20 February 2010
The Light Within
The groin-vaulted ceiling looms over 600 feet above as I stand in the center of the nave of the Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. Every time the clouds shift outside, the rose window behind me and the immense stained glass windows to either side of me begin to glow, sprinkling red and blue light-glimmers on the walls and pillars of this Gothic revival church. St. John the Divine is an Episcopal church, and I'm a Catholic, but I wouldn't say I'm necessarily a Catholic over an Episcopal for any particular reason; I just am. So to me, a church is a church is a church, regardless of what denomination it is. Despite being Catholic, I tend to not even be such a great Catholic, and just believe that all gods are the same God. You know, a rose by any other name is still a rose. That kind of thing. Sitting on one of the nave's wooden, hard-backed chairs, I started thinking about being a Catholic, albeit not a great one. At least, I thought, I gave up candy for the 40 days of Lent. Then I thought, But I kind of only did that because I wanted an excuse to stop eating so much candy. Not really to praise or sacrifice for God. But what else could I do? So tI decided that I'm going to try to pray more, not formally or anything, just some acknowledgment thrown up high every once in a while. And maybe go to some kind of church. Although, honestly, it could be Buddhist or Jewish and I think I'd still feel like I was connecting with God. But I then realized that I don't believe we don't need churches and texts to find God. I think spiritual energy is in everything that surrounds us - the snow melting from the roof, the birds chirping outside by my air conditioner - and that God is inside each of us. We are all God.