I grew up in a Catholic household. I was raised to memorize and do the rosary every night with my grandmother. Church attendance is a must. Most of my relatives work or volunteer in church. I even won in a bible quiz when I was in elementary. (My memorization skills were very good then so I was able to put enough info from the bible into my brain). I went to retreats, camps, healings etc. I went on volunteer works with others (the trip was the catch for me).
I was told I would burn in hell, I would suffer if I don't follow the rules. We recited prayers for the souls of our loved ones. I never got that but I did my part. (Maybe the prayers for the dead are more for the living so they won't have to live with the thought that their loved ones are somewhere in hell or in-between...) I was rebelling inside but I still followed. I was questioning things already but the answers were not there for me.
The last time I was in church was 1995. I don't know why I stopped going. I just did. It was after reading The God Delusion that I finally realized and accepted I never really believed. There was always that nagging feeling that things aren't what they seem.
THE END OF FAITH: by Sam Harris made more sense to me than the Bible did. Every other thing that religion offered I found an explanation in Science books and others. When I was talking about religion with a very devout Christian, he asked me why I left the church, why I lost my faith. I said because I never got the answer to my question. His reply was that maybe I just wasn't looking hard enough. I was and I did and I found the answers. In science.
"So what's your life's purpose? What about your soul?" was the question he left me with.
My answer? To live life fully because it's the only one I've got. I like to read this one from time to time...
Evolution of Religion
I've never been more comfortable and at peace with myself ever. Isn't that what it's supposed to be about?