Friday, April 18, 2014

What Happened to Lent?

 Lent came late this year. I thought I'd have time to prepare for Easter, rediscover things about myself, my faith and solve the bigger mysteries of life. Ok, perhaps not the latter but as the Triduum started tonight, I find myself still on the outside looking in.

I don't know when I started pulling away from my parish and ultimately my faith. It helped me get through my illness at least for a while. I think it started to slip away when my dad got sick and there was nothing we could do. I could plea, beg and pray all I wanted but God didn't heal my dad. It was his time. In my rational brain, I know this; I understand this. But I was finally mad. I didn't get mad at God when I got sick. It was a little gift reminding me that life is precious and I have to take care of mine. Well, losing my dad, I've kind of lost sight of myself and I've become angry. I don't know if was when the new priest took over my parish and he wasn't personable, friendly enough, engaging enough. I don't know if it was when our RE director got sick and I lost interest in being a part of the RE program.

Maybe it was when I needed a priest to come to give my dad last rites and our parish pastor never returned the call. I was grateful that our old priest came and was happy he wanted to do the Mass of Christian Burial for my dad, at a time when he was busy and had moved on to another parish.

I felt out in the cold that my parish home wasn't the same and there when I needed it.

Maybe it was all of that. Maybe I didn't really have it. Maybe it was just so shaky that I lost it. Or maybe it's buried so deep down inside that I'm struggling to find it.

Altar of Repose Sacred Heart ABQ. 600 4th Street... Parish Hall behind Church.
Image lifted from The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis de Assisi FB page here. : 
I do know in year's past that I love the Holy Triduum. I saw a picture of an Altar of Repose
after Mass tonight at another church and felt like I was missing out on something. These three days really have taught me a lot about my faith in the past. We didn't make it to Mass this week as my husband has been sick, but I keep telling him I that I'm going to take him to church one of these years for Holy Week. I know he'd love it. He has a stronger faith than I do most days.

So, I'm feeling a little lost and a little let down and so very tired and overwhelmed right now. It's time to start moving forward and letting go of the fears. I've never quite understood the idea of giving them up to God and letting Him help me with the burden. Maybe as I start taking baby steps forward, I'll start feeling Him lift some of the load.

In other news, one of those evangelical man-made churches sent me a flyer today in the mail offering a seminar about the Rapture. It stated the signs are here, that the world is ending, come see what's happening, and how to get saved. Oh, how I do enjoy a good discussion with Bible Literalists. Ok, I really don't. There are many people are looking for God everywhere and maybe it doesn't matter where they find Him, but I'll stick with my Church. It just feels like home. Maybe it will be a different parish but that's the one thing I like about Catholicism, is that Catholic with a little c means universal. And there is always a place there for me.

Clay Feet

It's been years since I've blogged regularly. I guess I've either lost my faith, maybe I've lost interest in blogging or have let my own dark night of the soul keep me away. I also have had two-and-a-half hellish years, with the last six months or so kicking my spirit down even more. I've let a lot of fears and probably a lot of foolishness on my part keep me from making some decisions-- health-- money and personal ones.

My heart and gut tell me that I'm going to be ok-- that my General Anxiety Disorder-- is just making me worry, fret and fear more than I should, but my mind tells me the opposite and I think it's making it all worse. I haven't gotten over the breast cancer and I can't think rationally about it nor distance myself. The prognosis was good but I'm terrified it will come back, I'm terrified to face getting a mammo or any other test. I'm just reeling with all kinds of fears. Every little ache, pinch, twist or pain leads me to thinking the worst, but it's all normal. I have checked my breasts just about every day; nothing feels any different, yet I don't even know what is normal anymore. It all looks the same, it feels the same, but I can't get the worries out of my head. I'm living in Limbo, not Hell. Somehow I need to take a step forward, have a follow up and move on-- no matter what may come.

Today would have been my dad's 86th birthday. I still miss him, grieve for him and feel his loss every day. I probably always will. I kind of hope and pray he's actually up there watching over me and taking care of me. I also worry that he is disappointed me in because all the things he feared have happened. I'm managing the finances so poorly. Of course, when the money we counted on regularly isn't coming in anymore, it's hard to stay on top of things. I try to do my best but I still can't handle it all without feeling like a failure.

I also wonder if there really is anything beyond this life.

I try to have faith in God. I try to dig deep into my Catholic faith to guide me to a better understanding of the mysteries that is God, His Son and Holy Spirit. I talk to Him, I talk to the Saints, Our Lady quite often. I talk to my dad, my mother-in-law, though she never met me. I had one moment where I felt her presence. Somehow I think she knew I needed David to come to me-- because without even calling to him--- he came up and held me.

I want to believe that something is there and I want to believe that I will still have that long life I dreamt about having with David. I pray for a child, at this point it will be a miracle. I also pray for peace, acceptance and offer thanks for the blessings in my life.

Still, I continue to struggle and wonder if I truly am a good person. I feel lost, scared and overwhelmed.
I, do know, I am not alone.