By Petra Iyabo Akinti Onyegbule.
Must have been in my third year or final year in the University when I stopped saying the 'Hail Mary'
I was a Catholic. Staunch one. Baptized. Communicant. Confirmed. I was a member of St Cecilia's Choir of my school chaplaincy. We covered two Masses on a regular Sunday. Damn, I was a member of Block Rosary then Legion of Mary. I prayed the 15 Mysteries and later the 20Mysteries of the Rosary for years. But I stopped saying one of the most important Catholic prayers one day.
I had no conviction in my spirit to so do.
I recalled that I was taught a reason for the Hail Mary during Catechism. Every Catholic I knew gave the exact same reason. And I figured that if hundreds or thousands or millions or billions had the same reason for doing the same thing, I should search myself and get a reason before continuing.
I still haven't found that reason.
In the same vein, I received Holy Communion for years without going for Confessions. It simply got to a time I stopped going for Confessions. You can't teach me that after Crucifixion when Jesus hung on the Cross the Temple Veil rent in two to symbolise easy access to God the Father then turn around and tell me I need someone to absolve me of my sins when I can easily go to God in prayers, confess my sins and receive pardon.
I am not good with dogmas. I never have been. I doubt I ever will.
Issues of faith have always been personal. And even now that I have resumed Church going, I still choose what I practice.
Did you ask why I still go for Mass? Oh, because the Catholic Church still appeals to me over others. The Gospel and practice of Social Justice is given a very prominent place in the Church. And for me, that is the whole essence of Christianity as Jesus would approve:-
Feed the hungry;
Shelter the homeless;
Clothe the naked;
Comfort the lonely;
Tend to the sick;
Fight for the oppressed;
Help the poor;
Strengthen the weak;
Empathise with others;
Bury the dead.
Just be your brother's keeper. Loving your neighbor like yourself. Even when it is not convenient.
That is the old time religion. That is Christianity the Catholic way.
It trumps any form of new age Christianity.
The old time religion is good enough for me. Reason I love the Catholic Church. But they should miss me with all them dogmas and some prayers. I ain't got time for those. Well, until God tells me I should.
Have a great Sunday, folks. Good morning.
Evans Adetokunbo Emmanuel,that chat inspired this.