Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beth Yount: God is Love

Name: Beth Yount
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Occupation: Electrical Engineer (Substation Design currently)
Marital status: Single
Ethnicity: White
Mother's faith: Catholic
Father's faith: Baptist convert to Catholicism (converted when married)

1. How would you categorize yourself religiously?
I would call myself a Liberal Catholic. By that I mean that I believe in Catholic Church and what it teaches, but I do not agree with the ultra-conservative ways that are used sometimes. I believe things are not as black and white as some Catholics think it is.

2. If you belong to an organized faith, why do you belong to it? If not, why not?
Because I believe above all in the Eucharist and being able to receive the Eucharist is important to me. Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ can actually make me feel better after a crappy day. I feel better with Christ inside me, like I am closer to God. As a Catholic, I can be a Eucharistic Minister in my church--this is such a blessed privilege.

3. What is your favorite way to pray/get close to God?
I believe the Holy Spirit speaks to me through my conscience. The Spirit is, after all, called "The Companion;" the Spirit is my constant companion. I consider myself talking to the Holy Spirit when I'm talking to myself. So, I imagine I'm talking to God when I'm talking to myself.

4. How would you describe God?
He is Love that we could never comprehend on Earth. This is going to show my engineering background, but I imagine a never ending burst of light and energy like the sun but brighter. An overwhelming love and light. I feel overwhelmed when I'm asked to describe God. It makes me feel a warmth in my heart. But, I'm overwhelmed in a good way, it makes me feel giddy and peaceful at the same time.

5. What do you feel is the most important teaching of your faith tradition or individual faith?
God is Love, that He's ever-present. That is the beginning of the vastness of His Love and Energy and 'Wonderful-ness.' He is beyond what you could read in the lines of Scripture and the Catechism.

6. Describe one moment in which you felt close to God.
Wow....I have had many profound moments with God. One of the moments I felt close to God was when I was a single mom living in Colorado, alone on my birthday. I felt alone because my daughter visiting her dad.  I looked out window and saw flowers all over the back ally of my house (there were usually just brown weeds). I felt like God had sent me flowers on my birthday!

7. Describe one moment in which you felt far from God.
I wouldn't say that God was far from me, but I was far from God; when I was pregnant with my daughter out of wedlock. I felt far from friends and family, like I couldn't talk to anyone about what I was going through. My Godfather disowned me and stopped giving me money for college, and I thought my best friends would basically disown me too. I allowed myself to get cut off from God. I later realized that I had turned from him because I felt ashamed like Adam and Eve in the garden, hiding behind the bush.

8. What do you believe happens in the after life?
I leave it open so I'm not disappointed. I like to believe I'll be introduced to loved ones. Probably my grandmother first because many people in my family have called her name when they were dying. My family jokes that they will sit around and play cards in the afterlife. I hope I get to play catch, perhaps with my dad like in Field of Dreams. I believe we all get to continue to praise God. I think we all [who go to heaven] get to spend eternity doing the things we love. There will be lots of singing and beautiful things in colors so vast and vivid that we could not possibly sense them in this life.  There will be brightness and purity of lights like the light I saw reflecting off the fresh snow this morning. I think you're also made to feel how you've made other people feel throughout your life, so that you can understand God's judgement.  I think most people go to heaven or purgatory.  God loves ALL His children too much to condemn them to hell easily.  I really appreciated a you-tube video I saw once about the near death experience of a lady that committed suicide. In the video, the suicide victim's hell was to live forever the way she had lived in pain. I agree with that view. I think hell is the worst thing you can think of, the worst you've ever felt--all the pain and suffering you have felt on Earth repeated again and again. 

Converts only:
9. Tell me your conversion story.

Everyone else:
10. Describe for me a time in your life when you rededicated yourself to your faith.
Actually, I've done it really recently when I found out Joe was going to die sooner than we thought. He is a very young Catholic, only 30 yrs old.  He kind of got "born-again," when he found out that he had brain cancer 2 yrs ago and now he tries to be the perfect Catholic; trying to make up for his past sins before he dies, I guess.  In the process, he's retaught me some Catholic doctrine and constantly reminded me to go to church every Sunday, go to confession, and read the bible more often, etc. (I had gotten pretty lazy about my faith).  Then, I realized I had been doing these things for Joe, 'cause he wanted me to.  I had been more focused on him than on God.  I've recently gone on a  St. Ignatius retreat and the meditations and prayers involved in the retreat have helped me realize my idolatry.  I now take seriously the examination of conscience. I'm trying to live a life focused on God and not idols. I'm trying not to be overly proud.

11. What does Christ mean to you? What have you done because of Christ?
Christ means that there is something to look forward to. He means that life has a purpose. Because of Him, I'm trying to "learn how to love God and all His children." I try to be a better person/Christian. I know I don't have to answer to other people, I only truly have to answer to God.

12. How do you feel your identity as a woman affects your spirituality?
It's heresy because I would kind of like to be a priest. People who need help feel they can depend on women. If a man served others like women do, he'd be accused of not being a man. People trust women when they are in need because they are worried that a man would have ulterior motives.