Religion and Personal Meaning

I grew up raised as a Catholic and with everyone around me also raised as a Catholic.  In school, I was taught not to questions the things we learned and to instead accept everything with blind obedience and faith.  A lot of my beliefs, early on, were centered around the teachings of the church and the teachings of Jesus.  My religiosity was intrinsic rather than extrinsic, however, as I never really found a community within the church that I felt a part of.  McGuire talks about personal meaning, and in class we also learned about the different paths our classmates took in regards to their religion/spirituality or lack there of.  I learned from reading Victor Frankl, that the search for a purpose and the task to create personal meaning, is one that each person must find on their own, but once it is found, the world takes on a new light.  “If one has a ‘why’ to live for, one can endure almost any ‘how’.”  These words have proven true for me as I have lived my life.  Recent months have been one of the most trying of my life, but my own ‘why’ allowed me to be resilient and endure.  Religion can be the ‘why’ of a person’s life.  It was not the case for me, but it has the power to be for many others, as I recognized in hearing the stories of others in class.  This shows how much power religion has over people’s hearts and actions and I just hope that it is used for good rather than to harm in those who accept religion into their hearts.