Catholic Religion Today – is it a Healthy Option?

Is it healthy to be in a religion today? Or can being in a religion seriously damage our health? I have been exploring these questions with regards to my own relationship with the Catholic religion.

I was ‘recruited’ by the Catholic religion at birth and this was further cemented with my baptism and first holy communion, then by entering a Catholic boarding school at the tender age of six. Even though I made a choice to leave the religion when I was 18 because of the indoctrination I experienced, it has affected me all of my life.

I have lived with a constant feeling of somehow being wrong, never being good enough, filled with guilt, constantly self-sacrificing and full of angst. Worst of all was not knowing who I truly was, or how to love and be loved, which led to my engaging in unloving relationships, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, overeating and partying.

To cap it all, I never learned who or what God truly was/is. I abandoned the Catholic version of God in my late teens and never really found anything that truly made sense to me until 2005 when I met Serge Benhayon, who presented in a different way the truth of who we are and how we relate to God – equally, all of us, not just any one religion.

Since meeting Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have learned that who I am is ok, that I am not a sinner, that we are all equal children of God, regardless of our religion or our way of living, and that we can all feel God’s love within us when we live in a way that is healthy, harmonious and loving.

With Universal Medicine we are encouraged to learn and evolve as one brotherhood, with each of us serving our fellow man in a self-loving way, not a self-sacrificing one.

I asked about religion being a healthy option because many religions preach martyrdom for a ‘just cause’ as a ‘good thing’. Is it? And what is a ‘just cause’? Is it when a devout, religious person believes that a fellow human being is wrong and must be tortured till he or she converts and, if not converted, then be executed? Even worse, some people feel they have to sacrifice their own lives in order to kill those same fellow human beings, as in suicide bombers. The promise of rewards in Heaven is coming from pure illusion, geared by those in power to further their own ends. Hence, in the Middle Ages people could pay money for a ‘pardon’ of their sins.

Throughout the centuries, all over the world, thousands have been and are still being killed in the name of God – why?

Could it be that, despite their belief in God, there is no true love felt, just unhappiness and a deep emptiness within? Is it possible that the lack of fulfillment comes from within the religion itself? And then, rather than look at the truth of what’s going on, the religious fanatic blames those outside of the religion who have different beliefs.

Over the last thousand years the Catholic religion has persecuted millions of people living ordinary lives, who dared to speak out against their dogma or who appeared to live in a different way. In Western Europe, women were burned as ‘witches’ (1), in France the Cathars were wiped out (2), in Italy and Greece, scientists and philosophers were tortured and killed (3)(4), in America the native population were deemed ‘savages’ and many were slaughtered (5). As for the Holocaust, Hitler was a Catholic and had close links with the Pope (6). Even now, crimes are still being committed within the Catholic Church, including pedophilia and corruption. Sadly, the genocide continues today, not so much from the Catholic Church, but this time under the banner of a different religion.

This begs the question, is it the religion or the people? In all walks of life there are murderers and extremists – are they naturally that way or is it the religion and the religious leaders who create an atmosphere of separation, intolerance and hate?

My experience has been that the Catholic religion affected me at a very deep level. I was not brought up with a truly loving God and I was not brought up to care deeply for myself. I am learning this now through The Way of The Livingness, as presented by Serge Benhayon.

The Way of The Livingness is a new religion based on ancient principles. It teaches true Brotherhood, that we are all equal, that we do not harm anyone – not for any reason. This religion presents that even judging another could be considered abusive because judgement is not Love. It teaches that there is one loving God for All of Us – we are all his equal children. With The Way of The Livingness we are encouraged to question everything and to feel our own wisdom from within our bodies, not blindly believe any dogma, or depend on outside influences for our opinions. We are encouraged to live in a healthy way, looking after our bodies and nurturing ourselves.

I’m not convinced that the Catholic religion promotes self-worth (7) or even healthy living but, for me, The Way of The Livingness religion of today is definitely a healthy option!

By Carmel Reid, Somerset UK

References:

  1. http://www.historic-uk.com/CultureUK/Witches-in-Britain/
  2. http://www.heretication.info/_cathars.html
  3. http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/galileo-is-convicted-of-heresy
  4. http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/gbh_philosophers.htm
  5. http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/7302
  6. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/the-catholic-church-and-nazi-germany/
  7. http://catholicexchange.com/lord-i-am-not-worthy

Further Reading:
Who or What is God?
The Way of The Livingness – It’s My Religion
Life is Religion. What does that Mean?

587 thoughts on “Catholic Religion Today – is it a Healthy Option?

  1. It is great to look at many aspects of life and see how they actually make us feel and if this is healthy or not. I pondered the other day on the education system and how all the stress and tension that comes with having to achieve actually is not really healthy at all. It is only when we look at these systems as a whole and what their whole output is and not just look at a part that we see the true picture.

