Friday, August 10, 2007

Finding One's Self

The landscape of Northern New Mexico is truly amazing. It makes sense that so many people are able to find spirituality here every day. There are days when I just go for a drive, look at the awesome land surrounding me and truly feel connected to my own spirituality. It's usually a little thing, a rainstorm, a sunset, the view coming in along I-25 on a beautiful cloudy or clear day for what it's worth that reminds me that there is something bigger than ourselves. There has to be. I truly believe that God exists. I think that there are many paths to find Him. For me, it's my Catholicism, but for someone else, it might be something different.

I stumbled upon this article on PBS.
I watched the video as well. The text is the transcription actually and thought I'd post it. It's interesting but I think barely touches the subject of spirituality in New Mexico, which goes back to days long before the Spanish came, bringing both Catholicism and crypto-Judaism to this land.

I've also been following the news from Paris about the death of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris. Today was his funeral and before the Funeral Mass, his relatives said Kaddish for him in front of Notre Dame. It's been interesting to read all the news about his personal life and how despite his conversion to Catholicism, he still felt very tied to his Jewish past. Albeit, his was recent, as he was born to Polish Jews and converted to Catholicism as a young boy.

I suppose part of me is so intrigued is because here in Northern New Mexico, there are so many families who are descended from Sephardic Jews and are now discovering it. While they have pretty much been raised as Catholics for generations, (though some probably with no religion and others as protestants) but suddenly this knowledge makes things about their lives so much clearer. As for me, I don't really know if my ancestors were Jewish. I have last names dotting the family tree which are very obviously Sephardic, but I don't know of any rituals or traditions that are suspected to be Sephardic. The sad thing for me is that the ones who would know are long gone and my parents don't seem to remember any of those stories. And even if I learned my ancestors were Sephardic Jews fleeing persecution, it wouldn't change my faith today. I would, however, be able to say I was tied to a Jewish past too, but I wouldn't be a Jew. Still, it's all very interesting. Hopefully, I'll find that out.