About a month or so ago I had a difficult conversation with someone who shared a hard fact. This fact is this: people who once loved me and wanted to be with me no longer do. The reason they no longer want to be with me is that I am 'too in to your religion'.
You have no idea how much that hurt.
This is nothing really new in terms of information. I have been rejected by former Catholics and Non-Catholics before this and it hurt then too. These people, however, were very special and to get this information was like being punched in the stomach by an MMA fighter (that is the right term, right?). My breath was sucked out of me. I felt physical pain in my mid section. My brain raced with thoughts and I cried myself to sleep for a week.
It really, really hurt.
As the hurt wore off it was replaced with anger. How dare they, after all I have done for them? They will be back when they want something. I will never speak to them again. The heck with them. Who needs them?
Gradually the anger faded. It was replaced with sorrow - genuine sorrow for what might have been in my life and what was the actual reality of my life.
The sorrow is fading now too - and the acceptance that this really is the Will of God hit me about the same time as the Pope was getting ready to make his announcement about renouncing the ministry of the Bishop of Rome.
I have written many times about my character defect - the huge one - that allows me to place the needs and wants of other people above the needs and wants of God. I have struggled with my attachments here on earth because it is difficult to walk this path alone. Little things crop up. Things like the notice from CalPers I received that my long-term care insurance is going to go up 85% which means I will have to let it go - and that was one of my safeguards against being alone as I age. The fear of being that little old lady all alone in the house at the end of the block who lives with an ancient Scottish terrier and 19 cats is one that has a basis in reality. When my Mom gets sick, she has me. When I am 91 and I get sick? I will have God and no one else.
Which is wonderfully spiritually groovy but translates into having no one to help you get in and out of the bathtub so you end up being the STINKY little old lady alone in the house at the end of the block...well, you get the rest.
I suppose the fear never really leaves. What happens, I suspect, is it lessens just as the other emotions lessened from being handed this news. I suspect that this has propelled me into deeper spiritual communion with my Lord and my Savior. I suspect that this has pushed me even closer to His Church.
I suspect this has given me even more reason to be Catholic Out Loud.
What do you think?