I’ve been struggling with what I want to share. Particularly because the word “movement” is in the title of this page and I haven’t written anything about movement in a minute. The thought makes me want to shut my computer screen and do most anything else I can think of. The movement piece of my business is what pays the bills, but I just don’t want to talk about it right now.
So instead I want to talk about one of the things that I’ve been told for years you don’t talk about-Religion. More succinctly stated- I want to talk about where it currently resides in my present reality.
The reason I show up here time and time again is to find people that want to converse about the same things. I know this conversation is one I have had with friends, and I know there are others out there that feel similarly. It isn’t popular or trendy to chat about this unless we feel a CERTAIN way. I’ve never been one to just blindly follow, and religion is an interesting place because in many ways that is what’s expected.
I am Catholic. I was born and raised in a Catholic family. I am choosing to have my children take the sacraments and be involved in the church. My husband is NOT Catholic. He told me years ago when we knew marriage was on the table that he would not be open to converting. We were married in the church I grew up in. When we decided to have children he stated that if it’s what I wanted, he would support raising our children Catholic but he wasn’t going to make the change himself. That has never bothered me (still doesn’t).
I love the ritual and routine of attending Mass. I could attend a Catholic service anywhere in the world, in any language, and be able to essentially follow along. I like what a friend of mine described as the “drama” of our churches. The artwork, the stained class, the stone, the gold, the crucifixes and the rosaries. It is familiar, and it is comforting. It is a constant even when there is so much that is insane in our current world.
To be transparent there are things about the Catholic church that I dislike, and regardless of how deep I choose to dive into my faith I imagine there are items on my list that are not going to waiver. These things are also why it has been hard for me to always show up in the way I would like to. For example-
I loathe that the first thing many people say to me when I say that I am Catholic is a dig about children being abused by priests. Yes, it happened, and yes it was despicable. To be clear, I will NEVER be ok with that, and how the entire situation was handled is unforgivable. The Mass and the Men are not the same thing.
I will proudly watch two of my closest friends get married this summer. Their marriage and commitment to one another is just as valid as the one I have with my husband. The fact that it is two women exchanging those vows does not make it less of a marriage. I have gay friends that have better relationships/ marriages then some of my heterosexual friends. Yes marriage is sacred and should be treated as such, it’s what you put into it that makes it that way.
A woman’s right to choose is exactly that- it is her choice. It is not a choice I have ever had to make, and while it’s easy for me to say I wouldn’t that doesn’t mean it’s the choice for everyone. I have friends that have chosen to terminate pregnancies for one reason or another. It hurts my heart, but it isn’t MY decision. It is not my job to judge or shame them but as their friend it is my job to support them. That decision is between them and God (or whatever higher power they believe). I don’t think the church OR the government has ANY business telling a woman what they can or cannot do with their bodies. It is a choice, and it’s not someone else’s place to dictate.
I’m sure there are more, but those are the biggest ones. Nuance is still allowed, even in places as rigid as what Religion can be. I am a work in progress, slow progress some days, but progress nonetheless.
I don’t go to mass every week. I haven’t been to confession in a couple years. There are prayers that are said every single mass that I stumble over still. I don’t recognize all holy days of obligation, and I don’t fast. It isn’t nearly as high on my priority list as I would like it to be, and often I won’t go because I don’t prefer the priest that is presiding over the mass that I’m able to attend.
It took my son taking his First Holy Communion and Confession last year to have any drive to return to the church and become more of an active participant. (As an aside, my son is my second child to go through. When my daughter was preparing it took everything I had to show up and go through the motions. Nothing to do with the child, everything to do with the way it was taught.)
So why now? Why am I feeling called to talk about this now? I think it is in part because Lent begins tomorrow. It is a sacred time in the church leading up to Easter. To be clear-Easter as in the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, not the bunny and the candy. I may miss Mass more often than I attend, but receiving my ashes and observing the 40 days is important to me.
I desire to better understand my faith and the church that I choose as my home. But like everything I have done in my life, I have to do it my own way and in my own time. Maybe that’s selfish, but I believe that God wants us to believe and follow. He knows that we will return to him when we are ready. He will welcome us as we are, and we will strive to do better and be better because we know that’s what he wants and ultimately what we want.
There is so much more I want to talk about, but I’m going to stop here for today. I needed to get this off my chest, and in doing so I now feel more able to write. Write more about this, and write about other things. Mission accomplished for today.
If anyone reads this far I’d love to know- do you observe Lent?
See you soon!
1 thought on “Writing what’s on my heart instead of what i should be putting out there.”
Pingback: things That I Loved In February (even After a Crummy Start) – Motherhood, Movement & Mountains