Blessed be the man who was the Pope, Karol Wojtyla - Pope John Paul II. He did much for the world, and the world in turn revered him. He will be missed.
At one time, when I was young, the Pope was my Holy Father - my spiritual leader. I was baptised as a Roman Catholic. As I matured, I studied history, and learned of the atrocities that had been committed in the name of Religion. The Crusades and the Inquisition are but two examples. The unrest in Ireland was a backdrop to my 20's, and taught me that humans were still willing to kill in the name of God.
Even today, killing in the name of Religion and God (or Allah) continues. One has to wonder if this is how God meant it to be. Somehow, I think not. I no longer subscribe to the tenets of what I consider Organized Religion. I have been saddened by the scandals that have encompassed the Catholic Church in recent years. I doubt that God countenances the deviant behavior of which we have all read.
I believe in a Creator. I believe that we all will someday enter the Presence. I believe that we were put here to learn - to learn to care for each other, to learn love, respect, dignity and decency, to learn to value the soul and the life which it nurtures. I do not believe that we were put here to learn to practice intolerance, hate and war.
I wrote this some time ago, to explain to myself how I feel, and it still applies. If I have a credo, this is it.
"The proponents of Agnosticism were, in a sense, correct . . . there lives within each of us, within every creature that exists upon the earth, a divine spark, given to us at the moment of conception, but it is up to us to nurture and nourish that spark, to feed and encourage it, to allow it to grow and blossom into a mighty blaze, for if we do not, it will surely wither and fade, dimming and dying, leaving nothing but black, bitter ashes for evil to feed upon, for such is evil's succor and sustenance . . .
"I myself am an agnostic, I suppose, for I do not dare to delineate a deity. That would seem to be an act of unparalleled and ultimate arrogance, one not lightly undertaken. Divinity is sufficient unto Itself, and does not need me to describe It."
Death is not an end, but a beginning.