Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Carried out

This photo only makes sense if this post from about this time last year rings any bells (ha ha). But a couple of people have expressed concern for me publicly or privately, given the long gap since my last post.

The fact is, I've plainly been "on the stretcher" for a while now -- early spring at least. I have on a couple of occasions mentally "resigned" from the Church and not gone to Mass or Adoration for weeks at a time -- and no ... not for reasons narrowly or especially related to Topic H or because of  having fallen head over heels for the man of my dreams or somesuch. It's stuff much, MUCH more fundamental.

It happens often, but always the thinnest twitches upon the thread¹ remind me that resignation simply is not an option. Ever. I wait for the intellect to reassert itself over my depression and remind myself that regardless of my worst fears, I've never not been able to say the Creed. I may be a bad Catholic, but I am still a Catholic.

In the meantime, deadlines have to be met and rules followed, and so nobody should look for me at this year's Courage Conference in Boston. I was "in the dressing room" when the time for registration passed.

But while I am being cuffed about in the ring, it's very hard to blog in this persona I've created because I am acutely aware that he often doesn't come across as a particularly happy or admirable man or much of an advertisement for Our Lord. Second, I have a very difficult time with the "confessional" mode of discourse (it's a hard enough thing in a private sacramental context; publicly, I detest it). Third, I have an overriding desire not to scandalize people, and it remains strong even in the "in the dressing room" periods.²

So my tendency is to resist making a public point of these things (even writing this post is something I've been off and on about for a month). And remind myself of Mother Teresa, the patron saint of the spiritual darkness, who hardly spoke of her feelings of abandonment for decades. And just try to forget.

I hope those of you who link or come here regularly understand.
¹ That post from last year on one occasion; a visit from a friend who regards me as a "spiritual hero" on another; finding myself bowing my head and making the Sign of the Cross before dinner on another.
² That is, it's not that I'm thinking "the Church is stupid/evil/wrong, etc.," (if such were the case, one should "scandalize" others). But "the Church is who She claims to be but I am not called to follow Her."


Jennifer F. said...

I admire your spiritual maturity. You will be in my prayers.

Saul said...

Understood fully.

I suppose the wisdom of releasing Mother Teresa's papers is showing itself more and more!

God be (is) with us always.

Dad29 said...

Corragio, pal.

The Church? Or the people IN the Church?

Distingish...and persevere! Our prayers.

Doubting Thomas said...

You are in my prayers...I only recently started visiting your blog and found some very good help in the older posts that I read. Know that you are not alone, my friend. God keep you.

Mephibosheth said...

CM, I'm sad I won't get to see you in Boston. I still bear the scars from our last New England gridiron battle. There's a lad from the Virginia chapter who has family in my area, you probably know who I'm talking about, he's been down here three times since Stamford, and I always ask about you when he comes through.

You're the only blogger I know who uses footnotes. That always makes me smile.

In prayer and with love,


The Sheepcat said...

Hey, CM, glad to see you writing again. And yes, understood.

The peace of Christ be with you always.

John Jansen said...

I may be a bad Catholic, but I am still a Catholic.

Reminds me of something Chesterton said:

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."

Terry Nelson said...

It is a huge struggle, as long and as difficult as life itself. You are always in my prayers.

Tina said...

All Catholics are "bad" Catholics! Hang in there.

boinky said...

I'll keep you in my prayers. I have chronic "dark night" but what always comforts me is that emotions are not the same as reality: I may "feel" unloved by God, or that he doesn't exist, but it doesn't mean he doesn't exist, any more than "feeling" that the sun will never come up means there won't be a dawn.

Your dark night is not unusual, alas. But remember that it might have spiritual, physical and psychological aspects...get checked for depression and medical problems that cause depression..
.especially thyroid, hepatitis, or mononucleosis...

as I would remind my patients: The head is connected to the neck bone...and the head is connected to the body...

Sr Hyacinthe OP said...

praying for you, Courage Man. Keep being faithful to your name, courage is most precious: it is an expression of hope.
I'll adore the Lord and receive Him for you, when you're not doing it, and then do it for me when I fail.

Fr. J. said...


I understand completely. You articulate so well what is so difficult to express--that it is hard to live in faith but impossible to live without it.

The constitutions of Holy Cross have a simple, but powerful line: "There's dying to do on the way to the Father."

Dying to the flesh, dying to the ego, dying to my desires, dying to Christ, dying to the self, dying to sin. We do not have to do it alone as he has given us himself and one another to lean on.

For as surely as there is the cross to bear, so resurrection is equally assured.

Courage, friend. And, keep the faith.