Friday, May 28, 2010

Glory Be

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc,
et semper in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


God is not a theory to be proven or a proposition to be demonstrated. God is a reality to be experienced. That is what I believe. If you don't, that's all right. Perhaps someday you might, perhaps you never will. It's not up to me. If I am right, it's not even up to you. That is the way of it.

Perhaps sometimes I sound as if I have things all figured out. As if I have found peace. As if I live a holy life. In a way that might be true, but mostly, no. I'm no saint. Just ask my wife. She'll tell you.

Perhaps it may sound as if I have found the Church nothing but a source of joy and inspiration. As if I never struggle with her doctrines. As if I think her history is unblemished. As if I am unaware of the serious problems we face, or worse, have not yet begun to face. No, I am all too aware of these things. Sometimes it is almost physically painful to consider them.

I am a cradle Catholic, born and raised, but there was still a journey. I spent my time in the desert. I questioned everything. I wondered if it could be real. Though I never formally left the Church, I went looking: through Hare Krsna and sankirtana, through LSD and Castaneda, I sat with the Buddhists and read the Zenrin, I prayed with the Jews and read the Talmud. I learned a lot, but I didn't find what I was looking for.

I couldn't find it because I already had it.

One day, as I sat alone in my kitchen, I looked at my clock: 3:30. A small, still voice suggested I still had time to make it to Mass. I got in my car and drove to my childhood parish. To the place where generations of my family had worshipped. To the place where it all began for me. I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, in a pew I had shared with my grandfather long before, where perhaps even he had once prayed with his own grandfather. I opened the missal. It was the Feast of Christ the King.

And I knew in my heart I had come home.

It is not an obvious choice for me. In a way, I don't think it is a choice at all: it is a vocation. It is what I have been called to. Though I don't fit in neatly, it is where I belong.

Of course, the journey does not end. At least, it hasn't for me. No, I'm still wandering, but I know my way home now. That is enough.

Respectfully Yours,



lime said...

this is one of the reasons i respect you for the things you share. i could tell that at some point in your life you deliberately heeded the pulling on your spirit ('i'll put it that way since i think saying "you chose" this path might not quite be how you'd put it). either way, you considered your faith, held it up, and examined it for all its implications be they easy or difficult.

perhaps it sounds odd but having early roots in unitarianism (although i have never identified myself as such) did instill in me a sense of importance in the journey and taking responsibility for it.

Hilary said...

Seems to me that you couldn't ask for much more than that. Home.. however we each know it.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I especially liked "Perhaps it may sound as if I have found the Church nothing but a source of joy and inspiration. As if I never struggle with her doctrines". It's all about faith and that's what gets us through those imperfect moments, and you nailed that with this one little passage. Refreshing, honest post, thank you.

Land of shimp said...

Cricket, I'm interested that you would call the Catholic church "she" as we've discussed the Patriarchal structure in the past. You know I have tremendous respect for your faith, but that isn't the same as saying I tremendous respect for the structure of your religion.

That said, if things are to ever improve -- if female clergy is to be allowed -- then there must be voices of change within the organization.

You once told me that you felt the Catholic church needed you, and I agree.

I know a lot of Catholics, including some family members. It's been a very challenging time of late. The situation with the current Pope and his role in helping to conceal sexual molestation committed by a Catholic priest is very troubling.

Thankfully, at the root of the Catholic church is a belief in a high power and it does not rely solely on the actions of priests, or the hierarchy of the church. Still, I think the world is looking to the Catholic church to see how this most recent revelation about Pope Benedict will be handled.

I'm not a Catholic but I am very glad that the Catholics I know have their faith to sustain through these challenging times.

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a gorgeous photo to go with your lovely post. Thank you.

And thanks you for your kind comment on my late friend, Mrs. Smith. It was greatly appreciated. You're right, love never fails.

Happy weekend,