Friday, July 31, 2020

What is wrong with our world?


There is a terrible malaise in our country and I blame it on the decline of faith, I really do. If a person is not grounded in God, the world is such a bleak place, and I know that from experience.  Nothing, absolutely nothing seems meaningful, and you will do anything to escape from that boredom and pain.  I think the Devil is in possession of this world, and ever since the Fall, he always has been.  Jesus came to show that to us, and to give us the choice of something better and different.  As He said, My yoke is easy and My burden is light.  Accepting His way means catching glimpses of light when you experience love, which is God's essence--and those moments give you the strength to not give up. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


I've had a low-grade fever for a couple of days, and was feeling so ill and dizzy this morning, I went back to bed after a cup of coffee, first emailing our retreat director to say I would not be in the Zoom conference today.  Inevitably, I wondered if I had possibly acquired COVID, and I was thinking how ironic it would be if I had it now, while on a retreat focusing on it!   

As I was lying in bed, hurting all over and wishing I could go back to sleep, I wondered if I were dying--do people know when they are?  I am certainly old enough--and, ever the practical one, I realized that I haven't yet made a will, and so I pictured myself writing something on a sheet of paper with a Magic Marker and taping it up on the wall, telling whoever found me to be sure to send my ashes, my Profession cross, my ring and my pin back to Concordia.  

I thought about how disappointing it would seem to die now, after I have finally gotten everything I wanted and needed in life--but then it occurred to me how appropriate that would be--and rather perfect--to die when you have found complete happiness. 

Because I have been given the gift of having so much trust in God that I don't question what happens anymore, I was not worried or upset about dying: I felt peaceful and confident that whatever might happen today, God was doing exactly what was right for me, and that I have nothing to fear. I did tell Him how sorry I am that I accomplished so little with all that He has given me, but too late now!  Throwing myself on His mercy: what else can I do?

Monday, July 27, 2020

First Day of Retreat


Didn't have to go out today at new neighborhood is so quiet and peaceful... I love when the Baptist church next door plays hymns on their carillon at noon and 6:00pm...a woman next door, whom I could only hear, but not see through the trees between our yards, called out in a warm Southern accent-- pretty sure she is Black--to greet me and welcome me to the neighborhood as I took my trash container to the curb for the morning pickup.. and the couple across the street brought me the 2 cats I agreed to adopt, who were orphaned when their owner died unexpectedly... As I sat here in my kitchen, finishing the simple supper I'd prepared, the thought came to me "For the first time in my life, I know what it feels like to be completely content." 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Back in the world again


During the time I was in formation to become a Sister, I was asked to make this blog private.  Now that I am professed and feel a bit more free, I am opening it up again to the world at large, because the thoughts I post here are ones which I wish to share.  I know there are many people out there searching for meaning in their lives, because I once was one of them.  I found it when I found God--or when He found me--not sure which is correct.  So, the story continues.

Friday, March 22, 2019



The book I just finished today, The Critical Journey: Stages of Faith, triggered something, an insight into myself which God completed for me in my prayer tonight.

I can now see the degree to which I bring upon myself some of the mistreatment I have been experiencing from Sr. MaryJo and Sr. Jean Ann:  simply put, I am a person who cringes, and such lack of self-confidence is not attractive.  

Because of the way I was brought up--to fear my mother, never allowed to argue with her about anything--I can't stand up to anyone. I apologize too much, and thus I bring out the worst in people who are inclined to be bullies, as both of them are.  I can easily see it in them, because I am inclined to be a bully myself, so I recognize it in others.  

My mother, in her autocratic arrogance, damaged me even more than I ever realized. 

I don't know how to deal with the residual anger I know I still have toward her.  I don't want to hate her, and I don't really think I do--but I do wish I could hurt her back, in revenge for the ways in which she hurt me.  That is definitely not Christ-like, and I don't want to feel that way!

If she ever apologized, I could easily forgive her, but because she cannot apologize--and doesn't even realize what she did to me and my brother, and to my father as well--I haven't been able to forgive her, even though I know I must.  Not sure what to do about this, except pray for the grace. 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

On Being Gay and Catholic


I have great empathy for gay people.  This began when, after my bitter divorce in 1977, I decided that I no longer wanted to be in the company of men, and so decided to act on my long-held theory that one could choose one's sexuality.  I started an affair with a lesbian who worked for me in the library, and spent the next six years trying to convince myself that I could be gay if I chose to be.  

Through my lover, I was introduced to a fascinating and largely invisible, "underworld" I never previously knew about.  By 1982, however, I had reluctantly concluded that I simply was not gay, and no amount of wishing would make it so.  I also became Catholic, and concomitant with that, accepted that I had to live in chastity. Unfortunately, I hurt a really good person very badly, and I will never cease to regret the collateral damage that occurred because of my crazy experiment. 

Then, in 2016, I was matched with a gay therapist through the online platform, TalkSpace.  I had insisted on being assigned to a practicing Catholic, and it never occurred to me that the person might also be gay. I was quite dismayed, due to my then rather rigid adherence to Catholic teaching--but I was so desperate for help with my anger problem, I decided to stay with him.

