outside of the doctrine of Judaism from his own learning and enlightenment. So shouldn’t Christian people do what Jesus did?
Red Letter Bibles. Brilliant. The only actual words of Jesus in the Bible are the red letters in a Red Letter Bible. Check it out. You could compile those words into maybe ten, twenty, pages of print. It might be worth looking at those particular words and putting a lot of focus there, especially for anyone stating that they are truly Christian, a follower of Christ.
There are more things that puzzle me. But I think facing everything I “believe” with curiosity is my bottom line. I embrace that I only know one part of the Catholic elephant.