Friday, February 27, 2009
One of the casualties of my decision to enter into religious life has been the loss of a few very dear friends. I know, you say "if they were so dear, they'd still be your friends", and you may be right, but it still saddens me. You see, I feel that the end began way back with my decision to return to the Catholic faith. It was then that things between us began to become awkward. They couldn't understand my new interests: going to mass every Sunday, joining in church activities, and becoming more vocal about my faith. Why not just sleep in on Sundays? They hoped it was just a phase, something I'd get over with sooner or later. Only I didn't.
Going to church isn't cool in many peoples eyes, and being Catholic requires one (and here's a common misconception) to adopt unpleasant and politically incorrect views on hot button issues such as abortion, homosexuality and promiscuity. I fell from grace when I could no longer be counted on to be silent about these things. Not that I was spouting hate speech or fire and brimstone at all, but the very thought that I could I think secretly terrified them. It seems that stereotypes are like potholes, hard to climb out of. Most people are quite comfortable to wallow in them. It has only gotten worse in this regard since I've entered, and began dealing with the fallacies of what being a religious really is.
When I turned my direction towards Christ, I was making the decision that I would place Him before all things. It is not a decision that I expected everyone to understand. It's just that I thought a few might try.
This choice I've made is not easy to explain, for how do you explain to people so invested in the world and its delusions that you're willing to leave everything behind; all the things, the career, all of it; for the opportunity to belong completely to God? It's as if I'm speaking in another language. Which of course I am. I am speaking in the language of faith. Unfortunately, some of my friends no longer speak it.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I don't know why, but I always look forward to this time of year. Perhaps it's because I still remember that pride I felt, when I was a little girl, bearing the mark of Christ on my forehead for all to see. It could also be that it is because it's such a powerful symbol; one both visual and tactile. But most likely it is due to the fact that it is the herald to our most richly symbolic and beautiful seasons: the 40 days of Lent.
Lent has always appealed to me, probably because I'm such an introvert and any season that focuses on introspection and inner development I will find naturally attractive. This year I've felt the spirit moving me to a much deeper internal expression of my commitment to prayer and spiritual growth. I've added a day of fasting combined with adoration to aid me in this. And who knows, maybe, God willing, I'll be able to permanently keep this up! All I know is the deep, strong current of the season of Lent is once again inspiring me to take another step further into the desert of my limitations, and to rediscover the thirst; the thirst that can only be quenched by the purifying, Living Water of our Lord.