Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Am Thankful for the Failed Black Mass Reenactment

Yeah, I know, it sounds strange.  When I heard about the plans of the Satanic Temple to have a Black Mass (first with a consecrated host, then without), I was appalled.  I was extremely unsettled and upset that someone would even pretend to desecrate my Lord for some sort of publicity stunt.  Hearing that the group intending on doing this didn't even believe in God and Satan made it all the more heart-breaking.  I was hurt and furious and disgusted that someone would even for a moment think that this was okay.  I nearly cried.

And I am so, so, so thankful for all that pain.

Confused?  I guess I need to give some background.

I've had a rough year.  Both my grandparents passed away, and I am reeling from it.  I have good days and bad days.  Slowly the good days are starting to outnumber the bad ones.  I am no longer getting pangs of heartbreak when I remember that my grandfather is gone.  Still, though, mourning is difficult, especially with three small children to care for.

Being a mom is also tiring.  I love it, but sometimes I feel like my brain is being wasted by never getting time to write or teach people who don't need assistance with their bodily functions.  Then I remember working outside the home and how I had even less time and emotional ability to create and function outside of my job.  I remind myself to accept that I will never feel like I am fulfilled or living to my fullest potential in this life.  I can't say that I'm always okay with this knowledge.  I honestly usually only am directly after receiving the Eucharist.

Ever since adolescence, I've been a bit of a rebel.  I need to do my own thing.  I hate it when other people copy me.  I value my individuality in a way that borders on unhealthy.  I need to feel that I am expressing myself through clothes, art, and hobbies.  I need to create (more than just children, although, that is fun, too).  As a young adult, I was into alternative fashion.  In the years since then, I've slowly just started wearing hand-me-downs and trying to force myself to not feel like I needed the self-expression.  Truth be told, though, I'm not very good at rules or fitting in.  As much as I love to have others love me, if I change myself to get them to love me, I die a little inside.  I've been trying to just be a sensible, thrifty mother who doesn't care about all those things I used to.

Which leads me to two weeks ago when I had a bit of a mental snap.  Essentially, I've been tired, mourning, and feeling weighed down by too many forces.  I haven't felt enough of my own self.  I've been trying to figure out what in the world to do with my art.  Now I know that it will be hard to discern if I suppress every part of myself.  Anyway, I felt very constricted, and after a discussion on modesty, which felt like more RULES weighing on me, I felt like I could not continue being Catholic.  I just needed room to breathe, and in the sleep-deprived insanity of the moment, it felt just getting rid of some of the rules might finally give me some peace.  I had years of feeling like I'd lost part of myself to the monotony of life just explode in a single afternoon.  Since "Catholic" is the only role I can shed right now, I looked atheism square in the face and gave it a consideration. 

I have many days where I feel like Catholicism is just too wonderful to be true.  How could there be a God that loves someone like me unconditionally?  How could someone want to spend an eternity with me?  Why would someone create me as I am (stubborn, head-strong, impatient, selfish) just to spend eternity with me?  How could someone like me possibly deserve that?

So I cried and felt like I had to just let it go.  I needed to not pretend like I believed something that great could happen.

My husband, after a very long couple days of talking, managed to convince me that we should just take life one day at a time and not abandon our faith, no matter how tired we are.

Then came the news about the Black Mass reenactment at Harvard, and the pain went right through my heart.

How could I, who only finds peace in the Eucharist, who believes fully in the Real Presence, ever not be Catholic, or somehow be an atheist?

And further, I realized...

What atheist would die to keep someone from desecrating the Eucharist?  How insane am I really?  How did I even think for one moment that I don't believe that this is true?

I must be onto what I'm meant to do with my gifts with all these spiritual attacks.  Please pray for me.  Many days it gets very difficult.

In an effort to keep myself from taking out the feeling of being confined on Catholicism, I've started to make small changes in my life.  I'm only wearing clothes that I love.  My cowboy boots from Mother's Day that I put in my last post?  I'm wearing them all the time because they are what I like.  I started carrying my purses instead of a diaper bag (for the first time in over 4.5 years).  I've been making the effort to do my hair every day.  I know it sounds superficial, but I need to remember who I am.  I am almost 30, I can't lose sight of myself in the chaos that is having 3 children.  I also don't know how to be centered enough as an artist to figure out how to serve God with my art if I don't have a solid grasp of who I am and a feeling of a strong identity.  How can I create something with a strong identity if I don't have one myself?  This is, of course, creating even less time for this blog.  I hope you don't mind if I only post once or twice per month with things that I really feel are necessary to say.

So there you have it.  That failed attempt at a Black Mass Reenactment came at a time that felt almost like it was just for me.  I haven't felt so close to God and such a burning in my heart for Him outside of Mass in years.

I think I'm onto something.  I just need time to do it and a bit more direction.

I promise I'll start writing again more someday.  I don't really know how other bloggers with children do it.  I have to say, though, they have my respect for it.

I hope my honesty has touched you in some way.  I suspect I'm not the only one who feels like this.  I hope that, if you ever find yourself feeling like this, then you just remember to meditate on the Eucharist and the wonderful gift He gave us.

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