Religious Essay for admission app - Is it ok?

<p>Please tell me if this religious essay answers ... Describe an extracurricular activity or work experience that made you doubt yourself and explain what you learned. Could it be used for a personal statement or is it too specific?</p>

<p>While religion often brings people together it can instill doubt as well. Reinforced rituals performed at an early age can develop faith and form bonds but for me it was different. Before I was aware of my own reflection, I had a faith decided for me. My great grandmother along with my grandfather had it all planned out. I was miraculously “decided” a Catholic when splashed with lukewarm water. Though I have no recollection of that day, they considered my baptismal the first exceptional landmark in my life.
Several years came and went before my grandfather realized I had not completed my First Communion or Confirmation. He was quite upset and truly concerned for my soul. I was thus obligated to attend Catholic Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) classes for eight months during my freshman year. I lacked control just as I had during infancy, however, I was conscious.
Though intended to enlighten and prepare me to become an initiated member of the Catholic Church, I found the sessions baffling and difficult. Many of the Catholic principles seemed either demeaning or strange. My naturally inquisitive nature did not waiver as I asked the Deacon many questions about Catholicism. I touched on several confusing or controversial topics at hand, commenting how consuming the Eucharist, representing the body of Christ, seemed cannibalistic, asking where the prehistoric Lascaux cave paintings fit in with Adam and Eve’s existence, and whether or not we, as Catholics, chose to ignore evolution. I was genuinely intrigued and interested in gaining a better understanding of Catholicism. Attending the classes soon proved both frustrating and emotional. My views of evolution and women’s rights were inaccurate or sinful according to the Deacon and I began to doubt myself. Instead of maturing, it seemed as though I was reverted back to my baptismal service. I was not reborn a Catholic, but a displeased, wet infant.
My feelings were altered a year later upon reading the book The Lovely Bones; I was moved and reassured spiritually. I felt comforted that something as simple as a book could enable me to see faith as I imagined it to be, different for everyone. Reading The Lovely Bones gave me a better piece of mind and allowed me to come to terms with the feelings of doubt and confusion I experienced during my R.C.I.A. education. I find it beautiful that something as simple as printed text could reform such a complicated aspect of my life. In the words of Wilson Mizner, “I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.” Doubting my faith made me reflect upon my beliefs and think how I will introduce spirituality to my own children, whether it is through words, art, music, or formal church experience.</p>

<p>i dont know if religion really counts as an extracurricular activity unless it is like youth group where u do community service with the church or something....this is really more talkin about coming-of-age experience, not really an extracurricular activity or work experience. also, you might want to lighten up the beginning because the first half gives me the impression that you are complaining about having to do all this stuff with religion. it seems as if you are venting in a way. but to answer your question, i dont believe this essay answers the prompt</p>

<p>you're right, I was venting, complaining, and just tried to deal with it the best I could. i am generally i positive person but found this situation difficult.</p>

<p>I thought your assay was pretty good -- personal, sincere, and shows your personality. You ARE complaining about being forced to do all that stuff -- that's your point, isn't it? IMO you do answer the prompt, and the essay is about extracurricular activity -- not the one you liked, but so what?</p>

<p>Thank you - while it may sound like I am complaining, my feelings were sincere and deeper than I expressed perhaps - religious choice is a big deal, a freedom not always allowed by parents which can cause distance in families - while I understand the reason behind the pressure and I respect my parents, I none the less I felt I wasn't being true to myself - Forget the extracurricular activity issue, any suggestions for making this point more clear.</p>

<p>Your respect for your family comes through, which is a strength of your essay; you are not rejecting their views in a knee-jerk way, but are really struggling. </p>

<p>I would shorten the section on your baptism and just give one or two sentences on the fact that you were baptized as an infant and then, because of your grandfather's views, obliged to attend the RCIA classes, which provoked a crisis in you. </p>

<p>Now you have space to zero in on your own process of questioning and reflection, which I think you need to develop more carefully, because it is the heart of the essay. Since this particular deacon sounds like he's on the conservative end of things, I would consider bringing alive in your essay a couple of the discussions and arguments you had with him. Right now you are tossing out a bunch of interesting questions, but it comes across more as a kind of verbal salad than a dialogue. You will create more tension by presenting it as a dialogue. It needn't be long; think in terms of that song "You say tomayto, I say tomahto." </p>

<p>Also be sure to check your facts; I am not a Catholic but was surprised to see your question about evolution, and when I checked, I did discover that as I believed, unlike some other denominations the Catholic church is not against evolution: <a href="http://www.catholic.net/RCC/Periodicals/Dossier/0102-97/Article3.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.catholic.net/RCC/Periodicals/Dossier/0102-97/Article3.html&lt;/a> </p>

<p>Reading The Lovely Bones is the turning-point in your essay. Play that up. Give us a quote or something that clearly demonstrates what it was about that book that resonated with you. </p>

<p>Your last sentence, about how you will teach your own children, is tantalizing; I would want to hear you state a little more specifically what you imply about how you will do things differently with them than was done for you, i.e. a general statement that you will respect their right to doubt or come to an individual decision. </p>

<p>This essay is interesting and has a lot of potential. Just slow it all down a bit so we really connect with your struggle. And do be very careful that you use correct English throughout.</p>

<p>aparent5 - Thank you for taking the time! SOunds as if you have been there before. You do understand what I was trying to convey and gave me some valid points to think about.</p>

<p>Overall it is pretty good, but needs work. I think it does answer the prompt in showing an experience that made you doubt yourself.</p>

<p>I get rid of the first 2 sentences. They are just kinda pedantic and lecturing.</p>

<p>I was confused by the next paragraph. You say several years came and went...Does that mean since you were a baby? You cay you are 13 so so though, right? don't say 'came and went', say passed. Always try to tighten and use 1 work instead of 3, especially when it is more effective.</p>

<p>Try to rewrite the paragraph on your classes with the Deacon. It's okay, but this is an important paragraph. Try again to have economy with your words and to allow each sentence to build upon the next and not jumble around.</p>

<p>After that, you just lose me. I have not yet read The Lovely Bones, but it is about a murdered girl that watches her family, right? I cannot at all see any connection here and what this would have to do with resolving your attitude. </p>

<p>The end is weak.</p>

<p>I think the strongest points here show your intellectual and spiritual struggle, and the less emphasized theme of self determination.</p>

<p>Religious essays can be tricky - but the risk fact and sincerity says something about you. Aparent5 provides a good critique</p>