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I wouldn’t necessarily call myself religious, but I am spiritual. What I mean by that is that it’s important to feed our spirits, to keep them healthy, it is after all, the essence of our being.

When I say I’m not religious, what I mean is that I don’t go to church much, but I do have a bible and believer in prayer.

I find that when I’m struggling with something, I commit it to prayer and I believe God responds or answers prayers through speaking to our spirits and/or through actions around us. Now that I’m going through all these changes and just trying to really take my life forward, I really need to have my spirit, or God speak to me and guide me in the decisions that I make.

While in Kenya, I met a friend of my mentee who told me about a time in his life when he felt he was stuck, in life, in his career. He committed it to prayer and fasting. A week later he knew he had to quit his job and started his own company. A year later he is happier than he’s ever been. He works longer and harder than he ever has, but he is happy. And he puts it down to the week he spent fasting and prayer to seek clarity and guidance.

That’s what I’m now looking for clarity, guidance and comforting my soul/spirit. Sometimes, people look on the outside and think you have it all figured out. But when the act starts cloudy reality, that’s when you know you need to look inwards and above for spiritual clarity and cleansing. Because the act gets tired and weighs you down.

With so many changes going on in my life, it’s important that I am in the right place mentally, physically and spiritually. With that in mind I’ve decided to commit to fasting and prayer. But I’m going to do something different for me, I’m not going to go extreme and over the top. I’ve never done this before, so rather than doing a week long fast, I’m going to do two and gradually build up to a week.

It will test me as well, especially because of my love of food. But who said everything in life was easy? Wish me luck. Maybe I’ll throw in some yoga too… though that might really be asking too much of me.

My headline is a bit misleading. I don’t mean to suggest that the Pope and the Catholic church are right in their lack of support for people using condoms, but then again, can we blame them?

The Catholic church, like all religions, is founded upon a core set of values and principles. Some of those principles and values are deeply entrenched in Bibilical beliefs: no sex before marriage, natural family planning (or by God’s wish) etc. In essence the condom goes against this.

If something – man made no less (though if God gives man the ability to make these things, surely that’s proof that it’s not a bad thing?) – brings into question all those values, don’t you have a flawed product? So the Catholic church find itself in a weird predicament.

Millions of people are dying as a result of AIDS, that is true. But millions more are seemingly healthy but have lost their way and their faith or any form of relationship with God. The Church is in the business of selling hope, salvation and all that good stuff. If they openly support condoms, even as a method of prevention then they have to admit that their core competence, isn’t a competence at all.

And if one value is questioned or slightly flexible, then what else is? What other ‘sin’ is debatable? I mean think about the reputation of the brand that is the Catholic church?

The brand will have to be repositioned, or maybe even find new markets to enter – they could try China?

Seriously though, to be fair to the Catholic church, they are also one of the few organisations that focus on palliative care of people living with HIV, especially across Africa where so many people living with HIV often aren’t cared for by family and friends. This is in no way to excuse the Pope or the Catholic church, but is testament of their brand values.

The Pope and the Church may have a problem with condoms, and it’s their prerogative – whether we like it or not – but it is extremely irresponsible of them to continously promote negative messages about condoms. That isn’t their line of business nor is it the business they want to go into, and since they aren’t a for-profit organisation, there is no harm in them keeping quiet about it. We all have opinions, but when those opinions harm people, it’s best to keep them to yourself.

I’m actually surprised no one has taken a class action suit against the Pope and the Catholic church as a whole, isn’t it cause enough for mass murder? Because unfortunately, whether we like it or not, people actually listen to what their religious leaders say. (Though the Pope looks kinda scary, why would people listen to him?)

But that being said, I still believe that faith and religion can be such a great healer that if they were to admit that some of what they’re selling isn’t well, authentic, it puts everything the peddle into question, so they still have to look at their numbers and see which will cause more damage I suppose.

And seeing that so many people in Africa are religious, they still turn to the Church for comfort and support when they are diagnosed. The Pope and the Church can survive this, unfortunately.

Of course that’s just my thoughts – as disconnected as they seem. But what do you think? Apart from the obvious, the church and pope are terrible and killing people comments. Just saying…