Yes, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. I’m currently in the process of changing some things in regards to how I learn about my faith and in my faith life, particularly in regards to what websites I read and visist. Yes, that was a run-on sentence.
I realized I needed to make some changes. Not only changes but reason out ways to cope living in a faith environment that is not necessarily conducive to my particular spirituality. (Try being Catholic in a parish that has become by and large a Protestant one.) (But I digress.) After attending my parish picnic last Sunday, while I already knew that a large portion of the parish ascribed to charismatic spirituality, I didn’t realize that it was much large than I had originally thought. Not only that, but if you came into contact with some of these people, I think the impression one would have would be of the evangelical, non-denomination, mega-church types where every other word out of their mouth is “Praise the Lord” and appear happy all the time. I’ve always been suspicious of people like that because it tends to be fakes because the individual has to prove something, typically that they have been instantly perfected in Christ. I take issue with that because perfection in Christ take TIME. Plus, people that happy tend to be on something and are superficial. Yes, I am a skeptic because having run into people like this before, it’s false and fake and hurts the person acting like it instead of being their trueself.
I think that many Catholics have seen how Protestants act, think that’s the way to go and that those others are “better” and so start to think and act that way. Along the way, they forget or purposely choose to forget what makes Catholicism so great and go instead for the emotional highs, the sound effects, the movie clips, and trite motivational sayings. They forget that Mass is for worshiping God in His Greatness and not about celebrating our sinful nature and the desire to feel good and to sit high on a pedastal while focusing on me. It’s heartbreaking to go to Mass and see people more enthusiastic about poorly written and sung songs and a homily that focuses on elevating the individual and forget that Mass is the re-presentation of Christ at Calvary and the Last Supper giving us the Eucharist. While I may understand what the Mass is about, I am distracted constantly by those around me who would rather hear Father give an emotionally resonant homily that feeds the ego and so I lose focus and am lost in the crowd of those who want to celebrate themselves rather than Jesus.
And then to be confronted with the reality that I am much farther behind in spiritual growth than everyone else. This comes from the parish picnic but also other interactions. I understand that on one level I shouldn’t be comparing myself to anyone else. But on the other hand, how do you know if you’ve made any progress if there is no measure to measure against? I discovered that people in my parish and in my other interactions, though they may behave and “dress” like Protestant, have no problem with praying, talking with potential spouses about faith and making demands about that faith, make changes as necessary in their life, trust God implicitly, seem to have everything going for them and that life is easy or at least easy enough to cope with, and everything “works” for them. If it were a marathon, they would all be at the 24 mile mark and I haven’t even reached the starting line. And why does it work for them and not for me? I pray, go to Mass, receive the Sacraments, and yet I’m barely on the page. It’s like I’ll never be good enough or even those to be considered for the path to goodness.
It’s like, I’m not even on God’s radar. That since somebody has to have the short end of the stick, so I’m the one that gets it. Not only that but if I were to trust God and let Him be in charge then I would have to loose everything (and I don’t mean in the Bible sense) but that I would cease to exist. That I would have to give up everything that makes me ME and that I am the only one who has to do this. That everyone else gets to follow God without any loss or change. They can continue to exist as themselves and have to give nothing up while I have to Lose everything. That I don’t matter That no matter how many times I pray about this that all that happens is me having to keep searching for that bigger underlying issue that I don’t seem to want to find or acknowledge. And I don’t find it. And that no matter how many times I talk about it or pray about it, northing changes even though I acknowledge it and want to change and take steps to change it. But everything stays the same or I get further behind than I was before. And that I’m still on the road to hell no matter what, that even faith and grace and the sacraments don’t matter. And that I am unlovable and unloved because there is something so inherently wrong with me that even God can’t fix it.
Okay, there I go again. Nobody cares about that and yet I keep talking about it. Nobody wants to hear about my problems.
Well, I did mention organ hymns. Found a new bunch of YouTube videos that are awesome organ pieces. I suggest “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” and “Alleluia, Sing to Jesus.”
The videos can all be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/HiFiHymnBook.
And a sample: