Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Scintilla Project Day 6

Talk about an experience with faith, your own or someone else's.

I look back on my formative years with my family and how it has effected everything I do and everything I am today. It is as if they innately passed so much on to me, perhaps by metamorphosis, perhaps by repetition, but mostly by brow beating me into submission and acceptance of their beliefs in God, Catholicism, Purgatory and the Saintly Sisters. And the big one, Life After Death.

My parents belief in Life After Death led them to exercise an existence that put God in front of everything. Attending Mass on Sunday was just the tip of the iceberg. There was Wednesday night adoration, Saturday afternoon confession, Friday abstinence of meat, First Friday mass, Ash Wednesday service, Good Friday service, Palm Sunday service, Midnight mass for Christmas, Holy Matrimony, Seven Deadly Sins, Lent, Advent candles, exorcisms, miracles, dispensations, Mass said in Latin, the Second Vatican Council, and on and on and on ending with excommunication and pardons from the Pope. Please do not think I am kidding, any Irish Catholic kid from the 60's will attest to the validity of my list.

It all boiled down to this, my parents had faith.

Faith. Such a simple word and yet so hard to comprehend. So difficult to fully understand.

You can listen all day to the stories from the pulpit delivered by retired Jesuits about exorcism and feel the truth of his convictions, of his experience filling every crevice of the church.

You can sit at the dining room table and listen to your Dad's WWII stories. The same stories you have heard all your life (the same stories that you wish you had recorded or paid closer attention to after Pop's is gone) about him being separated from his unit and staggering into a church in a small French village and falling into a deep sleep. Upon waking he walks outside and the entire village is bombed to kingdom come, except for the church. Except for where he slept, undisturbed.

I would listen to all, wide eyed and skeptical. I did not realize I was skeptical. I would accept without resistance their experiences and then go on about my business, my little life.

And then it happens to you. The Hand of God swoops down. And you get Religion. It might not be as dramatic as a demonic presence moving baby furniture and Teddy Bear's around a newborns room or the rest of the world blown to smithereens to get your attention.

But your attention is grasped by the neck, by circumstance, by the situation and you are helpless.

You give it up to God because there is nothing you can do. You have no control.

When the smoke clears, the hurricane moves on, the sun comes out and you are alive.....then you believe in something. You have to believe in something.

The alternative is unthinkable.

That is Faith.

4 comments:

Donna said...

Wow. This is great.

Nelle said...

Mary,
I am speechless. This blew me away and I could relate so well to it. My teenage years were spent thinking of how great my life would be without religion. In my 20s as the mother of a toddler with cancer faith became the thing that held me together. It still does.

ExpressJodi said...

Great expectations

Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.

Responsibility

With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.

Finances

Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

In - laws or outlaws?

if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

Sharing space

Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion

Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

Planning for the future

As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

ExpressJodi said...

Brahmin Shaadi
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

Sagaai
The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

Haldi
In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

Jaimala
After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

Mangal Phere
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

Griha pravesh
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.