The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What do I know of Holy?

     Along my journey I’ve learned a lot that I never knew before.  Being a cradle catholic and a product of the 70’s and 80’s catechesis does not lend itself to becoming a properly and well-formed Catholic adult.  There is no syllabus available that I know of or a guide on how to get started on getting your spiritual groove back.  I read a lot.  I read a lot on line and visit the Catholic blogosphere.  There is a lot of great information and great writers out there.  But sometimes even those forays can be exhausting and frustrating.  I never knew there was so much division in the Church.  Can’t I just be Catholic?  Do I have to be a traditional Catholic or an orthodox Catholic or a NO Catholic?  Sometimes I feel as though no matter what I do at Mass, I’m doing it wrong according to somebody.  Sure, I have my preferences for what I like when I go to Mass. I have those things that make it feel more authentic to me.  Give me an old, Gothic church with real candles, tons of them.  And I’ll take a reverent and holy priest that takes 15 minutes to do the dishes over someone who whips through like he just picked up a cheese tray at a cocktail party.  But, you know what, I’m not in charge and I’m not there to police how it’s done.  I’m there for what I hope is the right reason.  But, of course, those kinds of statements make me sound just like the people I’m complaining about I suppose. 
    I try to remain focused on my spiritual growth and that of my family.  Just because I’m coming to terms with my past and am healing, I don’t want to stop the spiritual journey that I’m on, I’m just not sure where to go next. 
     I try to keep my spiritual world a nice little “neighborhood” where I don’t have to worry too much about what’s going on the other side of town because if I do that I lose sight of what I need, what my soul needs, what my family needs.  So, I try to learn as I go.  Now that I have some free time on my hands, I’m looking for classes I can take or spiritual programs at nearby retreat houses and the like.  Even though I’ve learned a lot, I still have times when I feel like I’m at my confirmation Mass and I’m trembling with fear over being asked a question by the Bishop and not knowing the answer.  (I did get a question by the way, and I knew the answer!)
     This post abortion journey has become what I hope to be a lifelong spiritual journey overall.  Sadly, often, I just feel like I don’t know a single thing about God, or Jesus, or my religion or how to be a good Catholic.  At those times I just have to give up and give in that sometimes I don’t know anything.  I just have to be at peace to just be, because I can only be what I far.

1 comment:

  1. Being part of the "Lost Generations" must be a lot like being a convert... My sympathies.

    Here's the thing: everyone is worried that they'll lose something that is precious, or be made to do something that they don't want to do.
    I find it useful to steer clear of the folks with a liturgical/evangelical/faithjustice agenda that EVERYONE has to follow. Moral questions excluded, of course.
    We tend to be so in love with our own way of 'being Catholic' that we can do actual harm to tender searching souls.

    Your vocation is clear- you have to heal and after you fulfil your duties as wife and mother, you have a mission to others who have suffered as you have.
    FWIW, I think you are doing a pretty good job at all of them.
    It's not so much how much you know, but how you put it into practice.