What keeps me from believing?
One would think that the mere desire might be enough. Czesław Miłosz wrote:
The Catholic Church wisely recognized that faith is more a matter of collective suggestion than of individual conviction. Collective religious ceremonies induce a state of belief. Folding one’s hands in prayer, kneeling, singing hymns precede faith, for faith is a psycho-physical and not simply a psychological phenomenon.
That makes me think that if I just attend Mass and kneel to pray long enough, I’ll believe. Wouldn’t that be too easy? And isn’t that really the effect of a group serving as a legitimizing structure, a sort of group suggestion? “I’m okay; you’re okay”?
I just wish sometimes that there were more to it than that. I sometimes long to lose my senses and fall in admiration — even praise — of someone. To do so in ritual, in the warm embrace of certainty.
And what stops me? Ego. It’s a long time unwinding that mess.