Monday, October 20, 2008

Practicing and Studying Wicca

Q: I’ve been raised as a Roman Catholic against my will, baptized when I was too young to understand. I never really believed in God. Then I stumbled upon the religion Wicca. I’ve been practicing and studying this for about three months. In secret, of course. How do I tell my parents?

A: Struggling with your faith is a natural part of life, only made more difficult when you feel completely detached from what you have been raised to believe. When I graduated from high school, I spent a period of time in a form of religious limbo – not really sure what to believe or where to find the faith I wanted. During that time, a good friend of mine asked me if I had even bothered looking at the faith that I was so adamant about running away from. As it turns out, I found all of the answers I needed and more simply by taking what had always been my parents’ beliefs and embracing them as my own.

I think the first step you need to take, before walking away from the Roman Catholic faith you have been baptized into, involves looking deeper into what the Roman Catholic Church believes and preaches. What does the Church teach that you agree with? That you disagree with? Why is it hard to imagine that God really is out there? (On this note, St. Thomas Aquinas has some wonderful books to read if you’re interested in some good food for thought.)

Struggling with your faith is something that almost everyone goes through, but not something anyone should go through alone. Talk to your parents about their beliefs and why they chose to raise you Catholic. Ask your friends where they stand on their journey towards faith, and talk to a priest or youth group minister at your local church about any questions that come up. Before you denounce the Catholic faith, look a little harder – you just might realize there’s more you believe in than you thought.

Maureen D.