A couple of years ago, while on a tour of a city in southern Spain, we went into a cathedral. My dad was ill, and as it turned out, didn't have more than a a couple of years left to live. I'm a complete non-believer, but I like the old architecture. There's something weird about churches that hark back to a time where religious observance was unquestioned. So this was the last time I bought a candle and lit it, for my dad. I didn't have any pretence that it might in some way inspire any divine intervention, but my thought process was basically that if my dad were there, it would be perfectly natural for him to buy and light a candle for someone in his position, so if he would do it for someone else, would he not appreciate it that someone else did it for him? Of course, I didn't advertise the fact that I had done it, nor did I tell him I'd done it. It still felt right.
I don't know what to expect here, whether I'll get a lot of people agreeing with me or whether people will shoot me down for doing something that looks like a kind of religious observance that I don't agree with.
I hope the reaction will be one of understanding, acceptance and agreement.
I remain very anti-organised religion, though I'm not always as outspoken as I might be out of respect for my parents (and others in my family) whom I still greatly admire.
I believe my dad was a genuinely good man, and his faith was important to him. An extremely tolerant and caring man. We once threw him a surprise party, that he wouldn't have asked for but thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. By the same token, lighting a candle for him was kind of something he would have appreciated, even though it meant nothing to me in terms of me expecting any kind of divine intercession as a result, but I still have no qualms about doing it for my dad.
So, was I wrong to light a candle in a Catholic cathedral, or can you agree with my logic?