It is amazing what some perspective can do. Taking time to go deep and just sit there in the Presence of God Who bursts into bloom within the heart that is open to God. Giving voice to things with a trusted person helps that to happen.
In meeting with my spiritual director today, a Jesuit, I was able to do just that; but something more important happened. With no prodding from him, the Holy Spirit stirred my deepest thoughts and allowed them to rise. More questions than answers.
When I step back and look at the Church, I see it as gasping under its feudal structure; yet I also see the countless mystics who remained within it, calling it to a deeper holiness. No human institution is perfect; I have no illusions that it ever will be. And therein lies the rub.
And yet it goes deeper still. It is being willing to stand in and with and within this Mystery, knowing that God experiences all of this with me--the joys and sorrows. God made it, yet God contemplates it with and through me. This is holy ground even though it feels as if the ground beneath my feet has fallen away.
This liminal space invites me to let go of what was, yet not be fully part of what is to be. In this place of in-between, God calls me to look at Creation through God's eyes.
Jesus knows this intimately. He protests the horrific conditions in which his people live. He embodies compassionate action. He does this even to the point of asking that this chalice pass from him the night before his execution. Jesus is profoundly human and this is what makes him so compelling.
This very human Jesus invites me to walk with him as he walks with me. He asks what do I have to offer a Church and world so sorely in need of love and transformation. I want to run and hide, saying "who, me?" But Christianity is not done alone; it is communal in nature. So it is with this question that I am left and must engage. The answer remains a mystery for the time being.
So, what is this Catholic do about going to church in light of this. This does not have to be answered definitively right now. I have this tendency to want to fill in a hole when it becomes evident. Better to allow time to be silent and listen to the Holy Spirit.
I am going to be spending time with the Quakers for now, and also going to Mass on Saturday or during the week. And, more importantly, I am going to let it all go and allow God to lead the way.
It is amazing how these insights came to the fore in the compassion of my spiritual director who held the situation gently, allowing it all to simply be.