Photo: Ponta Delgada, San Miguel, Azores
Occasionally a blog entry elicits some discussion of the theme. I am inclined to share all or part of remarks that add perspective or ideas related to my blog's photos and narrative. Last week's blog telling of my experience during a visit to the Azores, and its Festival of the Lord of Miracles in May, focussed on "faith" and its practitioners. Go to photospeakers.org (blog).
One reader (J) implied that modern society is lacking a connection to this essential quality of life's experience. Another (P) wrote more extensively on this subject from a personal standpoint. His comments are quoted below. (Note: Any views of readers published here - with some minor contextual or clarification edits - may or may not correspond to my own opinions or thoughts.)
Photo: Pakistan, Islam
P writes: "It must wonderful to have faith, that kind of faith without a shadow of a doubt.
I remember when my mother was in the hospital and her roommate was a retired nun in her early ‘80’s. I can remember talking with her during my visits with my mother. We talked about faith and God, but what came through was visible doubt in her faith!"
"Her election to become a nun expressed conviction but her advanced age and the realization that her time was no longer in the distant future caused doubts to set in. I remember her honesty from someone who spent her years expressing conviction to the faithful most of her life."
"I’m a member of a church all right. It’s a very exclusive church. You can only be a member, if you think logically, can think for yourself, and have confidence in your own judgment. It’s called the church of the here and now!"
"..., I too have been on a pilgrimage. I have been to Rome twice, to Greece and Athens, visiting ancient archaeological sites and very old Monasteries to the North of Greece. My goal was to go back 2000 years in time to try to find some kind of connection with faith. On my visits to Rome, I ignored the jewel-encrusted bibles, ... associated with the Renaissance era. My interest was in the Roman era, and what lead to the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine. I thought that my being in those places would provide context and possibly inspiration and some connection with what happened."
Photo: Gift mosque to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia
"Over 2000 years, over a span of 300-400 years, the Roman Catholic church had its Christ and its Constantine. One was the representative of God on earth while the other was its enforcer.
Interestingly enough, the Muslim religion didn’t have two separate players in its growth and development. Mohammed was both prophet and the enforcer, and he could be real killer!
The more you delve into the history of a religion the more you see the flaws, and contrivances that some religions are based on. For me it’s hard to have faith, and even harder to have faith with certainty." end
Faial, Azores (note the Masonic symbol over the door)