As a Convent of the Sacred Heart alum, I felt most qualified out of the lovely (and attractive) Cipher editorial staff to address you all for the Faith Issue. I won’t go too much into my eight years at Sacred Heart, but let’s just say that it was just like you would imagine an all-girls Catholic school in Connecticut to be. I graduated with an incredible education, lifelong friends and slight PTSD.
Paul the Apostle taught that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith can be secular. For me, it definitely is. As I’m sure every CC student who reads David Foster Wallace (aka every CC Student) recalls, DFW comments that faith and belief are impossible to avoid:
"In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive."
It is a statistical fact that people in the United States are getting less religious. Actually, it is a statistical fact that globally people are checking the “none” box. 22.8 percent of people claim to be “unaffiliated” with an organized religion. Maybe it’s disenchantment with the Catholic Church (p. 36), or the era of the iPhone. There are no statistics, however, showing the same decline in those who have faith, because it is an immeasurable, interminable thing. It requires a confidence in something you cannot prove. Like waking up and knowing, before looking, that Pikes Peak is probably still there. It doesn’t take a psychic (p. 8) to know that there are consistencies in our daily lives—things (and hopefully people, too) that we can rely on.
Sacred Grounds and Shove Chapel represent faith on CC’s campus in the nonsecular sense of the word (p. 44), but even these spaces are dynamic and friendly to the spiritual apatheists (p. 22) and open-mic performers alike. Colorado Springs has a lot going on, between the Army and Air Force bases, the International Olympic Committee, and a robust population of evangelical Christians (p. 10). And then there’s us—overwhelmingly liberal and representative of the truth behind the numbers showing that organized religion has taken a bit of a beating in the last three decades. But I like to think that we all have found, as DFW puts it, different ways to worship. And just because we aren’t in Church every Sunday or temple every Friday or offering five daily prayers, it doesn’t mean we don’t have an inner conviction, a mindful confidence, in something, or someone.
God bless, Shalom, all that jazz,
Maddie Pillari and the Cipher Editors