Tag Archives: Catholic Church

And now for something you’ll probs just all mock me for

Sister Simone Campbell being an awesome badass lady at the at the DNC. Lady Pope 2013!

Sister Simone Campbell being an awesome badass lady at the at the DNC. Lady Pope 2013!

There’s a lot for a moderate, mostly lapsed Catholic woman like me to comment on this week.

Pope resigning. (Hooray! I never saw him as the kind of spiritual leader who could help me answer the persistent questions and concerns I have about faith in general, and the church in particular. As far as I’m concerned, Sister Simone Campbell is my Pope.) Ash Wednesday. Lent.

While I don’t attend Mass regularly, I have developed kind of a weird habit of praying the Rosary while running. The repetition of both exercise hypnotizes me in a comforting way.

I live in “sin” with my boyfriend and I don’t think that’s wrong. I use birth control, and think more people should – and should get it for free. I believe, without judgement, that love is love and the heart wants what it wants – no matter what or who that leads a person to. (And no God that I know “hates” anyone.)

Yet, I still believe in the promise of the church and the teachings of acceptance and charity taught in the new testament. Because I believe in those things, this is one of my favorite times of year. It helps me understand what I find to be the most beautiful line of scripture:

A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John, 1:5 

Truth be told, I attend Mass every Christmas Eve just to hear Father Harry (possibly the world’s most wonderful priest) say it. There are so many dark days in life, and whether you believe in God, or Goddess, or science, or nothing at all, it’s nice to understand that darkness – in whatever form you confront it – may be defeated.

So, I like Lent because it’s an opportunity to build on that thought, to contemplate our mortality — our internal darkness — and to make a small sacrifice to try to be better, to not be overcome by it.

This year I’m giving up my biggest vice – dairy. So, back to the “vegan kickstart” only this time it’s 43 days, not 21. Wish me luck, and whether you believe in some of the same things as me, or now think I’m just a zombie-Jesus believing nut job – I wish YOU luck with whatever struggles you’re up against.

Enjoy them, fight through them, learn from them.

The struggle, just before finding a light, is the best part of being human.

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Happy Easter

I’m a very, very lapsed Catholic. It’s often only every other year I make it to Christmas Eve mass and nearly unheard of that I make it to Christmas, Good Friday and Easter in the same calendar year. I really love the idea of the church and, I do have faith, but I’m also a big questioner.

Like, I start thinking about venial vs. mortal sins and I start conjuring up all kinds of weird scenarios like George Carlin:

Once a week Father Russel would come in for Heavy Mystery Time. And you’d save all your weird questions for Father Russell. You’d take the whole week to think up trick questions. “Ey, Fadder: If God is all-powerful, can he make a rock so big he himself can’t lift it?” Or you’d take a simple sin and surround it with the most bizarre circumstances to relieve the guilt. Example: You had to perform your Easter Duty once between Ash Wednesday and Pentecost Sunday. So you’d ask: “Suppose you didn’t make your Easter Duty and it’s Pentecost Sunday. And you’re on a ship at sea. And the chaplain goes into a coma. But you wanted to receive. And then it’s Monday. And then you cross the international dateline….”

Yep, I’m that guy.

But lately, I’ve started listening to mass on the radio which is oddly calming. I even gave up something (alcohol) for lent this year. (I slipped up once and had two glasses of gin when I was in Phoenix a few weeks ago, but like I explained to Oliver, I’m pretty willing to make mistakes and then just ask forgiveness when it comes to venial sins like that… and I don’t think two drinks = “a grave matter.”)

So I actually went to Good Friday and Easter Sunday services this year. Not sure when I’ll go back again but, after attending two churches (The Grotto, which is pretty but full of stuffy people and St. Andrew’s which I knew I was going to love based entirely on the “gay and lesbian welcome” note on their home page.)

I’m not sure I’ve been shown the light, and I definitely haven’t stopped questioning things about The Church that make no sense to me. But, I have learned at least one important lesson:

You can tell a lot about a church by the way it’s congregation reacts to crying children during the homily. 

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