Let Me Explain: You gotta have faith

My faith needs to be re-evaluated. Let me explain.

Loads of religious folks have difficulty adapting their religious practices to college. It doesn’t help that 10 p.m. Mass in St. Francis Xavier College Church can sometimes seem more like a noisy fashion show than a reverent worship service-which is about as spiritually beneficial as Lean Pockets with whole-grain crust.

I attended mass six days a week in high school because it was relaxing to begin my day with God in the tiny chapel down the hall from art class. I considered becoming a nun before I realized I wanted a soccer team of kids. (That is, until I caught an episode of TLC’s “Jon and Kate Plus Eight.” Eight kids go through a whole lot of diapers. Damn.) The cross I wore around my neck back in those days would burn hot throughout the school day, and I felt that even though I was sitting in a boring Biology lecture, God was with me.

The ozone is all that’s burning these days. (And this nasty rash from V-Day.) Mass at Saint Louis University doesn’t fit me well, not to mention that I already struggle with some of the Catholic Church’s stances. Despite my aversion to some of the political homilies heard from the pulpit and the unsettling manner in which the Catholic Church teaches love for one group of people and disdain for another, I continue to seek out a way to worship.

More and more, I’m realizing that one’s religion needn’t blatantly include mention of Jesus or the Dirty Dozen at all.

For some, their religion is their family; for others, their friends. For still others, they’re searching, and I think I’m searching right along with them, in a trench coat with a magnifying glass in hand.

What it seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong (actually don’t, because I so rarely make mistakes that it would be embarrassing for you), is that religion is supposed to be all about love, after all.

Celebrating the good in other people: That’s seeing God in them.

But we don’t do that, do we? We gossip behind people’s backs, tell offensive jokes and befriend old classmates on Facebook just to keep tabs on them. We talk as though we know someone when in reality we’ll never know what people are going through behind their sunglasses if we don’t take a moment to sit down and really listen to them. We drink and swear and wear parrots on our shoulders and generally act like well-educated pirates on a ship rocked by questioned Catholic identity. The complete lack of respect gets out of hand when we aren’t aware of our words and actions and how they’ll be interpreted by our ever-present audiences.

Life-truly living it, at least-isn’t about shared shots and drunken kissing. It’s about love letters sent through snail mail and two-hour dinners over wood-oven pizza and Cabernet. It’s about calling your brother “just because” and buying flowers for yourself. It’s about creed and art, affection and camaraderie.

While you seek a center to house your worship, you can pay tribute to whomever you believe made it all by striving to be a better person and living your life with your whole heart.

If you don’t have a god, then honor your fellow people.

All it takes is a little love.

Katie Lewis is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.