Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ashes to ashes

Enough is enough
I frankly doubt that I have an ounce of
purposeful deprivation within me. Doing
without simply isn't part of my DNA.
Self control is occasionally achievable
but self denial has never been a skill I'm
readily able to employ. Every year as the
Lenten season rolls around I do my best
to participate. Often I abstain from hooch
and for the past two years I've actually
been successful. However this  year I'm
struggling with coming up with anything
to give up for God. Maybe that's because
I feel that I've already given up enough.
Back to the future
Six months ago anybody who was openly
gay was summarily "dismissed" from our
local Catholic parish. Last August a new
novice who was put in as priest decided
to get Saint Leo's back to basics. Or...
in all actuality return to the dark ages of
Catholicism. Hence anything out of the
ordinary, or in other words "queer" was
deemed inappropriate. And while this old
"sinner" certainly loves to be loved, I was
unwilling to be treated like one of God's
bastard offspring just because of who I
love. So, I moved on to a happier place.
Kiss off
I know we've discussed this many
times since. However in the midst
of liturgical times like these I'm
reminded that we've been sent to
gay purgatory. Hence my opinion
that I've already given up my share
for this year - and maybe a lifetime.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happier in
my new Episcopalian home. In the
end my transition away from hatred
and bigotry has been a blessing. Yet
the fact that we can't ever go back
"home" still stings my very soul.
Far, far away
Like an alcoholic at a cocktail lounge,
I now stay away from what ails me.
To this day we're still surprised when
local Catholics apologize for what
happened. Many feel they can't leave
the church yet have reinforced their
support for us and all gay Catholics.
So in reality, it's over and done with.
Yet, whenever another church holiday
rolls around, the challenge of Catholic
abstinence rears it's ugly head. Why
do we crave the things that in truth
will only hurt us? Enough already!
Hindsight is 20/20
We can't go back. Yet if someone
you love begs you to... how do
you say no? That struggle is the
hardest part of this  process. So
therefore I'm certain we've done
more than our share long before
this Lenten season even started.
I'm confident God appreciates all
of the time, effort, and emotion
we've put into our transition out
of the Catholic church. And I'm
equally certain that said greater
power mourns what has been lost.
Brighter outlook
One thing is certain. It's been quite
amazing to watch a large group of
disenfranchised Catholics move on
to a new and obviously better place.
Last Sunday my friend "M" shared
her excitement over the book her
Sunday School Study Group is
reading. Normally a bit jaded, she
glowed as she shared how her prior
perspective about God and faith is
evolving for the better. Dissipated
dogma has been replaced by hope,
faith, and charity. God is good!
Up, up and away
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes,
faith has survived against all odds.
Rather than forty days and nights
in the wilderness - these six months
have proven that there's life beyond
our former parish. And while the
occasional reminder of times past
burns - we're stronger post said
baptism of fire. So for this Lent I'm
giving up the ghost of parishes past.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And by
Easter I'm confident my faith will be
fully resurrected. EAT MY DUST!