  2. “I’m not convinced that the Catholic religion promotes self-worth (7) or even healthy living but, for me, The Way of The Livingness religion of today is definitely a healthy option!” – The Way of The Livingness is a healthy option for me, because it doesn’t preach, promote or encourage any underlying harm, any killing, war, torture, genocide, separation, exclusivity, specialism/favoured or chosen ones, superiority, and many of the things that many religions have as their (historical) badge. TWOL educates and teaches universality, inter-connectedness, inclusivity and equalness – for all, and so anyone and everyone is welcome irrespective of their birth faith or denomination.

  3. Shame, guilt and judgement are poisons that traps us in hurts when we could be accessing insight and deeper understanding. True religion is founded first on the fact that we are all Love.

  4. I have to agree catholicism does not promote self worth … it’s whole premise is based on the idea that people are sinners who need to be saved and as such are considered not worthy … indeed the later is recited in catholic service. Everything is about handing yourself over to a greater higher power to redeem you … so I’d say it’s about being less, being small. Contrast that with the Way of the Livingness, a religion that says you have it all in you, it’s just about letting go any impediments you’ve acquired along the way and expressing the knowing you naturally are and bring … the whole premise is that you are whole, you’ve always been whole, you have an essence in you (we all do) that’s forever knowing and connected to divinity … it’s for us to unpick anything we’re taken on along the way that stops us from expressing that divinity. Having grown up in catholicism and left it in my late teens and now having found the Way of the Livingness, I can only say I’ve never felt so at home with myself, with God and with the world … to me the Way of the Livingness just makes sense – it confirms the knowing I’ve always had in me that there is another way, one which supports and celebrates all to be who they truly are.

  5. We are seeing very publicly in Ireland at present the effect that the Catholic Church has had on communities. People are very clearly seeing through the hypocrisy of the church’s laws, that some do not live by themselves and also even worse, have been protected from the laws of the land. People see through this and ask is this for me? And from there we make our own decisions. In truth the church have done this all to themselves.

  6. I was not a catholic and was never aware of having anything directly to do with that religion but growing up I was also given the message that I was not good enough and often felt guilty even though there was nothing for me to feel guilty about. Since meeting Serge Benhayon and The Way of The Livingness, I have not only discovered that who I am is ok, I have discovered that who I am is truly awesome, in fact it is Divine and the same applies to everyone.

  7. The greatest wound of lies is not the lie itself but the way it makes us shy to go to the truth. The shame we feel for making a mistake holds us back greater than any false faith that we have.

  8. Every person has a naturally loving way, which has no need for self-sacrifice or angst. This is what I have come to learn, and to hold very dear.

  9. It is nigh impossible to find self-worth in a religion that preaches we are born as sinners and that we need an intermediary to commune with God; a perfect set up for a hierarchical structure with those who or lesser (most) and those who are more, apparently closer to God, a bit or very special or even ‘chosen’.

  10. Reading this I can still feel there is work to be done in what religion means to me, as I can feel I have not fully claimed this and it is still not as clear as it could be within my body. I know within every cell of my being we are all One, we are all equal and in essence we are all the same. There is Hierarchy, there are brothers not on this plane of life who have walked the same path and are by our sides as we walk, there is reincarnation .. life is cyclical and God and beyond all this, is much, much more that we do not either currently know or remember. Ultimately religion to me is coming back to the love and truth of who we are and living in harmony. Universal Medicine presents all I know to be true and much more.

  11. The Way of The Livingness is a way of living that holds everyone as equals and a commitment and responsibility to live all the love that you are in all that you do.

  12. I wonder what our attraction to religion and the church is. Is it about following the leader or is it about being part of a congregation and a community. I get a sense that the community is the most important aspect and that leaving a church or community brings up a fear of losing those connections. Goodness, it is so similar to school, work, sport and family to name a few other communities we feel connected to in a similar way.

    1. I agree Lucy. I also feel it’s about our connection to community. We love being in connection and we love being in community. The question is however, is this way bringing evolution to community? Having grown up in the church and been in one not too long ago for an anniversary, it was very plain to see the effect of the church’s way on the bodies of everyone present. But what stood out the most was when everyone re-connected after the service. It was like watching 2 different groups of people. Quite outstanding.

  13. ‘Is it healthy to be in a religion today? Or can being in a religion seriously damage our health?’ Great question Carmel for me it depends if religion is used by way of an excuse or reason to behave in a certain way, or if it is truly used as a way of living that does not judge or preach to the rest of humanity.

  14. When you look at the doctrines of each religion, it is possible to feel aspects of truth, just enough to convince its members that truth is what they read in their holy book, but when you look at any of the religions as a whole, especially how each person lives, it is possible to see the facets that divide men from women, for example, creating a basic inequality right from the start.

