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Where am I? Connecting the spiritual dots

So here’s the deal. When I become scarce in these parts, it’s not because I don’t appreciate and miss all of you. I do. It’s usually because I feel so inept at giving you anything that might provide some spiritual nourishment. Lately that’s where I’ve been. I feel spiritually spent in my own little world, frustrated by goings on in the larger Church, and Not At All Spiritual — which, as you know, is NOT the name of this blog. So rather than say anything, I say nothing.

A couple of things are related to my state of mind lately, so I’ll give you links that might connect the dots.
First there’s just a general sense of disappointment with so many of the human failings of our Church and the fact that we seem to be losing more than we’re gaining. Then, today, a friend on Facebook posted the link to a column, Top Ten Reasons to Stay Catholic, in America magazine, and it seemed to hit the mark dead on. So I’ll share that HERE.
And then, very recently, there has been the former-Father John Corapi debacle. To be honest, I have ZERO patience for this. I’m disgusted by the pathetic situation that is playing out on YouTube and in the blog world. I won’t bore you with the details here, but if you want to see my brief post with some good links, click HERE to go to OSV Daily Take. This situation is just one more reminder of how easy it is to get off track and lose spiritual focus.
I’m in this because of Jesus Christ. I’m not in it for some TV personality who has taken on superhero cult status, or for some cause-of-the-moment, or some misguided notion of what Christianity is all about. That being said, I don’t pretend to be even remotely close to what I should be if I portend to be a follower of Jesus. But I’m trying. Every day.
A few weeks back, when I gave a spiritual friendship retreat in Rhode Island, I mentioned to the crowd that I once went to confession and told the priest that I often feel like a hypocrite — I write books and columns and posts about being more spiritual and prayerful and yet my own spiritual life is woefully inadequate. The priest told me I sounded “just like a priest.”
During a break in the retreat, a woman came up to me and said she needed “to take issue” with something I said. I started running through everything I had said and assumed it must have been the part where I referred to God as both Mother and Father. Then the woman (who turned out to be a religious Sister) referred to my comment about being a hypocrite and the priest’s response to me. She said, ” You may not have the collar or the faculties, but you are a priest.” I hugged her and said, “Thank you.”
I don’t say that as a commentary on women’s ordination (it’s not). I say it because in that moment someone seemed to recognize how I feel about what I do. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be an actual priest, but I do know what it feels like to preach and not necessarily practice, to write and all the while be thinking I should just get down on my knees and pray instead. I know what it feels like to have a sense of responsibility for helping other people move down the spiritual path when, so often, I’m floundering around to find my own way.
So I’m here tonight to tell you that I miss being here more regularly, but I only show up when I feel I have something helpful or insightful to share with you (other than reposts and links to reviews, etc.). Thank you for being patient with me and for coming back despite only sporadic posts lately. NSS is my first love in terms of writing. I wish I could be here more often, but I am so thankful for the times I can show up and share with you.
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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary, as you know well, we’re all priests because of our Baptism; theologically, I think that pertains to our partaking of worship. But thru your writing and speaking (and parenting!) you’re also a shepherd. And the shepherd has to travel with the sheep–sometimes searching for the right path herself so as to get herself and the sheep to where they belong. There will be missteps along the way(not the same as hypocrisy). So keep on plugging away, and keep on sharing your experience, insight, wisdom (call it what you will) with the sheep.

    June 20, 2011
  2. Mary, nice to know you’re still here. I understand so much of what you shared. God bless you and your family!

    June 20, 2011
  3. Anonymous #

    Wow – what a post. That’s all I will say for now and I thank you for the nourishment within.

    Fran (at work)

    June 21, 2011
  4. Thanks, Father Mike and Roxane, for the kind words and support. It means a lot.
    Peace,
    Mary

    June 21, 2011
  5. Thanks, Fran. You must have been commenting exactly when I was commenting. :-)

    June 21, 2011
  6. What about human, instead of hypocritical? We all fall short of the mark… doesn’t mean we don’t keep aiming.

    I’ll be here reading whenever you post. :-)

    June 22, 2011

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