Hi guys and gals.
Yeah, Easter is coming and in Italy and pretty much all of the Christian polulation this is the biggest thing next to Christmas: chocolate eggs all over the place, passing time with your relatives and parents and brothers... a great time for family and friends.
And it's a hugely difficult time for people like me.
It might sound obvious, but I have been raised as Catholic. My parents and relatives did everything they could to teach me the basics of Catholicism, especially my grandpa was raised by priests when he was younger and he made me study the Bible with all the passion he has, but they never shoved it down my throat, they wanted me to see it a fun and educating reading and they had that effect indeed... byt the whole Old Testament had the effect on me of an exremely gorey horror movie: all those omicides anf vindications were really scaring me as fuck. Sunday school didn't help it either, because the people we had as teachers weren't that... opened to questions, let's put it like this.
Then I met a great person: my Religion teacher in High School. Actually is "History of Religions", because it teaches the history of the great religions and the lesser known ones. Also, in Latin our teacher was making us translate verses from the Bible, telling us some tips on how to translate it better, because we came up to the thing that the modern translations from Greek, Latin and Hebrew are wrong in meaning and terms: really, some verses as "The Word was at God" have literally no sense and are fundamentally wrong in meaning.
As I was saying, this Religion teacher was a dean at our local Cathedral, she worked in direct contact with Pope John Paul II for 30 years and occasionally she read his letters where she appreciated all the work she did for him. She was really knowledgeable about every Religion and knew the whole Bible by heart and pointed us every allegory, explained us all the points in it... she even told us to what some points in it actually referred to.
Studying with them I started asking questions. Those questions had always an asnwer that was well constucted and plausible, but then I started questioning the whole thing to them according to the things I found strange in the Books. They knew where I was going to, I still remember my Religion teacher answer: "I know where you are going with this, you want to as me if God is real and what does tell us that He is a God of Love. Take this and read it, Saint Augustin will make your mind clearer." She handed me a copy of the Saint's "Confessions" book, I've read it and confronted it with the original Latin text, all the sources about the Saint. I've even asked my parrish's priest about it. A week after, I came back to her and told her that I'm certain of one thing, I don't know if He does exist: all the evidences point against his exhistence, even the Gospels are in a huge doubt once you know the lives of who wrote them and what toposes they used. She told me: "I'm okay with that if you are sure of it."
"Okay then. I'm happy for you: It shows you applied in what I tought you and you made a choice after considering every aspect of it and knowing all the sides of it. I wanted a reasonable man, not a mindless Christian
After a while, I came in close contact with Don Joseph, the parishioner in my neighbourhood, and we had a good and well-informed discussion about that. Guess what? We accepted each other for what we are: every now and then we give a huge hug like old friends. I still remember all of his books he made me read about the Bible's allegories and History... not heavy stuff, I must say XD
So... I'm still a Catholic? Fundamentally not. Did I switch? Yep, to "Heck if I know": I don't know if God is there and Christ did actually exist, but it doesn't stop me in applying he only thing I value as the most important rule of life, "Do to the others what you want them to do to you." I don't have to be religious to be a honest and moral person.
I'm sorry if I went full blown like this, but... it was a weight I had to take off of my back. I hope you guys can still accept me for who I am, as I do with you: as long we are sensible and honest with each other, I don't give a damn what you believe in.
See you soon,