  15. We are only just starting to explore and discover the links between our religious, cultural, nationality etc… belief systems and our health and wellbeing so fantastic that there are blogs like this being written to raise our awareness of these links and effects. Our beliefs shape our behaviours and our behaviours affect our health – simple.

  16. When you list the history of the crimes committed under the name of religion it’s black and white what feels true and what does not. Growing up I knew something wasn’t right with what was being fed to me about God. I knew it didn’t make sense that he could only love this group and not that etc. Nothing added up and as a result I rejected it all and wanted nothing to do with it. It was not until I heard Serge Benhayon describe religion in a way that felt true to me that I started to wake up to the idea that perhaps it was possible to live in a way that was true and for everybody. The religion he describes is not about right and wrong, it’s simply accepting yourself and others and treating each other equally. There is no Sin and there is no hell, everything is a learning and it’s as simple as that.

  17. I also abandoned the Catholic version of God in my teens. The whole being a sinner thing and not worthy of God’s love was a ‘bit of a dampener’ to say the least! The Way of The Livingness makes complete sense to me and has filled my gaps of non-understanding. From this, I am living life with far more of me, in greater solidness and true confidence than I ever did previously.

  18. ‘Could it be that, despite their belief in God, there is no true love felt, just unhappiness and a deep emptiness within?’ I feel you have hit on something very poignant here. We are always in search of something outside of ourselves to love when we could start right here right now with caring for ourselves just a little bit more and let that caring show us what love we have been missing.

  19. ‘I have lived with a constant feeling of somehow being wrong, never being good enough, filled with guilt, constantly self-sacrificing and full of angst.’ These are all forms of abuse Carmel and as a society we ought to view them as such. They may not be punches in the face but nonetheless leave lasting stains on us that actually affect our whole way of living.

  20. Although not raised as a Catholic I too ” not brought up with a truly loving God and I was not brought up to care deeply for myself.” it would seem many of the major religions tried to control the masses through indoctrination – man-made at that – so we would not find our true essence- which is love. As true sons of God we would not stand for such deceptions.

  21. We are all born the equal Sons of God and never does this fact change, as such we are eternally in a relationship with God. Therefore, true religion is our natural way of being reflecting our intimate relationship with love, truth and God through every part of our living day, guided by the body we are born into. True religion is where equalness is lived knowing that anything less that this is an abuse to who we truly are in essence.

  22. I am in a Catholic country now and I can feel the deep sadness of this place. I went to a square one day and expressed joy and afterwards was approached on all sides, the pressure was huge, unseen, but all truly felt. Everything wants me to be like them, to be sad, to be exhausted, and to not be myself. I am feeling challenged but chose to be very gentle with myself even though some reactive choices were made.

  23. The catholic religion has been a deterrent for many as their purported images of God do not accord with all we know deep inside – God is not vengeful, God did not send His only son, God does not demand sacrifices, God does not forgive, God does not ask for repentance, etc,. etc.; the list is endless.

  24. I didn’t grow up with strong religious beliefs however I still was not brought up knowing how to love and care for myself, somehow I still got the message that I was wrong in some way and worthy of a less than loving life. Nor was I aware of having a relationship with God. We get taught to disregard ourselves from every single angle of life and yet Religion has a flavour of disconnection that has a very distinct stain when we apply our ability to feel energy.

    1. That is interesting Leigh, no religious upbringing yet still a sense that caring for yourself is selfish. I am starting to see more and more, the problem is not religion, it is us needing something and then manipulating so many aspects of life to fit our picture and expectations.

  25. No I do not feel the Catholic religion is healthy, or ever has been. It is steeped in rules, requirements and making you feel less then God, Priest and the Church itself. This isn’t the God that i know and love, there just isn’t an openness and love, it is fire, brimstone and condemnation.

  26. There are many options available that would work to disguise our hidden agenda of not wanting to live as a Son of God.

  27. It is interesting how the Catholic Religion is always confirming that we are all sinners, and never allowing you for one minute to believe that you may be a son of God – this is evil in my books and shows the enormous control and manipulation that religion has been allowed to hold over others for centuries.

  28. The idea that we can adopt some aspects of a religion and not others is pure illusion. Large numbers of people have asked for religions that do not require a commitment to energetic responsibility and so we have a number of false religions that allow and support evil to flourish. The Way of The Livingness is the only religion I’ve ever been able to choose from my heart knowing it is exactly in line with everything I’ve ever felt to be true.

  29. The Way of The Livingness predefined set for humanity the essence of religion… A living truth where the words the actions and the thoughts all align in the service for everyone with no exceptions

  30. Any organisation that turns a blind eye to child abuse as the catholic church has is not a healthy option, in fact it is a blight on society.

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