My friend Janet told me that some parishioners were inquiring where the tall lady had disappeared to. She politely tells them that I have decided to go to a church closer to home instead of the beautiful Old Montreal basilica but the truth is that I no longer go since the pandemic closed houses of worship.

I was already attending out of reflexive instinct and my adherence to Catholic dogma had already taken a hit as my exploration of philosophical concepts pushed against the grain of organized religion. Considering myself a free thinker, I needed to remove myself from blind adherence to the fixed human ideas some of which I could no longer bring myself to agree with.

The concept of loving neighbor as oneself and of trying to do good in the world plus believing there are forces greater than ourselves are still intact only that this became good enough for me and could be pondered on outside of an institution.

It is possible that belonging to community is what drives many to find value in attending organized services. Also for many there may be the comfort in the belief that they will be rewarded after their death if they follow the rules. Either way I can comprehend the draw for them only that my own exploration of humanity and of myself felt constrained and I needed some distance.


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