Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Letting Go

I am giving away six boxes of books. Why, you ask? Because they're in the way and they are bogging me down, internally as well as externally. I need to let them go wherever someone else can use them.

These are not books I'd get rid of normally. Things, however, on the outside have a way of reflecting things on the inside. I need to unload. You might have something else that gets in the way.

And believe me: I am a bibliophile extraordinaire! When I did this a few years ago, some of my friends thought I was nuts; I was, perhaps, in a way. But the mistake I made then is that I did not state an intent; I just did it. The feelings after I did it went from euphoria to same-old, same-old pretty fast.

It is good to speak an intent to the God within, asking him/her to help you change and grow. The Reign of God is most definitely within. The problem today is that too many of us are afraid to ask. 

This certainly is not New Age in the least. All too often, New Age spirituality focuses on "prosperity consciousness." One asks for even more things to bog one down. No, one has to let go, and allow God to lead. Much of this New Age spirituality is "me" focused. 

I cannot, however, reside only in the mind; rather, I have to allow myself to be guided by the song in your heart. I am feeling freer and lighter. Now, I must truly let go and allow God to speak Silence and show me how to live. God will take care of me if I let him. 

This is God's song. Think, see, feel from your heart; it will make all the difference.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Two Parades

I love a parade! Actually, Jim and I rarely go to Pride, but did go this year. We went to honor the various religious groups, including the Mormons, and organizations making justice, like the Howard Brown Health Center, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, The Night Ministry and PFLAG. And, yes, to dance a bit and catch some FABULOUS beads.

It is important to honor the struggle of the LGBT community and to celebrate life, which can be all to serious much of the time. We need to remember and we need to be proud everyday. 

Later, however, I went to Mass at my parish, St Clement Church. We had a parade there too. No beads or floats, but a procession of gifts to the altar. Simple gifts of bread and wine, destined to become the sacrament of Holy Communion. No magic, just the power of the Holy Spirit and the will of the people.

And then (as part of the same motion, really), we each get up and march to the altar singing for joy to meet our Lord once again. And, somehow, we are changed, transformed, transfigured as a result. We become radiant. 

Two parades, one day. Both bless me. I am gay and Catholic, and proud of both. The LGBT community and the Catholic Church each have a lot of growing and healing to do. My hope is that they can help each other.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Coming Home

My friend Cecilia died last week.  She was a joyful and radiant soul from Peru, a Third Order Carmelite dedicated to working with the poor of her native country.  She was here in the States pursuing a Masters degree through Loyola's Institute for Pastoral Studies.

My friend Thom is very much alive. Among other things, he is a blogger.  His recent postings "Vaya Sin Dios I and II" speak truth.  His writing is a wonderful ministry; he is a Secular Franciscan.

My close friends and classmates live their faith daily. So do my professors and the staff of IPS.

All of these folks have had a profound impact on who I am and am becoming. They know how I have raged at the injustices committed by the Church against the Sisters, women, LGBT folks, children, and the list goes on. They have also stood by the Church; I left it.

Right after Cecilia died, I wondered what she would say to me. I could hear her getting excited saying "Don't worry about the hierarchy and some of the priests; just do IT!" Just live your faith; it's a relationship. She is right.

I simply cannot remain outside the Church, the Roman Catholic Church, any longer; it's where my heart sings. Yes, I still disagree with it on many issues. But I also stand in the long tradition of dissenting with an informed conscience. Many saints did it, so why not me? Many were treated like crap by the Church, but didn't give up.

Heaven knows that I have a rather interesting journey of faiths. That's okay. Some will be betting how long I remain this time. But something's different; I am different. I am far more ready to weather the storms because I am in a much more secure place than before; I am home.

In returning, I find myself in very good company. People are not taking things sitting down any more. This is an exciting time to be a Catholic! The Spirit of Vatican II still beats in the hearts of faithful Catholics everywhere. I need and want to be part of a Church that is so much more than cranky hierarchs and some stodgy clergy, though the Church includes them, too! I want to show folks the beauty that is the Church.

Coming back will not be easy; but it will be worth it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Brandon Elizardes, Presente

What the hell is going on here? Another young gay man, Brandon Elizardes, takes his own life after being bullied. He simply wanted to be himself. School officials in this case (and this was in Texas, mind you) even attempted to help; it was not enough.

We can have all the gay and lesbian pride we want, but it will not bring Brandon, or any of the others who have died by suicide, back. We mourn the loss of so many beautiful kids who didn't even stand a chance.

Obviously, it doesn't get better for everyone; it didn't for Brandon. Haters can be found everywhere. When they literally hound someone to death, they must pay the price. A thirty-day slap on the wrist doesn't do it.

When the memorial candles go out and Brandon's cold body is laid in the earth, what can and will be done? When God is silent, what should we do? The solution, whatever it is, is not easy to find; but we cannot give up trying to reach it.

Brandon's death reminds us that not everything's coming up rainbows.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What's it all about?

So who or what is God?  God, if God exists, simply IS.  God cannot really be given human qualities and certainly cannot be put in anyone's box.

Can I "worship" God? I surrender to the Totality that is Godding, I suppose; but I cannot sing hymns and chant psalms to this God.  It seems artificial, forced, fake. My hope is to LOVE this God, if that is possible.

And what about death and what, if anything, comes after?  If nothing comes after of which we are conscious, then the whole thing is a farce. I will not slobber over a God who allows me to be annihilated when my life ends. If we continue somehow, then, I want to love this God with my whole being--no doctrine, dogma--just pure love.

Frankly, I wish I could let this issue go, but I cannot.  A "God seed" seems to have been planted within my heart and is blooming; no amount of rationalization can erase it. It does come perilously close at times!  That being said, however, I cannot stomach easy answers and cutesy little more belief,  just being.