This evening when I was tucking in my almost-six-year-old she pulled one of her usual delay tactics; she said she had to ask me a question. Then she blurted it out:
"What happens when we go to heaven?" and before I could say anything she added
"do we get made again? When we die, do we get made again?"
Silence on my part. I wasn't raised with much, if any, religious beliefs. My parents opted to let us make our own choices as adults. However, that isn't so easy when you were not raised with any foundation to refer to. In hindsight I think it was a cop out; one was raised Hindu, the other a Catholic - where would they even start? So they did nothing. The little bits that I did know were based on Catholicism but even that was woefully lacking. In 1999, while having a particularly difficult time in my life, I realized I felt as if something was missing from my life. I decided to attend RCIA or "Rite of Christian Intiation for Adults" the adult education program for Catholic church.
I was baptisized, received my first Holy Communion and was confirmed all at the Easter Vigil service of 2000. Becoming a Catholic gave me focus and a sense of calmness; feeling like I was part of a much bigger group of people - a huge group of people that believed the same things and did the same things during Mass any where in the world. That was a great feeling. The ritual of the Church and its history gave me comfort.
However in the days since that night in 2000 I, like many "cradle Catholics" have become more and more disappointed, dismayed and even horrified with various activies and positions that the Church has taken. I haven't been to Mass in over a year. I used to enjoy it and actually looked forward to that one hour a week where I knew exactly what was going to happen and was going to be surrounded with like minded people. It was peaceful, predictable and it soothed me.
So, now I'm a parent and have a child that is asking questions. Just what do I believe? I better figure it out; the questions are only going to get more difficult.