The Topic At Hand: Lost and Found

Buy Tagara no prescription, You read a lot of stories about conversion—St. Paul, St. Augustine, Where can i buy Tagara online, and countless others in the Christian tradition. You don’t come across that many unconversion stories. Perhaps the unconvert lacks fervor in her new non-faith. Perhaps he is embarrassed or wants to leave the gate open for a future return to the fold, buy Tagara no prescription. Or perhaps the unconvert, by virtue of losing a formerly found faith, rx free Tagara, recognizes the uncertainty, the potential mutability, of all spiritual states. Where can i find Tagara online, [caption id="attachment_1573" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="The Conversion of St. Paul, by Michaelangelo Buonarroti, 1542-45"]The Conversion of St, <b>canada, mexico, india</b>.  <b>Buy Tagara no prescription</b>, Paul, by Michaelangelo Buonarroti, 1542-45[/caption]

I certainly fit into the last category, having found and lost faith so many times over the course of my life that I might liken it to a quartan fever that seizes me in its sweaty arms every few years, only to chill, eventually, in the face of reason or my own stubbornness. When I was 14, following a year of sincere commitment to my Methodist church (after 13 years of going only when my parents took me and paying minimal attention), I woke up one day and said to myself, Ordering Tagara online, “If someone came along today claiming to be the son of God, I would think he was crazy.” There began ten years of atheism/agnosticism. Toward the end, it felt a little lonely, and I believed that I was Bad, order Tagara no prescription. I began to think about religion, began to wish that I had faith, because I expected that it would make me feel less-lonely and Good, Buy Tagara online no prescription, and I wanted to be Good.

In 1996, I converted to Catholicism, and I was really-really-really into it, until the day in 2004 when I walked for miles around an indoor track, Tagara trusted pharmacy reviews, pushing my sleeping daughter in a stroller and thinking through the question “Who benefits?” from the Church’s stance on birth control (my answer: not women). There were any number of other threads I could have unraveled that day—the celibacy requirement for priests or the prohibition on the ordination of women come to mind—but the thread that was closest to me, the one binding me up so painfully, was the birth control one, buy Tagara no prescription. With the zeal typical of some converts, I had eaten up everything the Church gave me, Tagara from canadian pharmacy, including the idea of not using birth control and having a large family. What a surprise, though, to find in my own life evidence that my own desires and happiness were at odds with what the Church told me I should want and should find fulfilling. With my daughter’s birth, buy Tagara no prescription, I had two children, a boy and a girl, and it felt Just Right. Where to buy Tagara, I have known many women who hunger and yearn for the third child, or the fourth child, as deeply and eagerly as I had longed for my first two children. Buy Tagara no prescription, But as for me, it’s been six years, and I’ve never felt a pull to have another child. Leaving the Church would allow me to choose the number of children that felt right to me; that reason—self-interested in ways that I think are very healthy—made me ripe for unconversion, and that long, purchase Tagara online no prescription, frowning walk was the defining moment of my loss of commitment to Catholicism.

Like many conversion stories (including those of Paul and Augustine mentioned earlier), these unconversion stories happened in a flash, Buy cheap Tagara, in a moment in which an entire system of thought was replaced by an opposing system. In that regard, then, surely unconversion can be as firmly outside the realm of reason as conversion can. Whereas conversion stories often depend quite explicitly upon leaps of intuition, online buy Tagara without a prescription, chance encounters, and deep emotional responses to spiritual or religious experiences, the unconvert is more likely to speak in terms of reason banishing a superstition, Tagara over the counter, and yet the suddenness with which these flashes of insight might appear, and the wholehearted embrace of them that the unconvert makes, bear striking resemblance to the experience of the convert. Both the convert and the unconvert tend to cling to the belief that the change from one state to another—faithful to non-faithful, non-faithful to faithful—represents a journey to an immutable truth, buy Tagara no prescription.

