ENTRY: Spirituality, On Your Terms

I will honestly tell you that I hate going to church with my parents. Yes, ’tis true. I really do not enjoy the mandatory, mind you, action of attending Catholic mass with my family. Typically, especially as of recently since I’ve been working on a more full-time basis, when I’m home, I want to stay home because I am tired. I never, ever want to go. Out of respect for my parents, coupled with the fact that I am living under their roof, I do oblige and go to church. However, I can’t emphasize enough to you, in all candid honesty, I do not ever want to go. I am usually very angry and upset when my parents and I are making the trek either into Westbrook for mass, or literally 250 feet up the road to the Catholic church that sits adjacent to our condo association.

In spite of all of this rather shameful personal information, (at least I think so), after I’ve orally accepted the Eucharist, and I’m quietly exiting the building, I never fail to feel invigorated and refreshed for yet another week of living life to the absolute best of my abilities. Obviously, as we all know, life isn’t easy. In fact, it is extraordinarily difficult. We know that. It’s unfortunate. We can’t explain it. Even though I don’t want to believe the story of a wide-eyed female’s masticating of a piece of fruit deemed as forbidden, I can’t help but unknowingly envision that theatrical scenario in my head. Essentially, humans are always functioning to resolve some sort of conflict, even if this conflict is just a ringing phone that needs to be answered. There probably are some underlying subconscious reasons that would explain the true basis for me never wanting to attend mass, but surprisingly I’ve never psychologically explored that avenue. There’s just no need. I think general laziness and fatigue are sufficient enough as explanations. Yet, going to church does evoke a feeling of empowerment, which, in turn, enables me to feel ready, willing, and able to take on the next seven days of work, household duties, relationship maintenance, and all other everyday life activities.

Gig at Church

I never regret going when I am leaving the church. Sure, it is much easier to say that after the fact, but the same feelings are present even with AA meetings, and that makes sense! AA and NA meetings are very similar to mass. You go for about an hour of guidance, prayer, and meditation. But, a lot of times, you never want to go to the meeting in the first place. I’ve heard so many addicts in recovery say the same exact thing. They’re very tired, and they really didn’t feel like showing up initially, but they force themselves to, and afterwards, they definitely do not regret it. That’s so normal, and I really need to forgive myself when, amidst a plethora of sleepless nights, I internally beat myself up for never wanting to go to church with my parents. I do feel badly afterwards, since I place a great deal of trust in a higher power, and even if this mystical force that is always present within my spirit might not necessarily be Catholic, the God with whom I feel connected has had the strongest influence on Catholicism, and every other organized religion, for that matter. This whole notion is absolutely beautiful.  I never would have initially retained it if it hadn’t been for AA and the Catholic church methodically joining forces in my mind anyhow.

I leave you with a truly compelling quote from one of yesterday’s readings:

Whoever had much did not have more,

And whoever had little did not have less.

– 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

As always, God bless you;
Love,

Louis

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