Carolyn serves on TCP’s Screening Committee. As a member of The Clergy Project I am in a triple minority….a Catholic, a female, and a former nun. My journey from consecrated “bride of Christ” to atheist was completely unsought and unexpected. As with most people, I had accepted my religious belief as it was handed down to […]
Carolyn serves on TCP's Screening Committee.
As a member of The Clergy Project I am in a triple minority….a Catholic, a female, and a former nun.
My journey from consecrated “bride of Christ” to atheist was completely unsought and unexpected.
As with most people, I had accepted my religious belief as it was handed down to me through the generations of my ancestors. In the Catholic tradition, I was so convinced of God’s love and grateful for Jesus’ act of redemption that I wanted to return that love in a life of total dedication and faith. I entered the convent in an order of nursing Sisters. For 20 years , I strived for union with Him through my vows of obedience, poverty and chastity and a life of prayer, self-sacrifice and service to the needy. I loved my work and made my Final Vows, happy in my commitment.
There were times when the suffering I witnessed was disturbing ‒ the ever present mystery of why an all knowing, all powerful, all loving God could allow terrible suffering and ignore desperate prayers for mercy and relief. I researched the church’s teaching on suffering and found only shabby theological explanations and contrived excuses for God. As part of nurses training in the ’60’s, before the advent of some of the effective psychotropic medications, a rotation in a State psychiatric hospital was required. The misery was appalling.
My wondering increased , the voice of reason grew louder, I allowed myself to think. Logic lead to the Aha moment! Common sense prevailed and the proverbial light bulb appeared over my head. A “miraculous” epiphany! There was no God. The pieces began to fall into place. It was simple, the natural order made sense, the randomness of life was apparent.
I later researched the Church Councils, the origins of the beliefs and practices of Christianity. It’s almost amusing to envision the absurd scene ‒ these egotistical holy men, mere mortals, with no possible insight into the inscrutable, as they define the Divine, and verify Original Sin, the biggest hoax in history, the cause of pain and suffering, necessitating our Redemption. Truly the greatest story ever told.
During my life of religious fervor I would pity the unbeliever, the void and lack of purpose that must prevail without God. The thought I would like to convey here is the surprise of real clarity, peace and contentment that comes with seeing and appreciating life in its reality. The wonder and awe of the majesty of the universe and our place in it is more grand than belief in fantasy ever was.
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