This week I visited the St. Bernard church located on 143rd and Parker Rd in Homer Glen, IL. My friend came with me, she is also Muslim. We actually visited it twice. The first time it was like 6 pm, and it was dark out. We thought it would be open because our mosque is always open. So we went and as we were pulling up, we got scared. It was dark, and all I saw was crosses, and when I was getting ready to open the door to see if anyone was there, I just freaked out and left. I don’t know why, but it looked to us as if it was closed. I really thought there would be someone sitting there or something. But then my friend and I went the next day in the morning.
As we arrived at the church the next morning we saw a lot of families, and people getting together. They all seemed so happy. At first I was all excited with my pen and notebook, then I was kind of shy and scared to walk in, I really don’t know why. Everyone was really nice, so we walked in. The first person that came up to me was a girl that my friend knew from high school she was really surprised to see us there, so she stuck with us and made it less awkward for us. She said “ Sabreen the first thing you need to know is Catholic means universal that should be a great way to start your essay.” I liked that, I never knew that. It was pretty loud in there. Everyone was talking and laughing. I was very surprised to see how loud it is; because I always thought that a place of worship would be quiet. In my place of worship, the mosque, it is really quiet and everyone whispers. We consider it to be very inappropriate to be loud, unless everyone is ready to go home. But I noticed when the priest started talking everyone became quiet; similar to the mosque when the Sheikh gives a lesson/lecture everyone becomes quiet. The gathering was motivating. The melody was a bit loud and from time to time it completed me to feel awkward again I mean it was one atmosphere I have by no means existed in. At Mosques, there truly are not any melodic gadgets and as I mentioned it is a lot calmer. Anyway as I walked in I had to say the “ WOW.” There was stained glass everywhere. I mean everywhere. It was so beautiful. And there were people around the holy water they started dipping their hands in there. It was so cool. I’ve heard about holy water before. We Muslims also have Holy water our Holy water is ZamZam. It is only located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. But there are bottles of ZamZam now where we can buy at some Islamic stores. We consider it to be so pure. And everyone that goes to do pilgrimage goes by the holy water and starts drinking and also dipping their hands in it. There were many sculptures of diverse volumes and forms. In Islam, There are no sculptures because it is an offense. It is also an offense to have any images in spite of of what they describe in a Mosque, where the church was fully enclosed in pictures. The pictures were so beautiful; I cannot even describe them they were just outstanding how they were made. I have learned a whole lot from this experience. I talked to many people; many of them were very nice, and willing to share with me about the Catholic Religion.
I learned that Catholics consider with the intention of Christ is the messiah of the aged proofs called Messianic prophecies. In an occasion recognized since the personification, the Church educates people on that, throughout the control of the sacred strength, the lord developed into joint by means of soul natural world as soon as Christ was considered in sacred Virgin Mary. Christ is understood, so, to be in cooperation entirely delightful and completely being. People follow Christ’s teachings and his wisdom. Similarly to Muslims we follow Prophet Mohammad’s teachings and wisdoms. It is so interesting how hopes and dedications for Virgin Mary are a division of Catholic faithfulness but are different from the devotion to God. The Church embraces Mary, as an everlasting virgin and as a mother of God. So what I understood was that Virgin Mary was so important to them it was more of respect then worship towards her their beliefs consist of her clean and tidy formation with no blemish of a sin and physical supposition into paradise at the finish of her existence. Catholics believe Christ rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, they believe in the rebirth the spirit of Jesus was joined up to His corpse by His individual heavenly authority. Muslims believe that When Jesus was on the cross, he never died, and that Alllah (God) took him up to heaven and put a person that looks like him instead. We believe that Jesus is up in heaven with Allah right now, Also that when Jesus comes down one day, that will be on the Day of Judgment. Some people thought I was thinking of converting, this religion is really interesting but I don’t think I will convert. I mean I grew up knowing all about Islam, and in this class I have learned about many other religions. But I am sticking to Islam, because I feel like it is the right religion for me, more like I know it is the right religion for me.
After I went home many of my friends and family thought I was going to get into an argument with someone about being wrong or something. I tend to be a very defensive person. But I really wanted to understand the different religions out there. I really want to go to a Jewish synagogue one day and see what the Jews believe; I mean you don’t believe it till you see it right? I read all these essays, and the books, and researched about many religions, but I really want to start experiencing them. This experience was beyond awesome.
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