Updated: Apr 19, 2022
The Questioning Seeker: a middle aged woman fighting for justice, one sacrament at a time. This post may upset some Catholics…and I’m here for it.
As I have gotten older, I realize that my faith is the one thing that has kept me from completely losing my shiz. The smell of incense, uncomfortable pews, and stained glass windows will remain forever Home: certainty in an uncertain world. I don’t have to know the stations of the cross by heart, all I need to remember is to rest in what is: I am loved, no matter what.
I also refuse to follow blindly. In fact, one of our friends, who happens to be one of our favorite Priests, lovingly calls me "The Interrogator".
I’ll never forget the time I almost walked straight out of church during mass on Good Friday a few years ago. A newer Priest to our parish, (who shall remain nameless), found his golden opportunity to speak about the “sin of abortion”.
At first, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Innately, I found myself with an immediate urge to shield all women in the congregation from this inappropriate commentary, especially my daughters. Imagine a firefighter using a fire resistant blanket for protection in the event of entrapment. Yeah, like that. I was mentally throwing one of those silver blankets over every single person with a pair of ovaries.
One thing which I know to be true is this: no one wants to have an abortion. The act, itself, goes against every fiber in your being. Also every single human walking on the planet has a story of a time in their lives when they were lost…every single one. Shame and guilt never heal those wounds.
But Grace does.
I walked out of church, seething for the entire car ride home and for the next 48 hours. After letting the venom expel itself, (this is code for lots of passionate expression on my part, while Tom was being a very patient listener), I calmed down enough to compose an email to the priest.
I began with the traits that our family appreciated about him in the way that he ministered to the parish. Next, I gently brought into the conversation that I had terminated a pregnancy 30 years prior. My guess was that I wasn’t the only one at mass that day who had. And although I was certain his intentions were pure, I found this topic extremely upsetting in a space where I came to get filled up by the Spirit (who loves me unconditionally NO MATTER WHAT) not shamed for a less than desirable chapter in my formative years. Further, I expressed that if he ever wanted to discuss this topic in person, I welcomed the opportunity anytime. He never reached out for that talk.
This is what I have learned on my faith walk thus far: no matter where I go to worship, pray, or commune with others, there will always be something that goes down I don’t agree with. That is to be expected.
And so I must intentionally bring myself back to the Creator, back to Love, back to The Great One. Intentionally, I will commit to continue to learn from mentors that resonate with my soul jam, like: John O’Donohue, Richard Rohr, Jack Kornfield, Father Mike Mariani, Father John Poncini, Father Rusty Shaunessey, Karla Obernesser, Father Brendan McGuire, Sister Carol, John Roedel, Tara Brach, and Alynn Brutsman. Because no matter what happens, I will choose LOVE. Every single time.
I want to encourage all of us to keep speaking our truth especially when it’s not mainstream. Please promise me you will continue to ask questions and stay curious. Maybe sometime I'll tell you the story about the one time I approached a table full of young seminarians in New Orleans at dinner, thanking them for their work, while adding I was fighting for them to be able to get married as I walked out the door.
Let’s also promise one another we won’t let someone else dissuade us from our God Given Divinity. You have MAGIC sparkles coursing in your veins, and so do I and so does everyone, and isn’t that bonkers and amazing and crazy pants? That’s how much we are loved!
So let’s go out there and get it little soldiers. Love sprinkling won’t just happen by itself. I have some glitter you can borrow if you run out.
I love you,