[caption id="attachment_1574" align="alignnone" width="200" caption="St. Augustine Reading the Epistle of St, buy Tagara without a prescription. Paul, by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1464-65"]St. Augustine Reading the Epistle of St. Paul, by Benozzo Gozzoli, 1464-65[/caption]

Whatever may or may not be true metaphysically—and I make no speculation here—certainly in addition to whatever immutable truths may be in play, japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, the choice to adhere or to stop adhering to a particular faith is just that, a choice. It reminds me of pop-psychological dicta that love is a “decision” or an “action” or a “choice, Where can i buy cheapest Tagara online, ” rather than a feeling. I heard a similar concept many times during my Catholic years—one should go to mass, pray, or whatever whether or not one feels the inclination to do so: one can live faith without feeling faith. The underlying assumption in both cases is that one should live based on ideas rather than feelings, buy Tagara no prescription.

Yet both these pieces of advice assume the knowledge of Truth: it is wrong to give up on faith and leave a community; it is wrong to give up on love and leave a relationship, kjøpe Tagara på nett, köpa Tagara online. The similarities between them—finding faith and losing it, falling in and out of love—remind me of the mutability of both as emotional states. One can keep these emotions under the control of reason and belief (and indeed, Buy Tagara online cod, thousands of years of religion, philosophy, and culture have argued for the absolute necessity of doing so), but they have a life of their own, developing and shifting silently, Tagara over the counter, hidden under the proper governance of reason, until, sometimes, Where to buy Tagara, a person decides to choose what has become emotionally true—loss of faith, loss of love—over what the community believes to be true: “this is the right religion”; “love (or at least marriage) is forever.” And after that moment, the unconvert will choose new ideas to align with, new ways of connecting reason with emotion.

If we can fairly apply the metaphor of falling in love to the way one comes to a particular religion, rx free Tagara, then we could say that I fell in love with Catholicism on Maundy Thursday, 1995, when at the end of the service they darkened the chapel for the ceremony in which the Eucharist is paraded around the chapel while “Pange Lingua Gloriosi, Buy cheap Tagara, ” a sixth-century chant, is sung. Buy Tagara no prescription, On that night, I experienced all of those qualities that became for me the “spiritual signature” of Catholicism—something about the tone or mood that I associate with the Church that involves darkness, quietness, water, suffering, mystery, and mysticism. That was my first conversion to Catholicism. There were others, my relationship with the Catholic Church like a marriage, comprar en línea Tagara, comprar Tagara baratos, with high and low points of getting along, a cycle of conversion and unconversion that ended (I thought) with the big breakup in 2005 (when I stopped attending mass), a brief reconciliation this past fall, Buy Tagara without prescription, followed now by continued separation.

[caption id="attachment_1575" align="alignnone" width="495" caption="Pange Lingua Gloriosi"]Pange Lingua Gloriosi[/caption]

That brief reconciliation arose from another conversion story a couple of months ago—one night I read an essay by a (liberal) priest that called to my mind everything I like about Catholicism. The genre of conversion stories primes one to take seriously these chance encounters with a speaking text—Augustine heard a voice telling him to take up the Bible and read, and the words he randomly turned to were compelling enough to change his life. I myself had snapped back to obedience to the Catholic Church in 1998 (after flirting with the idea of returning to Protestantism) after hearing a reading from the Letter to the Galatians in which Paul warns the Galatians, “If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.”

[caption id="attachment_1576" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Beginning of Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians"]Beginning of Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians[/caption]

So for that reason, I was prepared to take seriously my emotional response to that essay, to find in it a sign that it was time to return to the Church, buy Tagara no prescription. Typically earnest, australia, uk, us, usa, I immediately went to confession, began the process of seeking an annulment for my marriage that had ended in divorce, and began attending mass. Buy Tagara no prescription, I was undaunted, even when the ultraconservative priest at my parish delivered a long, long homily about the evil of divorce, how much better it is for people to stay unhappily married, and so forth, purchase Tagara online no prescription.

Fine, I said to myself, there are all kinds of people in the Catholic Church, Online buy Tagara without a prescription, and some of them, like this priest, are uncompassionate. But that’s not all that there is to Catholicism. Buy Tagara no prescription, I will find a different parish, where the priest is more compassionate.

