This morning on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition Michael Enright asked author Joyce Carol Oates if she turned to religion to help her through her grief following her husband’s sudden death.You can listen to the interview here.

She replied that she wasn’t a religious person, that she was a humanist saying, “I believe that we have a human agenda, but I do not believe in a supernatural intervention.”

Her reply made me wonder how prevalent is the association of being religious with, “belief in a supernatural intervention”?

I consider myself a religious person, not because I believe in a God who intervenes in the laws of nature, but because I choose to believe that life ultimately has purpose and meaning. My faith is my “YES!” to something greater, to a reality which we catch only glimpses of here and there, but that nevertheless grounds the material conditions of our existence to a profundity we can never measure.  I do not know if God exists, but for the time being, I side with the philosophers who believe it simply makes more sense to live life as if there is a God rather than not.

What about you, dear reader? What is your understanding of being a “religious person”? Do you have to believe in miracles to be a religious person, or is there a more basic premise?