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Comparison To Christianity To Islam

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Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs (Dictionary.com). With so many different religions in the world, one can decide to change religions once a month, but choosing a religion can be one of the hardest decisions in your life. Religion can define your morals, your goals and your aspirations. While exploring the diversity of two religions, the common denominator will always be the higher power.

St. Catherine’s of Sienna located in Riverside, CT is an old Roman Catholic Church that was built in the 1800’s. The membership now boast way over 10,000 parishioners with an attendance of about 3,000 every mass. This big beautiful church with large, floor to ceiling stained glass windows and artifacts surrounding the main sanctuary that have been standing sine the church has been in existing reminds you of a mini replica of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Large red velvet pews, a tremendous alter that wraps around the entire front of the church with crosses strategically placed to form the most sacred place in the church; the pulpit. Rows and rows of candles leading to the confession rooms in which parishioners confess their sins in private with the Priest of the house, this tremendous place of worship brings peace and sooths the hearts of the distress.

Interviewing a parishioner of St. Catherine’s of Sienna, I got to look at the real meaning behind being a Roman Catholic Church member. Sitting down and discussing the way things use to be was a real treat for me. Before getting ready for the interview, there were many questions forming in my head. I wanted to make it clear that I was not actually judging one’s religious beliefs, but I was trying to persuade my reader to open their minds and really understand the power religion have over people.

Teresa Lapegna, has been a Roman Catholic believer for the last 36 years. She attends St. Catherine’s of Sienna in Riverside, CT. Growing up as a Catholic believer, she has attended Catholic School and even remembers her Confirmation. Now that she is a mother of a 14 year old daughter, the memory of her Confirmation is coming alive again. Her daughter, Daniella is about to impart on her Confirmation and enjoys taking the classes that are set-up by the Parish to explain to the children why this is so important.

I asked Teresa several questions about her religious briefs in a short interview and I was very surprised to find out that this person that I have known over 5 years is a very religious person and one that seeks God on a daily basis. I inquired about the commitment to the rules and regulations of the church. She told me that although she has been a member of this religion, she disagrees with some of the rules that are set by the church. Abortion was her biggest challenge when it came to agreeing with the rules of the Roman Catholic Church. Teresa told me that it should be a woman’s choice and that it should not be something that is banned. She also explained that although it’s a touchy situation, there are many reasons why woman need to get abortions and the church should not dictate the outcome.

Teresa’s passion about abortion was heartfelt! She explained that she don’t agree with pre-marital sex and having abortions just because it was a mistake, but the troubles of a rape victim can truly make your heart and your decision change when you encounter a woman who has been taken advantaged of and left to suffer the consequences of another person’s action.

Her likes are simple. She states how much she loves to pray and how she prays for her family, her friends, the world and world peace. Praying for the saints, the sick and the needy is also something that takes most of her sacred time. Although she has mentioned no dislikes concerning the Roman Catholic religion, Teresa did express her disappointment on how the media has displayed all Priests. She goes on to say that the only thing she would change about this religion is allowing the Priests and the Nuns to marry. I chuckled, but then I thought about it. That may be a way to control some of the ungodly things happening in the Roman Catholic Church. Teresa may have something there. She said if she ever met the Pope, she would drop that little tidbit in his ear.

Winding up my interview, I had only four more major questions to ask. I was interested to know why her faith was so important to her. This woman looked me straight in the eye and told me that without her faith, she would be nothing. She said it that without faith, we are nothing. Then she quoted the bible verse, if ye have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can ask and we shall receive. I then realized then, that Teresa was more than a person of tremendous faith, but her faith has given her strength she didn’t know she had.

You see, Teresa lost her husband to brain cancer about 3 years ago. He was never sick, never had any symptoms other than an occasional headache and he was a wonderful father, husband as well as an outstanding gardener. Without her faith in God to believe that no matter what, she and Daniella would make it through this; she may have given up and became weak where she should have been strong. The religion that she has practiced for over 35 years became her life-line to surviving.

Believing that the Roman Catholic are the strongest in the world, she believes in life after death, the golden rule and where you spend eternity depends on your good deeds upon this earth.

Although, Teresa has never considered changing faiths, she let it be known that she is open minded to all religion that preach about honoring thy neighbor, giving to the poor and needy, tithing to one’s sacred house of worship and the commitment one should take towards the rules of the Bible.

My final question was one that made it difficult for Teresa to speak for a moment. I was puzzled to see that something so simple took her a few minutes to answer. My question, in one sentence, was to explain to me what religion meant to her. Her answer was simple but complex. She stated that what you believe in is faith, not religion so much. God should be the center of your life; nothing should come before him, if you realize your place with God and his place in your heart, everything else should fall into place. God created us all as equal, he loves us as equal, he treats us as equal and he expects nothing more from us but

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