But it didn’t work out that way. Not for lack of compassionate priests, purchase Tagara online, not for lack of a beautiful history of saints and mystics, but because a thing is what it is. While struggling to figure out how to reconcile myself to this church, Order Tagara from mexican pharmacy, I tried to understand my emotional connection to the Catholic Church and how it could coexist with my deeply entrenched intellectual disagreement with the Church on just about everything. I had a flash of understanding by thinking about it in terms of metaphors of love and relationships. I wrote in late October, “We could say that in falling in love with the Catholic Church, I fell in love with ‘someone’ that I disagree with on everything important, order Tagara online overnight delivery no prescription, someone who doesn’t respect women, someone who won’t accept me as I am, someone who won’t honor gay and lesbian people, Tagara from canadian pharmacy, someone who lies, someone who uses theology to win every argument . , buy Tagara no prescription. . . From this perspective, if this were someone I was dating, surely my friends and family would be correct to advise me to get over my love, to break up, instead of giving up everything else I value to make the relationship work.” So I ended up choosing that notion that one should live based on ideas rather than feelings, but with the twist that the ideas I chose were not those of the Catholic Church.

So that was the end . . . again . . . of my life as a Catholic, buy Tagara no prescription. As in the hymn “Amazing Grace,” I was “found” again two months ago, only to lose myself a month later back into the quiet comfort of uncertainty, mutability, and humility.

------

The Conversion of St. Paul, from The United Episcopal Church Of North America.

St. Augustine Reading the Epistle of St. Paul, from Dalhousie University.

Pange Lingua Gloriosi from Joseph Kenny.

Beginning of Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, from The Wikimedia Commons.

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    • Janie Epstein

      I like your comparison of conversion to falling in love. You make a good case for their similarity.

    • Janie Epstein

      I like your comparison of conversion to falling in love. You make a good case for their similarity.

    • Janie Epstein

      I like your comparison of conversion to falling in love. You make a good case for their similarity.

    • Janie Epstein

      I like your comparison of conversion to falling in love. You make a good case for their similarity.

    • Becky

      Thank you for sharing your “long, frowning walk” with us. Very beautifully written.

    • Becky

      Thank you for sharing your “long, frowning walk” with us. Very beautifully written.

    • Marty Johannes

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am/was a cradle Catholic and have struggled with so many of the same issues that you describe in your article.

    • Marty Johannes

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am/was a cradle Catholic and have struggled with so many of the same issues that you describe in your article.

    • LeighannP

      This reminds me very much of my own experiences, except I (like the commenter below) am a cradle Catholic. I say I “am” because I was confirmed in the church, but I'm not sure others would agree since I haven't been to mass since I graduated from (a Catholic) high school.

      I told a friend the other day that even though I'm not practicing anymore (and not sure what I believe), I will probably raise my children Catholic. When he asked why, the only thing I could come up is some of what you mentioned above. For me, there's a certain magic to their worship. I have many fond memories of going to church – my devout grandmother, the smells, the sense of sameness among strangers. It still feels very comforting and sort of spiritual, although not very holy or sacred.

      I once read a quote (I can't remember who said it) – “To look for God is to find Him.” But I don't believe that's true. I've been searching a long time, and I don't feel closer to the truth.

      But there's nothing wrong with uncertainty. As you said, I find comfort in it. Perhaps we're not meant to know it all. When my children ask me if I believe in God, I think I will just tell them, “I hope for one.”

      • rachelhile

        LeighannP, I found your comment so interesting, because in earlier draft of this essay, I said a lot about how being a parent actually influenced me *against* continuing along the path of returning to the Church. I wrote in that draft:

        “It was finally the thought of my children that forced me to acknowledge that there’s a lot more to the Catholic Church than the spiritual signature that moves me so much. Sure, you can play the guitar in mass and love Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton and focus on the gospel of social justice. But at the end of the day, these are lone voices within an institution that systematically devalues women, that ruins lives with its obsession with sex, and that does it all with the kind of smug certainty that is objectionable in an individual but unconscionable in an organization with so much power to affect people’s lives.

