Can I just say I LOVE your weekend getaway strategy? We have a teen and a 4 yo and some days it’s hard to get that couple time. I’m going to stick that one in my back pocket.
Well, Folk Catholicism is in essence the blending of the native religions in the Americas with the Catholicism brought from Europe. There was a lot of cultural collision and things absorbed into other things (like native goddesses’ qualities being absorbed into incarnations of the Virgin Mary) and it resulted in a much more fantastic, less strict and more inclusive (IMH)) variation on the religion. I went to mass and studied evolution and the Inca creation myths, and I got vaccinated and took medicine but I also went to a witch doctor and got “las flores” to get the demons out. I prayed, but I also turned statues of saints upside down to get certain favors. I don’t put my purse on the floor because that is an offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth), but if I were to do it, I would cross myself. So I have a love of the magical. I speak to my dead in my prayers and when awake, and I don’t know that I believe in the traditional heaven. I think we are all absorbed into the universal energy.
But I still consider myself Catholic.
And the Jesuits taught me that a true understanding of the world was like trying to explain math to an ant, and that science and evolution were not incompatible with the idea of a God, because science was how we explained and mapped our relationship to the world and our purpose in it, which was okay because the world was created for us to use our brains and grow. My priest would tell me that singing was praying x3 and I would sing outside and feel my words rising up and something else coming down, and I believed in God because I felt that art had a divine origin. The same priests taught me that to judge anyone for their choices was the worst of sins (hubris), and to respect each person’s relationship with the Universe and how they chose to connect to it. So I believe in God, and it’s a deeply personal belief, and it brings me joy and wonder but my eldest son is an atheist and that’s okay, too, at least with me. My husband is much more traditional.
Hope that clears it up some.