Monday, March 25, 2013

A New Age of The Sacred Spirit

Although I am loved by many, I have scared away many of my Catholic friends who honestly believe that I am damned to hell because I can't subscribe to their belief system. I saddens me that they can believe that I am damned when I so enjoy The Sacred Spirit that I see in each of them. I know the doctrine of the church, as I lived it in the marrow of my bones for most of my life.

It is true that the gifts of these friendships came through the years of Catholic school that I was awarded on scholarship. For these gifts, I am grateful. My departure from the church was based on wrongs done by the church to me, my family, and my friends. For years, I silently lived with the shame of the abuses, as my own mother regularly informed all who would listen that I was a  "not a Christian" and am a "pervert."

I have been scorned as a "heathen" and a "whore" by my own sisters and brothers. I have listened to my Catholic friends spouting "insights" that they have picked up from religious radio programs regarding the people in typhoon torn countries somehow deserving of the "wrath of God" for their lack of Christian beliefs. How could a group of people who feel their own lives to be righteous, having lived the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, be so blinded by their religion-centered prejudices?

I have heard, from the mouths of the people who have committed these acts, that they have sprinkled "holy water" on the mentally ill and on Jews to "drive out the demons." I have sat at a wedding mass and heard the priest turn people away from the "table" of "the Eucharist" who were there as supporters of the newly formed couple, simply because these people did not subscribe to the church's creed. I have heard sneering remarks from these mouths regarding the possibility of a "universal religion" as if that would be a bad thing. I have taken it upon myself to remind these friends that "Catholic" means "universal."

I have been asked to serve as the honored godmother of several children in whose lives I'm considered family, and have been banned from this honor because I had once been baptized in the church. It matters not the way we live our lives; it matters to what creed we subscribe.

I have been told that I am bitter and unforgiving, and been encouraged to approach the communion rail with my Catholic friends; this I cannot do until all my friends of every faith, color, and creed would be equally welcome. It is not about forgiveness; it is about the agony of becoming homeless because I walked away and finally revealed the sins being perpetrated and protected in my own former home.

Many of these devout Catholics sneer at "new age" religion. I pray every day that we are entering a new age of The Sacred Spirit when we are humble enough to see our own sins and confess them to one another as we sit down to our sacred feasts; when we welcome all people of responsible compassion to our community tables; when lives of loving service are more honored than the creed that one has memorized as a child; when a woman's words are as honored as those of any man, be he pope, priest, or pauper.

I have not been asked, by the perpetrators, for my forgiveness, and many of their acts that I abhor aren't in my purview to forgive. Am I to be a Judas who kisses the pope's ring while knowing that I am praying for the dissolution of the Roman Catholic church in favor of a truly Catholic community over all the earth?

Perhaps we could start with the baptism of clean water for all the earth's people, communion of enough food for all the earth's families, and a treaty to stop sacrificing sons and daughters to the god that demands blood sacrifice.

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