Wednesday, March 04, 2015

A crisis of faith, or maybe just a crisis of idiocy

Every once in awhile shitty things happen (well, shitty things are done by shitty people, they don't just happen...okay sometimes they just happen but yesterday was not an "accident with no culpability" day but a "people can be boneheads" kind of day) and it affects my faith life. I have to remind myself to not get God all wrapped up in what fallible, imperfect people here on earth do or say. When The Church infuriates me, I have to remind myself that The Church isn't God. As much as it likes to pretend it is.

But my interior faith life is so wrapped up in The Church that sometimes it's difficult to remember this. I go to Mass at my church and at my place of employment. I look to my pastor for guidance, and also to the monks at the office (the monks also give me a paycheck, which is like a fringe benefit most of the time given how much they've given me in the way of things less temporal). I find solace in these physical places of sanctuary and worship.

So when men in positions of authority say things that are infuriating, my first instinct (besides filling with rage and crying in frustration) is to say, "Okay, God. F*ck it. I'm outta here." Which is wrong because God didn't do anything wrong, did She?

Yesterday I had one holy man tell me that women really are causing the vocations crisis in the church (because women are insisting on involving themselves in the liturgy and are treating men like they think men treat men and so men don't feel welcome in the Church anymore...which is so convoluted and narrow and based on maybe one experience that I can't believe a brush is made that broad with which to paint half the damn population) and another holy man tell me that three caring, faithful women coming to discuss a thorny issue made him feel "ganged up on," because we with our colorful scarves and our overstuffed handbags and our concern about our children's futures were so damn threatening.

I call bullshit on both of those statements.

Last night I was ready to walk away. It was not a good day for Amy and Catholicism. I cried to M, "I chose this church, and now my church is abandoning me."

Today I am calmer about this. Thinking about all the truly wonderful people in the Church who don't spew judgment and hate and misinformation helps. Talking with my Catholic friends who are equally appalled by my experiences helps. And remembering that God can't help what Her inperfect, weak creations do and say helps. It's times like these that I need to rely on God, not run away. It's hard to do because of the influence The Church wields in so many aspects of our family's faith, but it's possible. In fact, it's times like these that make it necessary.

I've been told that when people upset me it helps to pray for them. I think what that means is to pray for their health and well-being and such, not "Dear God, please make those people stop being idiots." Sometimes I have to pray the latter just to get through to former, though. So that's my prayer today. "Please, dear God, please make those people stop being idiots. It would make the rest our lives so much easier." Tomorrow I'll pray for their health and well-being.


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