What is the role of religion in THIS life?

I know that many religions make promises concerning an afterlife, and many religions are geared toward the afterlife. So I am curious about what you feel is the role of a religion in our earthly life.

I wish I could say that when I meet a person, I can tell, just by their demeanor and behavior that they participate in a religion, or even a specific religion. But most of the time…unless they are specifically talking about it, or wearing a symbol or t-shirt etc, I can’t tell the “churched” from the “unchurched”.

Do you expect your religion to serve you in this life? How?

I suspect that most of us aren’t patient enough that we are willing to wait for all rewards to come after death. I think most of us want our religion to make a difference NOW, but I would like to hear your thoughts on it.


In my opinion and in a nutshell, the role of religion is to lead us to a love of God, manifested in our love of our fellow man. No matter how much we profess the former, it is the latter on which we will be judged. If the only reward I receive for a kind act is the grace to perform another one, that is reward enough. However, God cannot be outdone in generosity and whatever He sends my way, I graciously and thankfully accept.

What a beautiful and thoughtful response! You gave me some wonderful food for thought and inspiration to meet my day. Thank you.


I always go back to the Baltimore Catechism answer to why God created us:

To know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world so we can be with Him forever in the next.

Pretty good summary for the meaning of life!

Your question got me to thinking. What DO I expect?

And then, I remember! I remember what my life was like before I knew Him. I was existing - I was having a helluva time but I was just existing. As long as what I did didn’t “hurt” anybody else then it was ok - as long as it “felt” good or right. When the Holy Spirit “flipped on my light switch”, I saw what I had become, how my thinking was skewed and how I was living my life and I was ashamed. I wasn’t a bad person, I was living under a lie - one the devil himself had sown for me! He had convinced me that since I hadn’t murdered someone or anything like that - I was a “good” person and I was Okay - I wasn’t hurting anyone!

My thinking had been the thinking of the day - secular, totally secular - with no thought to how God wanted me to live or how God really meant for something to be. There was no real thought of God at all. Oh, I knew He existed but, I guess cuz I couldn’t see Him He wasn’t really there - ya know?

I KNOW Him, now and I know He knows ME! He has shown Himself to me plenty of times! It’s been an amazing thing to see! I can talk to Him as a friend would talk to another friend - sometimes formal, sometimes not. My Catholic faith brought me back to an understanding (profound, mystical and beautiful) of Him that I somehow missed while growing up. My faith has given me a freedom I never experienced when I was living the “lie”. At the same time, it places a bigger burden on me than before because much is expected of one that has been given much - or something like that. I am compelled to give back to God because He gave so much to me. I want to serve Him and do His Will. I am happier, in this life, for it. It makes trials easier to bear - and boy, let me tell you, my family and I are having our trails - one after the other! I turn to the Blessed Sacrament, I pray the Rosary and contemplate Jesus’ life and His trials - it gives me hope in this life.

I know that whatever I go through on this earth, it’s preparing me for eternity. I hope I will persevere. I use every trial to help make me stronger here on earth so that I may be even the slightest bit worthy of heaven. My thoughts don’t turn to what will happen over the next week or two, I wonder how God sees a particular event and how He would want me to handle it - given all the instructions He’s left us - will I follow them or make up my own rules? I would hope to choose the path he already has marked for me - wherever it leads, it leads straight to Him! Why would I detour? My desire is to live with Him forever because I love Him deeply.

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