Day Twenty-One – Talking to God

July 4, 2008 at 12:18 am (Uncategorized)

For the record, I am  starting this post well before midnight.  I doubt that it will be published before it is really Day Twenty-Two.

Yesterday, I did something that I have wanted to do for quite a while.  I finally got us signed up as members in the Catholic  Church here in town.  Religion is a tricky subject for me, and I wasn’t going to blog about this, but, I’m pulled to do this  by a couple  of different things, so here goes.  I feel I need to preface the real “point” of this post with a few things.

My husband and I  were both raised Catholic.  He, moreso than I.  I think my mother felt it was important that we go to church just enough to be able to do the “big things.”  Maybe she just wanted to  make it easier for us when we got married, and made  sure that we had all the necessary “prerequisites.”  In any case, I knew enough about church and God to get by and call myself a Catholic.  My husband attended Catholic schools from first grade to 12th.  Then, as he is very fond of saying, he was cured.  He has no desire to attend chuch, discuss God, or teach give his children the basics that my mom made sure I  had.

Generally, I enjoy the idea of going to  church more than I enjoy being a Catholic.  I certainly am not a model Catholic and I think there are Catholic tennents that are just plain wrong.  But, there is a lot to like about going to church and participating in an organized Faith.  As a child I  found the routines, the songs, the  prayers, the traditions of the Mass comforting.  I still do.    It’s so good to feel a part of something bigger.  I teach in a Catholic school.  I stay there, largely because it is a Catholic school.  I enjoy teaching religion, I enjoy attending Mass with the kids, I enjoy preparing them for the sacraments. I beleive there is a God, I beleive that the Bible is a blending of factual events and just enough mystery and story-telling to command attention (it worked, too – we’re still reading it!), I beleive that everyone should be allowed to worship and pray and beleive in the  way that makes the most sense to them.  That’s  MY creed, and  until I meet God I won’t know if it’s right or wrong.

Outside  of school, though, I am not a church-goer.  I don’t really talk about my religion or my faith (which ARE two separate things).   I am married to a man who is as indifferent as they come when it comes  to religion.  So, my children have rarely set foot in a church.  (THey are both baptized…my mom taught me well…)

So, what does  this have to do with my 62 days of summer?  Well, it didn’t make the offical “list” of things I want to do this summer, but it has been  my goal to start attending church with Isabelle, and  eventually (like, when she’s a human instead of a 2 year old) with Emily.  Like my mom, I want  to make sure that the girls get the basics.  But, it goes beyond that.  Lately, I’ve started to  realize why it has suddenly become so improtant to  me to raise the girls with a “faith” they can live by – if they so choose.

Someday, Emily will lose her life to Cystic Fibrosis.  That is a fact.  I do not know when that day will be, but it will come.  As her mother, no matter what her age at that time is, I will have to help her prepare to say good-bye.  I will have to send her to  another place, away f rom me.  How do I do this if I don’t give h er a place like Heaven to beleive in?  If I don’t teach her that there  is a God who loves her, then what do I tell her at the end.   “You’re going away, but I don’t know where you’re going?”  What kind of mother says that?  Even if Emily is 40 years old, doesn’t she at least need the comfort of the bible stories she heard as a kid to get her through those last days?

Maybe, she will take the path that a lot of young adult Cf’er take.  The fuck-religion path.  THe how the hell can there be a god that would give me this damn disease path.  Honestly, that would b e fine with me.  If she’s going to be angry at God, or beleive in something other than God, or choose to  beleive nothing at all, fine.  But, doesn’t she at least need to know what she hates in order to hate it?  It’s my responsibility to make sure she understands enough to say, “Yeah, that’s not for me.”

And what about her sister?  What about Isabelle who will be left behind?  Where should she find solace, if not in a beleif that her little sister has gone to a “better place.”  Where should she direct her anger, if not at God?  She’ll need something.  ANd I  am the one who is supposed to point h er in the righ t direction.

O.K.  So this is not a news flash.  My epiphinany about the purpose of religion isn’t  exactly earth shattering.  But, for the first time in my life, I think I get  it.  I don’t think I’ll ever carry business cards that say “Christian” on them, but I will make an effort to get my children  to church.  I’ll start praying wiht them and sharing what I belive.  That’s my job.

I do beleive, and this has been strengthend in me since Emily was born, that there is a purpose for every thing that happens to us.  I beleive that we are given signs to  point us in how to  go.  I have not ignored the signs I’ve gotten that have brought me to this post and yesterday’s meeting with  the priest.  The outward signs were both conversations with  neighbors about the Catholic church we just joined.  One  of them already belongs, the other one just moved  in.  On two separate occasions each of them said to me “It  would be great if the kids  grew up going to church together.”  Flasing  lights and  everything.

There’s  also the small  matter that I  read a lot of CF blogs and Caring  Bridge sites for CF patients.  It’s  hard not to beleive that God is at work in  the lives of the writers of these sites, for  one reason or another.  It’s hard not to hit my knees and pray after reading  some entries.  It’s hard to remain passive about my faith and my girls’ faith.

I’ve not tried to copy and past links into an entry, here, so I have no idea  if this will work.  But I want to share a few things with you, if you are still reading.  Read, pray, if that’s something you do, and  tell me, don’t I HAVE to take my girls to church?

http://friendsofpepe.blogspot.com/

http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/viewJournal.do?method=executeInit  (read the July 1 entry – sorry, I don’t know  how to insert a hyperlink to rename that link…)

http://cfhusband.blogspot.com/  You are probably aware of this one already.  If not, click on the “Start Here” button on the right side  of the page…

I apologize for typos…too tired to go back and fix them right now.

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2 Comments

  1. Elise said,

    I love your blog. I’ll have to catch up on more of the entries when it’s not “almost midnight.” 🙂

    I couldn’t agree more with you on the religion front. It is a daily struggle with me. I was raised Presbyterian, and my parents have a deep and incredible faith. I have a hard time feeling connected, but when I’m terrified for Froggy, or feeling lost, prayer is one of my only solaces. I have a difficult time reading the bible because I can’t wrap my brain around the hypocracies. But like you, I also appreciate the ritual, the comfort and feeling like there is something bigger than us, especially when dealing with CF, and the idea of our children’s mortality. It’s pretty heavy stuff not to embrace a God. Anyway, I so appreciate your honesty and will tune into your blog from now on. Take care. Elise (aka Froggymama)

  2. milepost13 said,

    Thank you!

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