Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Holy Innocents – What I Left Out

Thanks to all who have commented on the Holy Innocents pieces and please forgive my failure to respond. This has been a very busy time in my life and, as Anonymous commented on Holy Innocents – Part I, it is very difficult for me to write about the loss and the abuse, and perhaps even more difficult to write about what God has done with them. And that’s odd since through therapy and prayer and grace, I have already worked through everything I am writing about. Except, perhaps, the working through is a bigger process than I knew and this too is part of it. And too, writing about this makes God’s grace more real, more palpable but it’s excruciating, like warm water over frozen fingers (I have Raynaud’s and that pain is very familiar).

One thing I edited out of Part II that I’ve come to realize is important to the story: As a child, I honestly believed that I was supposed to be dead – I knew I belonged with my parents and if they were dead, I should be too – that is why I waited for the executioner to come and chop off my head. In fact, I would apologize to God whenever I failed to kill myself – that is how deep the conviction went.

But I wasn’t some sort of extraordinary child, conscious that suicide was wrong. I saw death as young children do and it certainly did not mean to me then what it means now, what it began to be after my foster-mother’s death. Death was a journey, was being with my parents and God. It was a very good thing and what God wanted for me.

His response to my childish conviction was a resounding, “No!” and he gave me exactly what I needed to stay alive until I was old enough and strong enough and healthy enough to accept life even without my family. I am continually awed and overwhelmed with gratitude. And I suppose that one reason I began this blog was to give a Catholic witness to God’s presence in our lives – to his extravagant love. Just thinking of how much he loves us is one of those warm water experiences.

Thank you all again. And thanks for making me aware of the Ravensbruck prayer – I was not aware of it. More to come soon.


Carol said...

You know, like FMN and others know of themselves, that you have bought this faith with everything you had.. so I dare say your sharing is a magnificent testimony not only to His extravagant love, but to yours. Everything you say makes me cry, indeed, a warm water experience.. In a way, you are deliberately pulling out breast-feathers to line and warm the nest for shivery others. We see the blood from that; it is holy. How inadequate to merely say thank you.. but, thank you.

forget me not said...

Thanks, Carol. I've been thinking about this post a lot since I read it. In my experience, I too realize there are things I've "left out", not just in my writings, but in my innermost reflections. It seems such experiences are like a spiral, and you discover new things at every turn. At times this spiral may seem like self absorbed introspection, which may seem not to be taking you anywhere, if not further and further into your shell, especially if you focus your attention on it too much. But at times, by the Grace of God something special receive some kind of clarity and a glimpse of the bigger picture, and the spiral slowly begins moving outwards instead of concentrically towards its center. And when you pass by the same places you'd been before, you realize it's not the same, you see it from another angle or some other aspect of it captures your attention. And you are not surprised or disturbed by what you see, rather you feel an inner calm. You can identify that place and give it a name, and go on.
The concentric circles...a recurrent theme, eh Carol?
When the spiral goes inwards, it lead to the center of our being, which is also where God is. And this is beautiful, and so necessary! But it's when the tides turn and we start moving concentrically outwards, to where God is in Everyman...that's when the journey becomes a marvelous adventure. Thank you Drusilla.

Drusilla said...

Carol and FMN -

Thank you so much. You, Honora and others are doing what I hoped would happen - augmenting and discussing and bringing to light all sorts of nuances. God is very good and I am very fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Drusilla, this poor world needs examples of forgiveness such as yours so much. "Thank you" seems such a paltry thing to say for your sharing... but Thank you!! it is! :-) (I am sorry to comment anonymously, but Blogger doesn't ever recognize me! I've also blogged about Heirs in Hope at


forget me not said...

Drusilla, the Ravensbruck prayer expresses exactly what I had come to believe in my heart about 3 years ago, but I did not know how to express it yet in my own life. It was fundamental for my journey towards healing and ultimately for forgiveness of my abusers. I wrote a poem of my own last year "All I Can Give". It's been published at the Mary's Hope website. At the time I wrote it, I didn't realize how powerful that poem was. Not because it's a good poem in the literal or stylistic sense (It's not), but because it's "mine", it represents my story and my healing process. It was a milestone for that healing process, but I know from experience that healing is never really complete. I've come to accept that I will occasionally find myself all wrapped up around myself and my wounds again for some reason or another, but I know from experience that that newly felt pain is only another step towards healing. It doesn't last as long, and I know how to work it out better. I let it happen now and this makes a big difference.
Your writing is like my writing on the wall in my bedroom as a child. Cathartic. And in posting your writings, you are allowing others to enter your world. We do it on tiptoes, in awe of the wonders God works in peoples lives, and we are thus made more aware of the wonders he does for us. Thank you for opening your wounds to us.

You are especially courageous for interacting at the Raving Atheist's blog. I don't think I'd have had the courage to do it.

forget me not said...

"All I can give" has been posted at my blog too, around the beginning of December, and was then picked up at Gabrielle's blog (Contemplative Haven). You can find all these links at my place thru my post "blogger friends" from a couple weeks ago. I'd love it if you could stop by.

Drusilla said...

Dear FMN -

As a species, we human beings are so silly and some of the silliest I've encountered are on RA's blog. Sometimes it's so tedious that I can't comment. But sometimes, someone will say something so ridiculous, I simply must respond.

Pray for them. They are so frightened, so busy making it up for themselves so as not to be powerless.

Thank you for your comments and I will stop by your site. The interesting thing, which you've just made me realize must be part of these postings on suffering, is that suffering is never just my personal pain. It belongs to the entire body of Christ and, like joy, is meant to be shared - at the right time. I'm glad the time is right for me to share some of it.

God bless you.


forget me not said...

Amen Drusilla, well said. Sometimes I ask myself if it's wise to have taken the path I've chosen of writing about certain themes (occasionally, when the time is right as you say). I wonder what it is that makes me want to talk about it. You just answered that question for me.