i have been thinking a lot this week about my understanding of salvation. i met with my rector yesterday and talked with him about it. i need to schedule an appointment with my spiritual director as well, an 80-something year old nun from the community of the holy spirit.
my priest had some interesting insights about looking more to the small "s" salvations that happen during a lifetime, al-anon being one for me, that certainly saved my life. i've had other experiences of small "s" salvation as well.
in talking with him i articulated my two understandings about sin. intellectually, i understand sin to be the delusional belief that we are separated from god and then we act out in that belief and that f's things up really amazingly. i believe that christ and other religious or spiritual traditions work to help us get past that fallacy. through al-anon, i turn my will and my life over to god on a daily basis, several times a day in fact.
i get to talk about god and my personal experience of god in al-anon, in ways that i can't do at church. i get to act out that experience of god in church, which i can't do in al-anon as it's a spiritual program, not a religious one. in monastic orders you get to do both.
in my heart of hearts though, i can't get past my belief that sin is bad, a part of me that's bad. i go to confession once a year at holy week and it's always a gut-wrenching experience because it's so tied up in this belief that there is something bad in me. on a personal level, this comes from messages i got from a very crazy family member when i was really young and they are so internalized, i don't know that in my whole lifetime i will really get completely though that. but, there's something traditional and archetypal about it as well. the church kept people under control by selling them the idea that we were intrinsically bad and needed saving and only jesus does that and you need to go through the church to get that salvation. and of course, women are lower than men and "worse" and need salvation big time, salvation according to the european, patriarchal church. my church is not like that, i am not like that but the hangover of that ancient idea exists in chrisitianity today.
i am turning this all over to god. i'm working with god to loosen up these historical hysterical beliefs and get to peel a layer off the onion and get to know god in a closer way.