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

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Snippets: Lesser Known Catholic Mystics

Physically, my health has been poor for some time (though you'd never know to look at me); I've had difficulty swallowing for months & have been on a mostly liquid diet. Spiritually, I'm experiencing an interesting time. I really don't know how to describe it. It's as if I'm on the verge of something. There's some writing I'm preparing to do that is dredging up memories, experiences, things that I once valued & thought were lost, more than I know how to express. For example, singing has always been a very important part of my life. As a child, when I first came to this country, I sat alone reading books & singing songs to God. I sang in school & church choirs & even studied opera as a young woman in New York. A life on the stage was not at all appealing to me so opera was soon ruled out but music was not; music has always been part of my prayer life. In looking through some of my writing, I was reminded that I had written a number of songs, prayers, psalms - I wanted to sing to God the music in my heart. Illness pushed music to the background but being a parishioner at an Anglican Use parish, where, week after week, we sing the Psalm in Anglican plainchant & where hymns are well-written & thoughtfully chosen has begun to reconnect me to singing as a central way to praise & pray to God. Last week, I bought myself a gift, a piano/keyboard; it arrived Thursday & a friend kindly came over yesterday & helped me set it up. I played a few chords but feel almost afraid of it. There is new music inside me, music born of my return to the Church & my deepening understanding of the gifts God has so generously bestowed upon me. It frightens me: only music or dance could express the longing, the gratitude, the love. Is it possible for a mere human to write of that love?

As a child, I found an old children's missal & hid it under my mattress along w/ a copy of The Song of Bernadette. The missal was definitely pre-Vatican II & out of date when I found it. I've been looking for online for something similar but haven't had much luck yet - all the missals I find in my price range are post-Vatican II. So I continue to look. Then today, my friend, Dawn Eden sent me a link to a post about Nellie Organ, whom I'd never encountered before. Her story touches something very deep inside me; another child who is friends w/ my Friend. I am almost envious because her life was not marred by sin as my life has been. Almost, but not quite. I will accept the life I've been given & trust my Friend to continue to be the Friend He's always been.

I have no idea what is going on or where any of it will lead. I know I will follow though, I must admit, it feels as if it is tearing me apart. I will follow. What else would I do? Where else could I go? I am like a young child riding on her Father's foot, clinging to his leg. This is where I belong, no matter where the trip takes me. This is where I am happy to be. And if I'm not particularly happy every moment, this is the only place that I have hope to become happy. And it's a great foot, big enough for many, many riders. And maybe I could work on uncovering the mysteries of the Holy Foot.

Oh yes, Dawn has a new book, My Peace I Give You, that is expected this spring. I was honoured not only to read it but to give feedback as she was engaged in writing. It promises to be a source of healing for many, many who have been abused or have abused themselves. Plan now to read it whether or not abuse has had any place in your life.

Oh yes two, it seems I'll be undergoing another round of chemo soon. Prayers for that & for everything in my life these days.

1 comment:

x said...

I will remember you.