Faith infusion

If not for this time of year, I have no clue when Easter Catholics like me would ever get to church. 😉

I went to awesome services last night to support a dear person, and my joke is that by going to church, I’m saved for at least another year. *whew*

I was kind of scared when the lights were turned off and the exits were blocked before the service began. Heh — did they know I was poised to bolt? Actually, it wasn’t so much the fear of the church collapsing because I’d dared enter it, but rather that I was in the second row — holy crap (whoops!), I’ve never sat in anything but the back row like a bad kid! LOL — there was a point to it, and besides, it gave me a chance to admire the stained glass that was illuminated during our sunset services.

Masses of white calla lilies surrounded the altar. Absolutely gorgeous — I love calla lilies. Unfortunately, as my throat closed up almost immediately, the beauty turned into a Benadryl moment. My eyes watered throughout the service — I think others thought I was simply moved. Which I was, but I wanted to move to a drugstore and get some allergy medication but, alas, the exits were as blocked as my windpipe!

At least it wasn’t an allegic reaction to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 😉

I admit I’m not overly knowledgeable in all things spiritual. I opened the hymnal and was sort of subconsciously looking for spells. Not that I’ve cast more than one spell in my life, but my spirituality is more rooted in the earth. Then again, in recent years, I’ve started speaking to the Big Guy again. Because for all that’s happened to turn me against organized religion, there’s also that realization that something bigger than me is in the driver’s seat.

I can go through my odysseys with wrestling with faith, going back for generations — generations that left it up to me whether and when I wanted to “come to Jesus,” so to speak. I appreciated that — I was disappointed in how the Catholic church asked my great-grandmother (a divorced working mother with small children) to leave the church after she refused to promise she wouldn’t remarry. (She never did remarry; how can you love a church that will only keep you if you give up the hope of finding a life partner after you’ve left an abusive one?)

Then when my grandparents got married (Catholic and Methodist, respectively), and the church still wasn’t forgiving enough, can anyone blame the family for falling away?

Honestly, the women in my family all have a natural disposition for and gravitation toward earth-based religion and its rituals. Well, the psychic gift is there for all of us (when I saw my newest apartment, I knew I’d been there before in my mind. That’s why I took it on the spot and gave up the old one), but I’m really the one who, in recent years, has looked for Mother Earth to provide as well.

And while others are scared by the thought of it, I am happy to burn some sage to cleanse my psyche and burn green candles for friends who are job-hunting and maybe just maybe burn a red candle for myself to bring me some companionship. Nobody’s getting hurt by it — I like to think of it as stirring the inner Goddess to work some mind-over-matter magic.

My grandmother insisted that my mom and I be baptized, though. In my case, I’m told she did it herself. (Her Aunt Annie was a nun — I have no doubt it was done right.) But beyond baptism, that was perhaps the last religious thing any of us did in this clan.

Well, actually, I take that back — my grandmother suggested that I should marry a Jewish man. Honestly? I didn’t hate the idea of finding someone with faith enough for both of us. So I dated a bunch (because I liked them, of course, not to please the family) and I found that, overall, they’re happy to date a nice gentile girl but they aren’t going to marry her. And in my experience, their faith in their mommies was bigger than their faith in me.

So, left back in my ongoing struggle with Christianity, I’ve gone to church off and on throughout the past few years — again, Easter Catholic. And I’ve sweated and been uncomfortable oftentimes — I remember sitting with someone I loved very much during Christmas Eve mass, and feeling very guilty and singled-out for reasons best left unexplained but not the least of which that I didn’t know if my family could accept us. And boy did I manage to ruin that relationship — I wouldn’t let myself love until it was way too late. But anyway. I decided I didn’t want to answer to anyone or anything anymore. And that’s how I lived for a long time.

Which was difficult when I worked at a company where management retreats were like a tent revival. Well, it was actually more like the “pastor” hurling fire and brimstone (i.e., personal assaults) and we were just praying to not burn to a crisp!

Things are different now. I’ve gravitated toward less- (or non-) denominational houses of worship and I am more than ready to leave behind the negativity and doubt I’ve always carried. And I think that by stepping outside the traditional Catholic faith and trying out Presbyterian and Episcopal and other churches, I’ve felt more at home and less, well, condemned.

When I hit rock bottom a couple of years back, that’s when I found the faith again. It was all I had, really. I wasn’t sure if it were still there or if I even had the right to ask for the miracles I needed, but I get why prisoners on Death Row find Jesus. I understand completely the necessity to have a little something to hold on to — that when you’re feeling completely powerless, there’s possibly something that can ease the burdens you find yourself shouldering. And I wondered if, all along, some greater force knew that it would take something major to get my attention. Because that’s what it did take, and it worked.

Even my grandmother, the fallen-away Catholic who joked that she worshiped money over any deity, was thinking about revisiting the faith before her mysterious and sudden death. And maybe it was sudden to us, but maybe she knew something we didn’t. She stopped wanting to be cremated and she wanted to be buried with her rosary. So we buried her and yes, she had the rosary. We also gave her the remote control to the TV, as well, you couldn’t get it away from her anyway, so why stop now? 😉

Anyway, I’m glad that, whenever any of us have wanted to let go of our grudges and find something to believe in again, there’s always a place that welcomes us back with an open offering plate open arms. Now, I’m not going to promise that I’m going to get to chuch more regularly, but I’m at a point in my life where I can use a faith infusion a little more often. I’m not promising that I’ll agree with or even understand everything I hear, but I’m committed to giving it a try.

2 Responses to Faith infusion

  1. Pisco Sours :

    Thank you for being there for me as I started my own journey. You’ve always been my guide in matters emotional and spiritual, as I’m sure you know, and reading you has taught me many sorely needed lessons in the power of love.

    You have moved me more than you can possibly know.

  2. ePiscoSours :


    What an interesting day. Incidentally, a few hours before the Vigil, I got a vile, hateful comment on another blog of mine from someone the Southern Poverty Law Center has been keeping tabs on, which ended, “You need to repent and follow the holy…