        “Whereas I myself can pick and choose, embracing the identity of “cafeteria Catholic” derided by the fundamentalist Catholics, I know that there will come a time in my children’s lives when they will be looking for something, when they will be in that state of ripeness for conversion. Both conversion and unconversion are all about trying to be a different sort of person, someone new, different, better, and young people are especially likely to want to be different than they were yesterday. When I was going to mass at a campus Catholic center, I saw how the college students were told that whatever they were raised with wasn’t the real Catholicism and were persuaded of the rightness of the real Catholicism, which to me looks a lot like the intolerant Catholicism, the prideful Catholicism, the uncompassionate Catholicism.

        “Although I grew up thinking of religion as an individual choice, now I can see more clearly the ways that religion and ritual create connections from generation to generation and from individual to community. I don’t want that real Catholicism for my children, so after only a month of being found, I lost myself again, back into the quiet comfort of uncertainty.”

        I can well understand your desire to raise your children Catholic, and honesty about one's own uncertainty is the sort of thing that children can respect more than the dogmatic adults of which there are so many. With my own two children, I've seen that each gravitates toward different things spiritually (as in everything else), for reasons that are mysterious.

        • Becky

          I love this phrase: “quiet comfort of uncertainty”

    • LeighannP

      This reminds me very much of my own experiences, except I (like the commenter below) am a cradle Catholic. I say I “am” because I was confirmed in the church, but I'm not sure others would agree since I haven't been to mass since I graduated from (a Catholic) high school.

      I told a friend the other day that even though I'm not practicing anymore (and not sure what I believe), I will probably raise my children Catholic. When he asked why, the only thing I could come up is some of what you mentioned above. For me, there's a certain magic to their worship. I have many fond memories of going to church – my devout grandmother, the smells, the sense of sameness among strangers. It still feels very comforting and sort of spiritual, although not very holy or sacred.

      I once read a quote (I can't remember who said it) – “To look for God is to find Him.” But I don't believe that's true. I've been searching a long time, and I don't feel closer to the truth.

      But there's nothing wrong with uncertainty. As you said, I find comfort in it. Perhaps we're not meant to know it all. When my children ask me if I believe in God, I think I will just tell them, “I hope for one.”

    • Saul

      I started trying to think of unconversion stories, and why it might be that they don't figure so prominently as conversion stories. I think the reasons you give are good ones, but it also seem to me that explicit unconversion would require greater parallel between exclusive religions like Christianity on the one hand and more flexible positions from which one might have been converting in the first place.

      (I don't mean to be asserting here that any religion excludes any people, I don't want to get into that. I'm referring to the fact that adhering to some religions requires people to exclude some ideas or acts from themselves as contradictory to right belief or practice.)

      So the early part of the story of Christianity's spread to any group or area often is full of episodes of “backsliding,” which involves combining features of Christianity with features of prior practice or belief, as if the people involved don't immediately (or ever) grasp the intended significance of conversion. I suspect the same flexibility helps explain the rarity of stories of outright renunciation.

      As an aside, if you once were found but now are lost, could this piece have also been titled “A Grazing Mace?”

      • rachelhile

        Ah, Saul, that's a good title 🙂

        You wrote “explicit unconversion would require greater parallel between exclusive religions like Christianity on the one hand and more flexible positions from which one might have been converting in the first place.” I think I understand what you're saying—you're talking about conversion as a movement from uncertainty to certainty, right? Certainty that excludes competing ideas and worldviews. What an interesting point—it makes me think back to the conversation that was actually the genesis of this essay, when someone was telling me two unconversion stories, from Christianity to something like atheism: his own and that of a friend of his. His stories shared with mine that sense of a flash thought that changes everything, and that's what made me think of conversion stories. So I guess what I'm saying is that atheism, like Christianity, is an exclusive religion that denies the validity of competing ideas. So whereas there might be stories of conversion from religion to atheism, it's unlikely that you'd find a lot of stories of a shift from certainty (e.g., fundamentalism of any sort) to uncertainty (lukewarm, not particularly committed faith)

        Oh, and I love your point about new converts failing to “grasp the intended significance of conversion,” because it opens up a whole new vista of the social meaning of conversion—the externally narrated, socially prescribed meanings of conversion.

