This week I posted a couple blogs related to the Pope resigning and my proposal for a new Church and a new lent. I want to thank a couple blog commenters for reminding me that this is no longer my fight. I am already living in “The new church” and have no illusions about reforming the other one (aka the Roman Catholic Church). In the following excerpt from my upcoming book, Returning – A Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself, I share my thoughts on my former attempts and the mostly peaceful acceptance I have come to in midlife on this topic. (Please forgive me my humanness when I sometimes get pulled back into thinking there is something I need to reform!!!)
As I began to see myself and the world around me more clearly, one of the most devastating realizations was that the Catholic Church, in which I had invested my faith, hope, belief, trust and now career, was imperfect and flawed. It was not a coincidence that my awakening happened right on the heels of the priest sex abuse scandal. As I was more diligent in asking questions about God – what did I believe, what resonated as truth for me, who was the God that I had come to know through my own prayer and explorations, the Church fell farther and farther from the pedestal on which I had placed it (with the Institution admittedly helping itself along the way).
As I came to more and more freely embrace the truths I had come to know within myself, including my call to contemplation and hands-on-healing, I came more and more in conflict with the Church that was “supposed” to love me without condition. As the illusions I had created around my faith shattered at my feet, the more I was compelled to “make it right,” an endeavor that eventually proved to be fruitless and one that came at a terrible cost – the loss of my Church and the loss of my faith in my Church.
In spite of this, my faith in God never wavered and it was to my ever-expanding image of God, that I pledged my allegiance. And here I found peace.
The Call of Francis
The call of St. Francis, tried and true,
“’Tis time to build the church anew,
A church in Spirit and in Grace,
Christ residing in every face.
The corruption of old has begun to unfold.
The Spirit crashing through the hold.
Power, greed, corruption and sin,
It’s time, our work is about to begin.”
Regarding in awe, the Church torn asunder.
Is the Spirit at work? We’re invited to wonder.
Secrets held dear, throughout the years,
Covering up the trail of tears.
“You’ve missed the point,” the Spirit cries.
The Church too busy believing their lies.
Jesus’ message seems pretty clear,
“Love God and neighbor as yourself my dears.”
God’s in their minds, not in their hearts.
Only practicing Catholics, our neighbors for starts.
And you, well, you’re created in sin,
so just where is this love to begin?
Let’s start, “In the beginning,” Genesis One and Two,
“It is good,” God says of you!
Not born in sin as Augustine preached
but born in love, joy and peace.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
for the bible tells me so.”
We are invited to believe this children’s song,
Yet sometimes the Church tells us it’s wrong.
True faith, you see, when push comes to shove:
The extent to which we believe in God’s love.
And when we believe this promise true,
There’s only one thing left to do:
to share that love with everyone,
for this the mission of Christ was begun.
From Returning – a Woman’s Midlife Journey to Herself by Lauri Ann Lumby. Scheduled for release in 2013 through Authentic Freedom Press.