Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beginning The Mission

This entry was written while I was away from home on a Catholic mission trip and subsequently placed in its correct timeslot. Line breaks generally indicate some amount of time between the writing of the paragraphs, as I penned these thoughts over the course of the day. I have not changed the content of this entry, save for minor spelling and grammar corrections.

You know how I know I’m not just going through an “atheistic phase”? A “dark night of the soul”? Because I wish it were true. I wish desperately that it were true, that I didn’t have to go from moment to moment knowing that one day it will all disappear. I know it’s not a phase because no matter how desperately I’d like to believe that the amazing, wonderful people I know won’t someday perish, never to be seen again, I just can’t. I can’t force myself to believe. There are so many reasons against it that it can’t be true… yet I want it to be, very much.

I had to lead the prayer before we left the church this morning. Thankfully, I’ve always been good at spontaneous prayer. Still felt really weird though. Felt like someone asked me to lead a prayer to Demeter, or Thor, or Quetzalcoatl.

I am an atheist in isolation here. A lonely stone in a sea of believers. And no one has a clue. I’m on my own here.

I also led evening prayer, and am apparently the go-to guy for prayer this week. Shit. One of the first things I lost faith in was the power of prayer. I never should’ve redone those journals [Note: I reformatted the reflection journals for this trip prior to our departure].

I don’t know what to expect from this week. Already I’ve had to conceal my non-belief multiple times, in the form of leading prayers and reading Bible passages. I might as well be reading from Harry Potter, for all the truth that’s in the Bible. And prayer to a nonexistent being seems like a big waste of time. I wanna relax and enjoy myself here instead of constantly entertaining a sarcastic inner monologue about all the church talk we’ve gone through. I’ll make an effort to do that tomorrow.

Thought from Mass this morning: When they say, “This is the body of Christ,” all I hear is, “The emperor is wearing clothes!”

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