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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why You Need To Be Religious

Hello readers!

I'm back after yet another computer freakout. I seriously think my hard drive is on the fritz. My husband has the drive now and is currently working on it to backup the data on it and try fixing it. For now, he has my computer running off of a USB boot stick he made using a custom build of the Slackware 4.4 kernel, which seems to be working fairly well. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that my laptop fan actually works again and I don't have to bungle with the large computer fan I'd been using for the past year or so to keep my computer cool. I don't know how my fan started working again, but I have my behemoth on standby just in case it conks out for a prolonged period of time again.

It's Day 15 of the 21 day blogging challenge. Today's prompt also dealt with a need. While I'm by no means a religious blogger, I thought this would be a good time to address the need of religion in the life of an impoverished individual.

Rockwell-style painting of a man teaching his son to pray. Pic found here
As a low income parent and wife, religion plays a large role in my life. My husband and I try and live out our Catholic faith as authentically as possible. Are we perfect? No, but the Church has means of dealing with humanity's various glitches so that we can become closer to God. It may sound weird to the average American who has been educated in our secular public schools and immersed in our secular media culture, but being religious and going to church regularly actually has made me less stressed about my socioeconomic status than I otherwise would be. Call it faith, call it a placebo effect, call it adaptation or whatever you want, but in my experience, the more I go to church and participate in the Sacraments, the more I feel like I can listen better to God and what His Will is for me. It's like He is telling me "don't worry, I got your back" when it comes to stressful situations in my life. It's a strangely liberating feeling, but what is even more profound is that I don't think I could have learned this lesson in religiosity without plunging off the socioeconomic ladder in the first place.

Religion has a way of serving as a psychological cushion. In one form or another, people have turned to religion as a means of solace from life's difficulties and for understanding their world. Some might deride this as a superstitious way of living, but one of humanity's most defining characteristics is the belief that there is something greater than us out there which plays a significant role in our lives. Even if one formally rejects the idea of an omnipresent deity, that vacancy is replaced by something else (money, political ideology, etc). Pascal's Wager says that it's better to believe in God than not because even if God turns out not to exist, you're not gonna wind up someplace worse than where you already are.

Lent is coming soon. If you've been away from church for a long time, the upcoming penitential season is presenting a good opportunity for you to come back and get back in touch with God. You don't have to become a fanatic, but it's good to have a relationship with God and Jesus. They can help you out in lots of ways, which is a huge stress reliever on your mind.

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