Recently, I was walking up Dunbar St and a number of thoughts battled for prominence:
· When was the most recent grotto erected in Cork? I suspect not too recently.
· Are grottos akin to fairyforts? There appears to be an anti-religion sentiment prevailing among those I discuss the matter. I do not think I know anyone who would construct a grotto. But fairly sure I do not know anyone who would knock a grotto to create a development site.
· Maybe another page for the blog with Grottos in Cork.
· I wondered how many people actually stopped for thought or prayer at the grotto on a daily basis.
For most of these thoughts and queries, I did not have the answer.
I have gone through a number of shifts in position with regard to my attitude towards Catholicism in particular and organised religion in general. There was the anti-period when I resented the organisation, its wealth and the power it held in society.
Next came ambivalence. I could admire the buildings and features within. Whatever happened within was up to those who wanted to go in and participate.
Now, I see a benefit of community gathering but wish it could be done without another’s perception of god.
My part of bargain
Two years ago, we attended the Jazz Service at St. Anne’s , Shandon as part of the Cork Jazz Festival. I liked the welcome which was stated as being extended to ‘all faiths and none’. We have been infrequent attendees since.
The service generally provides more thought provoking messages – some only for a few moments but I think that I strive for that contemplative time. I find the Catholic services that we have been attending much more lecture-like and the participation verging on automatic responses – by rote without thought.
Recently, I read of a Sunday Assembly in London. A sense of community spirit combined with some contemplative time. And no god.
I think that that is what this Agnostic would like – or maybe that is just the current shift of position.