    • Saul

      I started trying to think of unconversion stories, and why it might be that they don't figure so prominently as conversion stories. I think the reasons you give are good ones, but it also seem to me that explicit unconversion would require greater parallel between exclusive religions like Christianity on the one hand and more flexible positions from which one might have been converting in the first place.

      (I don't mean to be asserting here that any religion excludes any people, I don't want to get into that. I'm referring to the fact that adhering to some religions requires people to exclude some ideas or acts from themselves as contradictory to right belief or practice.)

      So the early part of the story of Christianity's spread to any group or area often is full of episodes of “backsliding,” which involves combining features of Christianity with features of prior practice or belief, as if the people involved don't immediately (or ever) grasp the intended significance of conversion. I suspect the same flexibility helps explain the rarity of stories of outright renunciation.

      As an aside, if you once were found but now are lost, could this piece have also been titled “A Grazing Mace?”

    • rachelhile

      LeighannP, I found your comment so interesting, because in earlier draft of this essay, I said a lot about how being a parent actually influenced me *against* continuing along the path of returning to the Church. I wrote in that draft:

      “It was finally the thought of my children that forced me to acknowledge that there’s a lot more to the Catholic Church than the spiritual signature that moves me so much. Sure, you can play the guitar in mass and love Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton and focus on the gospel of social justice. But at the end of the day, these are lone voices within an institution that systematically devalues women, that ruins lives with its obsession with sex, and that does it all with the kind of smug certainty that is objectionable in an individual but unconscionable in an organization with so much power to affect people’s lives.

      “Whereas I myself can pick and choose, embracing the identity of “cafeteria Catholic” derided by the fundamentalist Catholics, I know that there will come a time in my children’s lives when they will be looking for something, when they will be in that state of ripeness for conversion. Both conversion and unconversion are all about trying to be a different sort of person, someone new, different, better, and young people are especially likely to want to be different than they were yesterday. When I was going to mass at a campus Catholic center, I saw how the college students were told that whatever they were raised with wasn’t the real Catholicism and were persuaded of the rightness of the real Catholicism, which to me looks a lot like the intolerant Catholicism, the prideful Catholicism, the uncompassionate Catholicism.

      “Although I grew up thinking of religion as an individual choice, now I can see more clearly the ways that religion and ritual create connections from generation to generation and from individual to community. I don’t want that real Catholicism for my children, so after only a month of being found, I lost myself again, back into the quiet comfort of uncertainty.”

      I can well understand your desire to raise your children Catholic, and honesty about one's own uncertainty is the sort of thing that children can respect more than the dogmatic adults of which there are so many. With my own two children, I've seen that each gravitates toward different things spiritually (as in everything else), for reasons that are mysterious.

    • rachelhile

      Ah, Saul, that's a good title 🙂

      You wrote “explicit unconversion would require greater parallel between exclusive religions like Christianity on the one hand and more flexible positions from which one might have been converting in the first place.” I think I understand what you're saying—you're talking about conversion as a movement from uncertainty to certainty, right? Certainty that excludes competing ideas and worldviews. What an interesting point—it makes me think back to the conversation that was actually the genesis of this essay, when someone was telling me two unconversion stories, from Christianity to something like atheism: his own and that of a friend of his. His stories shared with mine that sense of a flash thought that changes everything, and that's what made me think of conversion stories. So I guess what I'm saying is that atheism, like Christianity, is an exclusive religion that denies the validity of competing ideas. So whereas there might be stories of conversion from religion to atheism, it's unlikely that you'd find a lot of stories of a shift from certainty (e.g., fundamentalism of any sort) to uncertainty (lukewarm, not particularly committed faith)

      Oh, and I love your point about new converts failing to “grasp the intended significance of conversion,” because it opens up a whole new vista of the social meaning of conversion—the externally narrated, socially prescribed meanings of conversion.

    • Becky

      I love this phrase: “quiet comfort of uncertainty”

    The Author

    Rachel Hile

    rachel.hile
    Rachel Hile lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she is assistant professor in the Department of English & Linguistics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She has published articles on Renaissance English literature and has edited a collection of essays, Parenting and Professing: Balancing Family Work with an Academic Career. She lives with her two children. View all Revolving Floor contributions by Rachel Hile.

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