Choosing my religion….don’t flee

This may be a little off course for me, but I read an article in TIME magazine and wanted to share with you.

As many of you know, Steve and I began attending Church way back in 2003/4.  He and I had been far removed from any sort of religious services other than weddings and funerals…we “thought” we were living the Grand LIfe…We attended the funeral of a dear friend of ours and something happened.  I can’t explain to you in words what happened, but it happened to both of us.  I can’t tell you the date for certain, because I’ve never been one to remember dates.  I can, however, tell you that IT happened.  I remember going back to the car after the funeral, filled with emotion.  I told Steve, “Something just happened and I think we need to start going to church.”  He said he was feeling the same thing… the following Sunday, we began the tradition…the trek….

I remember going to church when I was little.  I remember Sunday School and Vacation Bible School….but somewhere along the line, the church wasn’t all that important…My good buddy, Satan,  had taken hold of my foot and was trying to pull me down…he did a good job of it for a long time.  We hung out a lot together.  He smiled at my failures and hung on to my shoulder…whispering in my ear at every moment I was “free” to do whatever I wanted.

The death of this dear friend brought Steve and me into the church that we had denied for so many years.  Well, not that we had denied, but that we ignored the existence of.  I had said for years that I didn’t “believe in” organized religion.  However…then I understood.

So, now, let me share an excerpt from “TIME” magazine about my Catholic Faith:

“A bit more background before going further:  in the Catholic Church there are ‘diocesan priests,’ who work mainly in parishes, and “religious order” priests, like those in the Jesuits, Franciscans, and Dominicans.  In religious orders we profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and live in community with one another.

Now that I’ve brought it up, let’s cut to the big question:  what about celibacy?  It’s what most people have on their minds when they think about the priesthood,especially in the wake of the sexual-abuse scandals.  So a little explanation.  First of all, celibacy is not for everyone – obviously.  If it were, there wouldn’t be much time left for the human race?  But it is meant for some people, like me, who take a vow of chastity, or diocesan priests who promise celibacy….For me, chastity is a way that allows me to love many people freely and deeply.  Yes, forgoing sexual intimacy is difficult, but married life has its own challenges too.  A celibate lifestyle calls you to find and express love in deep friendships, in your ministry, and in prayer with God.

Celibacy doesn’t lead to sexual abuse, but that doesn’t mean commentators don’t draw that conclusion.  Most incidents of abuse take place in the family, but no one says marriage leads to sexual abuse.  Many incidents take place in schools, but no one says a degree in education leads to abusing children.  Basically the easy (and insulting) conflation of celibacy with pedophilia reflects a discomfort with the celibate life.  Anyone who chooses to live without sexual intimacy, the popular thinking goes, must be either sick, deluded, crazy- or all three.  But as I said, it’s simply another way to love, not better or worse.  And I’ll bet you have many celibate people in your life.  They would include single men and women, widows and widowers, the uncle or aunt or co-worker or neighbor who has chosen not to marry.  As long as they are loving and enjoy deep friendships, why not see their choice as another way to live? and love?” ~Father James Martin

So, there you have it.

I hope you’ve made it through my post and I look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle

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An explanation

December 3, 2012 changed my life in ways that I cannot, to this day, put into words or understand. Since that day I have not wanted to write or feel or do anything meaningful.  Tomorrow is a new day, and I will have my brother and his family here.  Something is sparking within my soul and I feel the need to begin writing again.

December 3rd…I came home from work after working 3 7p-7a shifts.  I crawled into bed and thought, “Oh, I’ll sleep a couple of hours and get up and do something.”  I don’t even know what I had planned to do that day, but I’m sure it was important.  I don’t even know how long I had been asleep…maybe an hour when my phone started ringing.  I, of course, rolled over and ignored it, thinking, “I AM going to sleep for a little bit.”  BUT…it began ringing again.  I ignored it a little longer.  THEN it rang again.  I ignored again…then it rang again….I was angry that someone was bothering me…and grabbed the phone…the caller ID was blank… but I had a voice mail.  The voice said that something had happened to Mr. Loyd Cole and I needed to call Maxine as soon as possible….the next voice mail told me that Mr. Loyd Cole was deceased…I don’t even remember the words.  I jumped up and sped to Mom and Dad’s….there was a female officer standing beside Mom in her rocking chair….all I can remember is saying, “No, No, NO….What has happened?????” and shaking…..and Mom crying…..it was a horrible, horrible, horrible time of confusion.  We originally thought Dad had been hit by a car.  He walked every day. Steve came in and had spoken to someone…I’m still a little fuzzy on some of these details, but Steve had been told that something else had happened.  Mom had originally gone out looking for Dad after he hadn’t come home in a specific amount of time and actually drove up on the ambulance, police and such…the female officer drove Mom home and that’s when they began calling me.

OK…my writing skills are failing me as I am filled with emotion.  Dad was murdered.  He was stabbed to death.

I loved that man so very much and he loved me. I was so angry with the world for taking him away from us!  Oh, he had his quirks…and I will be the first to tell you that I gave him grief as often as I saw fit, which was pretty often.  I think I’m going to have to quit talking about this for now.

When I went to work Tuesday, my girlfriend told me that they ate their first tomato.  She, her husband and their daughter split the tomato into 3 pieces so they could all enjoy that first ripe tomato. 

Dad would always bring me his first ripe tomato…I can see his hands wrapped around it and his face beaming….he would be so proud of that first red beauty…..and I know that he babied it just so he could hand it to me.

I’m done for now…but I’m back