I didn’t promise I would. I said I’d look into it. Saint Mary MacKillop’s themes are “Courage, Trust, and Openness”. And you know what… I think confronting a fear would be a damn good way to express, demonstrate, and internalize those themes.
It you do not have a Catholic friend, attending Mass is still one of the best introductions to the Church and going alone is not really difficult at all.
Ha. Haha. Hahahahaha. *anguished cry* Hahahaha… hehehe… *deep breaths* *grips the table to steady herself* … Yes. It is. Call it for what it is. PTSD.
I managed to get inside of an empty Catholic Church a couple years ago during proper hours for a proper visitation and sat my ass down in a pew without fainting or breaking out in a cold sweat. Some of y’all may have seen the (very improper) picture I took of the interior as proof that I did it. I had hope then that I would run into… someone… who could just talk to me as if I was just any other curious person. Just a simple “Hello” would push back the demons of my past and dispel much of the fear that choked me then and rakes the inside of my throat even now.
I have not been back into that church since.
At the time, I realized that meeting no other human was the right thing for me that day. I still had a lot of false burdens on my shoulders, and a lot of false condemnations to refute and reject. I had to make peace with the spirit before I could manage any interaction in the flesh.
Since then, I have become more grounded about the reality of various faiths even as my personal spirituality deepened and fractured.
Many non-Catholics experience a certain amount of apprehension about attending a Catholic Church but there is really nothing to fear.
What pisses me the hell off is I fucking know that. I’m not going to get zapped by lightening. I’m not going to bounce off a angel clothed with fire swinging a jet of plasma. I’m not going to be challenged for the secret handshake, the shibboleth, or what special ingredient makes Helen’s green bean casserole extra tasty.
It is good I am sitting down typing this out. My legs have no strength to them.
Before going any further with this explanation I would like to just take a moment to make a suggestion to you. I don’t know where you come from, what your background is or where you stand spiritually, but when you are looking at the Catholic Church you are looking at an expression of God on this earth and in our lives. So in order to help you understand what you are looking at, I would suggest that you invite God along to help you. If you are not a church going person this is not difficult, all you need to say, in your heart, is something like, “Dear God, help me with this please!”
Can’t do that. Been through too much. Some wounds still fester. Some tears come too easily.
Instead, I’m going to remind Him that He promised me. He fucking promised me. I was told the promises will be kept, but before that happens, I have to have faith. FINE.
See you in church.
Quotes are from “Making A First Contact With The Roman Catholic Church”.