“It takes time. I am thinking that based on your background and where you are at currently on your path. It might be beneficial to think of what God means to you. Not within any current religion or structure. But what God means to you personally. Seeking the divine is important. I do this as well in my own life. You don’t have to rely on men’s version of God. Find your own personal connection to God and Define what it means to you. This will also help you break the system of labels that you ascribe. You are an out-of-the-box thinker and your struggle and pain comes from trying to put yourself Inside the Box. Now is the time for you to be free and not Boxed In by ideology or theology. I think this approach would ease some of your guilt and suffering in this area.”
Once again my spiritual teacher was able to pin point exactly what I struggled with. My whole life I have struggled with God and the fundamentalist version of him/her/it that was taught to me as a child.
It never resonated.
I found God in Oak trees and incense, candles and goldenrod, I saw God in Ray’s dark ebony eyes as he drank a 40 on Vine street and spun me a yarn about the homeless guy who lived in the doorway of 40 East. I saw God mostly in people and nature. One of my gifts is seeing that spark, seeing all those things that’s inside of them that they don’t even recognize yet in themselves. I see God in light, the way it illuminates trees, and starlight. I hear God in music and the rustling of leaves. I’ve felt God in making love to one I loved and who loved me, I’ve felt God move through me in meditation, I’ve seen him on dragonflies wings. Yes…God…you are always where I least expect to find you and sometimes where you “should be” like the Eucharist when it bleeds. These are things that I have seen.
This is why…for a little while, I am going to stop going to mass. I love the mass, but I must find God outside of dogma…I know…unconventional for a Catholic, but maybe I’m tired of defining myself by a religious order as well. I think Catholicism, the mysticism of it is a big part of me, I love Jesus and his teachings, but I despise the rules and regulations associated with the Church…I have always felt strongly that the Catechism was made by man…not by God. The thing is…I see God in almost every faith and practice.
This Sunday I will look for God at Springrove cemetery. I have always liked cemetery’s, they are peaceful and quite, and Springrove is a pretty one.
I’m going to make my own mass, outside…or inside. Maybe it will have tea, and beads and my own candles, my chrism oil will be body oil, and maybe I’ll read from Rumi or Keats as the opening invocation. Maybe my music will simply be the wind…and the feeling of sun dripping from heaven down to my arms.
I want so much to have a personal relationship with God…but I think that may be some place different than a church pew.
Maybe God and I will meet under a tree…and sit in the shade together and dream a bit. I bet God is a good dreamer.