|The Mystery within|
1) a confusing and difficult problem or question
2) the state of being involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing
Richard Rodriguez – The Fabric of Our Identity, was a Krista Tippett On-Being program. I identified with Rodriguez’s eloquent praise for his Roman Catholic upbringing as a foundational gift in his life, especially his participation in the Mystery of the mass. And yet it is this institution that denies him the right to openly love his long-time male partner. Rodriguez praised women, and their fight to win the right to vote, with his freedom to be who he is in society. That surprised me since I suspect gender inequities will be the last discriminations to disappear. But nevertheless I was pleased he credited my gender with such an important step forward. Rodriquez also expressed concern for immigrant families wanting to come to America because he sees the American family eroding, with its emphasis on wealth and individuality, over society and family. He said every thirty years we should all be sent back to where we came from to keep America healthy. He closed with a poignant vision of a drunken priest slurring the words of consecration at mass, “This is my body, broken for you,” and concluded it is all about growth through trials and forgiveness. And he asked, “Why don’t we talk about difficult things?”
It’s not easy to talk about difficult things or write about them. I related Rodriguez’s words to my struggle with abuse; my aging parent’s care needs, and my decision to leave the church of my birth at age 60. I felt compelled to tell my story but I didn’t want to focus on the abuse, only the help I encountered throughout the long struggle to free myself from it. I too valued the Catholic mass and attended frequently from a very early age. It continued to sustain and comfort me after losing both my husband and son to suicide. But once I saw my complicity in my family abuse, and its relatedness to the discriminatory teachings of my church, I then began the long and painful process of separating myself from it. In my memory’s eye I can still see my favorite priest raising the host high in the air and reverently proclaiming, “This is my body...” His words triggered in me a sudden hollowness and a voice within saying, “God is in all things and everyone.” So I went looking, and found God everywhere, as well as finding myself. Amazing things happen when looking for God in each day, especially when you are desperate. They arrive in the form of Synchronicities in landscapes, animals, weather, books, radio voices, and encounters with others, successes, failures and more. And when reflected upon, they all point the way. And I too was shown it is all about forgiveness.
What if you read my memoir, “God Never Hurries,” and had some difficult questions. Would I welcome them?