Over the next year or so of working with Joe, I became progressively more conflicted.  We got to know each other very well, and--because of the bond of our mutual strong Faith and love for the Church--we veered from therapy into spiritual direction very quickly. I saw what a truly holy person he is; in fact, I realized that he is completely dedicated to living for Jesus, and is actually a better Catholic than I am.  Because God put this amazing person into my life, I was finally forced into the uncomfortable position of continuing to adhere to Church teaching, while simultaneously deeply admiring and respecting a Catholic who was living in what the Church considers vile sinfulness. 

Joe's life partner, while not yet Catholic himself, is just like Joe: pure of heart, generous, loving and selfless.  Their relationship is beautiful and holy, a great blessing for which they are both extremely grateful.  They go to Mass together every week, and Joe goes to Confession twice a month. Over time, Joe and I came to truly love each other, becoming soul friends, and I somehow had to learn to accept that despite his domestic life as an actively gay man, Jesus must love him very much, because he has such a beautiful soul and is completely devoted to Him. 

I was separated from the Church the last time (2002) we had the problem of sexual scandal, and so it had not impacted me at all, but when the latest crisis broke, and I observed how conservative Catholics were climbing onto the "getting rid of  the perverted gay priests will solve the problem" bandwagon, I began to reflect even more on the interior conflict I had been avoiding: how could I believe Church teaching on sexual morality, particularly as it pertains to homosexuality, while simultaneously knowing and loving a person who is gay, and who is a far better Christian than I am?  I finally recognized that I could no longer accept the Church's position, that Joe and Matty's loving, committed relationship, is intrinsically disordered and bad--because I know in the depths of my being, that it isn't!  What they have together is good, true, beautiful and life-giving for themselves and all the people who know them. 

And so, I have made a huge mental leap.  We know that God can use anything, even bad things, for good, according to His Plan, and I am beginning to consider whether the inevitable discussion of homosexuality within the Church--which surely can no longer be avoided--may eventually result in changes in doctrine having to do with sexuality and the moral issues related to it.  Is it possible that great good may come out of the apparent evil and chaos we are now experiencing because of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church?

No doubt this will come after we are long gone, because the Church moves cautiously and glacially, as it should. But I am inspired to think that the fact that some people are clearly born gay, and did not choose their sexuality, it was chosen for them by God--must be accepted and accommodated within Catholic teaching. 

I believe that through Christ, God gave us a pathway to participating in His ongoing Creation,  Yes: He actually gave us, mere humans, the dignity and honor of working with Him on the evolution of the world, which we now see is not static, as the Church once assumed it was, but fluid and ever-changing.  Not only that, but we now know so much more about human psychology than we did when the majority of Catholic doctrine was promulgated, and doctrines pertaining to human life must change accordingly.

Vatican II seems to anticipate this possibility in Gaudium et Spes. Read this quote and tell me if you don't agree with me:

"If by the autonomy of earthly affairs we mean that created things and societies themselves enjoy their own laws and values which must be gradually deciphered, put to use, and regulated by men, then it is entirely right to demand that autonomy. Such is not merely required by modern man, but harmonizes also with the will of the Creator. For by the very circumstance of their having been created, all things are endowed with their own stability, truth, goodness, proper laws and order. Man must respect these as he isolates them by the appropriate methods of the individual sciences or arts. Therefore if methodical investigation within every branch of learning is carried out in a genuinely scientific manner and in accord with moral norms, it never truly conflicts with faith, for earthly matters and the concerns of faith derive from the same God …"

I am more and more hopeful that Church precepts which term homosexuality "intrinsically disordered" will ultimately pass away, and be replaced with a holistic doctrine which describes all relationships grounded in love as being good, and ordained by God for the happiness of human beings.
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This post will remain on the web long after I am gone from the Earth, and I hope that someday, someone will find it and see that it was prophetic. 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Becoming a Woman of the Church


God has led me to this moment in time, and the journey has been amazing.  Truly, His ways fill me with awe, reverence and gratitude!

I was just reading Matthew 3:13-17, which describes Jesus's Baptism by John, the act which began His public ministry.  He had to leave His mother--who was probably a widow by then--just as I have left my mother.  We don't know how Mary felt about that: perhaps, being the special person that she was, she understood what He had to do... or perhaps she didn't.. but certainly, as a mother, she was sad to see Him leave.  

My mother wasn't so much sad, as angry, but nevertheless, it was what I had to do, because my next step in life--the point to which God has led me, I believe and I hope--is to take the Vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, Kansas--and become a woman of the Church.  

Doing so, I realized today, will give me a certain "legitimacy" in the eyes of other Catholics; being a Sister is like having a key to the church: it will let me in.  People will more readily accept that it is appropriate and "allowed" for me to minister among them, which is what I believe God has called me to do.  

The thing is, I have received grace upon grace, love immeasurable--and I must share with others the immense Love that I have received from my Beloved.

"From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded." (Luke 12:48)

I won't be able to do much: I am certainly not going to have a big impact on the world, and because I am coming to this so late in life, whatever I do will not last long--but I know I am called to do something in cooperation with God, to bring His Kingdom on earth into being.  May it be so.