For a long time now I’ve been listening to some deep murmur in me around my faith tradition. I have said earlier here that I feel this is the year I may start to consider the faith of my young life and perhaps see what comes to me in that. I was raised Catholic and frankly I really loved being Catholic as a kid. Now, this being said I did not have much to measure it against, I didn’t really know much about “protestant” faiths. I knew they existed but had very little teaching or instruction on that whole thing. Even so, I loved my faith. I knew God as my father most specifically. I cannot remember a time when He was not in me and I in Him. I know that sounds weird and mystical, that’s ok with me. All I know is that there was never a moment when that bit of it was questionable, even in moments when I felt most alone and abandoned, I knew that anchor of His voice.
I left the tradition because I was afraid and rebellious and immature. Or maybe I was immature and that made me feel afraid and so I was rebellious…yeah, that’s a little closer to it.
I was at college, I looked for a mass but there was no mass on campus and I had no car. I tried the “interdenominational” services and they were lovely and welcoming. I remember that most even now, 25 years later. That might have scared me even more, to be honest. That they were warm and lovely and welcoming was weird and unfamiliar. My parish at home was my family. There really WERE no strangers. Our “greeters” were the fathers and grandfathers of my friends. Their quiet wink at me when they’d catch me sneaking in the back after mass had begun was the language of care I knew. Until this moment I did not realize how much I miss that language, how I hate starting over from the beginning.
It’s hard enough for me, meeting new people. I love people, don’t misunderstand and I love engaging and talking. If you’ve met me you know this. It takes it’s toll on me, though. It takes a great toll on me, more than I realize while I’m in conversation. It’s not until I am alone that I find tears coming to my eyes, I am so happy then, to be alone. It’s as if I had used up all my air, and am GLAD to have used it in this way, truly…but being alone then, I can breathe. I need this. I need this quiet and then I am reminded of the mass.
The Catholic mass loves silence. When it speaks it echoes and my heart feels it before my ears even register it.
The creeds are steady and true and clear to me…
God from God,
Light from Light,
True God from True God
Begotten not made
One in being
with the Father
This is poetry…and this is my sacred language.
What surprises me, today, is not that the murmuring in me speaks this language but that it may be pointing me somewhere else…somewhere that both new and familiar, Orthodoxy. So, that’s where I am. I’ve heard this whisper for about 10 years now, the one that begins with poetry and ends in that word. I have no idea where to take that yet but I’m workin on it.