So on Saturday I joined a public Rosary rally in the park at Magnolia Dell. Yes we took along our Rosaries and our hymns and prayers and everything else the coordinator had mailed us. Yes us Catholics - we stood in a circle which drew attention. Yes we sang - out loud and prayed - out loud (long prayers and short ones) and yes we prayed the Rosary - out loud.
Yes we attracted stares - some of interest, some of confusion, some of mirth. Some glanced our way, read our banner and carried on about their business. Some stopped to hear what we were doing, some snickered, some stared openly. Some smiled and seemed encouraged.
It is a funny thing public displays of Faith. We can go to a park, wearing the shirt of the sports team we support, kick around a ball and shout sporting terms. We can go to a park and put up a display of art and other wares and encourage others to stop and look. We can let people ride through the park loudly ringing bells and encouraging people to buy ice-cream. We can lie on the lawn and play our choice of music loudly. But have a public display of Faith? Pray? Out loud? Ai Wena - what is that thing you are doing?
Many times during illness, strife, family problems etc we rush to pray......I am pretty sure that many of the sport playing, art selling, icecream eating, music listening people rush to their Faith and prayer when things go wrong. You see - we rush to it now - yes things are going wrong - but we would have prayed the Rosary in public even if we were living in a country of great harmony.
Now I am not saying that you have to be a Bible bashing scream Alleluia every second kind of person, running around explaining how people should "save themselves and turn to the Lord". But I am questioning why we have to appear restrained. As I stated in my FB post with photos of our gathering, I have a friend who told me that she liked so-and-so because "they are religious, but not overly so" - please pause whilst I snort in mirth. Overly so? So what is the barometer? One mention of the word Jesus and 2 mentions of the Bible is okay, but if you lean towards three mentions of Jesus and 4 of the Bible and one the Lord has heard my prayers, jirre then you are dangerously in-the-face overly religious.
Yes we don't all believe, yes we have different Faiths, yes we have different levels of Faith ..... but just because I am not a Sharks supporter does not mean I should criticise their supporters' level of enthusiasm and noise when they play here. Ramadan is very serious. When my Muslim friends are giving alms, fasting and praying during this time, I don't find them "overly". I have served on a Board with a close Muslim friend who had to break the fast at sunset and had a little tupper of small food that she then ate during the meeting. That made her dedicated to her religion in my eyes. The same when we are in Lent.
So if you wish to support your Faith and celebrate it with the same zest that you support other important things in your life, do so. And if you wish to do it quietly to yourself. Then do that. But be careful of how you judge other's choices.
Remember that now more than ever our country needs prayer - for SA, for the crappy political goings on, for rain. So pray!!
Whether whispered or bellowed. Just do it.
c'est la vie xxx
Monday, 17 October 2016
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