A Creed to Live By
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us are special.
Don’t take fore granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life.
Don’t let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future,
by living your life one day at a time you will live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn to be brave.
Don’t dismiss your dreams: to be without a dream is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without a purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget where you have been
but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.
The front of our parish bulletin carries always carries some inspirational message, and it never fails to touch the hurting soul.
Count your Blessings
Count your blessings
instead of your crosses,
Count your gains
instead of your losses.
Count your joys
instead of your woes;
Count your friends
instead of your foes.
Count your smiles
instead of your tears;
Count your courage
instead of your fears.
Count your full years
instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds
instead of your mean.
Count your health
instead of your wealth;
Count on God
instead of yourself.
After a few bad weeks, I guess this helps focus my mind on the good, rather than the bad.
It takes a long time for wounds to heal, especially when the cut is 5 years deep. And it doesn’t take a lot to reopen them either. Luckily, if you are surrounded by caring people, they are able to help you through. A a little professional assistance can help too, especially when that outside help is emotionally removed from the whole situation.
In all my years, I have always been afraid to seek outside help for my problems, but on this occasion, I have had to accept it lest I was to remain in a debilitated state.
I am still not convinced, but I will admit I have been feeling better for it.
WYD occurred last week, unfortunately I missed much of it. My family was quite involved, being volunteers over the city. And many friends were hosts to pilgrims. Good reports all around.
There were a number of SSA support events too, two of which I knew about. One official, one unofficial. I attended neither of them, although a part of me thinks I missed out on a chance. Spiritually, I still have a lot of growing to do.
I was disappointed by a certain lack of compassion on the part of the Church in the way they handled the abuse victims. Cardinal Pell seemed extremely cold, and his whole demeanor in the staged press conferences was one of utter inconvenience, irritation and disinterest in the plight of those genuinely wronged. And after the secretive event held with four unnamed abused victims, he took on a tone of vindication, and practically washed his hands saying all had been put right! I think there is a long way for the Church to come in reconciling these matters.
And the answer, might I add, is not a witch-hunt to find SSA priests. I’m sure a great many SSA priests live out their spiritual lives in complete communion with God, and do not seek sinful passions in the way a small minority have done.
Over the last few weeks, I have befriended a Religious Order Priest (as opposed to a Diocesan Priest) out there in the world. Gives me hope that there is compassion for us out there. And for the last few months, I have another good SSA friend out there in the world, part of a lay religious order who has offered untold friendship, support and spiritual advice.
I am not anti Church, I am seeking better understanding and compassion from those out there who do not know what it is like to walk in these shoes.
For a short time I participated in the Courage On Line (COL) yahoo group. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion it’s not for me, and I don’t think I would be prepared to attend a local chapter if one started in Sydney. It probably does helps some people, but I find the constant reminder that we are broken, fallen people very unhelpful. That is not to say that I’m perfect, or that we start telling lies to suit ourselves, but I feel that people in my situation are emotionally fragile, and need some better support other than the trite, throw-away cliches that are consistently used.
To those on my prayer circle page, I continue to keep you in my prayers. Thank you for your prayers too.
Until my next post…
I have been reading a lot of writing on the internet in regards to the Catholic Church’s response to SSA (gay) Priests. It is an appalling state of affairs that the Church is scapegoating SSA priests as the excuse for the sexual abuse of children that has come to light in recent years.
I can honestly say, that I find the very idea of any form of child abuse extremely appalling, let alone sexual abuse. But the Church seems convinced that homosexuality is the cause of paedophilia. It’s very cruel for those of us out there who are SSA to be lumped in like that. The result of this action is to foster hatred for people who are homosexual people.
I suppose it comes with the territory, where sins of murder and rape are commonly compared to homosexual acts, usually with the latter being more heinous than anything else.
The other common thing to say is that homosexual’s are “fallen”, and thus just more sinful than anyone else.
The church is certainly discriminatory and has classes of people. Even disabled people are a lesser class. Just recently a story about a couple where the groom was a paraplegic, and hence impotent, and the Bishop denied them the opportunity to marry.
This just opened up a whole can of worms for me. Reading deeper into church teaching on marraige, it seems the Sacrament of marriage is not complete until it is consumated! This is in canon law.
Note that the same standard does not apply for an infertile couple. So they can marry, but their union will not include children, ie not open to procreation, but that is ok. Its the sex that is important. Its what completes the sacrament. And there is a thread where things get so involved inside the bedrooms of couples as to what is acceptable sex? Permissible sex
I think the whole gay marriage debate should be closed. SSA people don’t need marriage. They just need legal protection in terms of finances, next of kin, visitation rights in hospital etc. And really, these are not only for homosexual couples, but for any two people who are living together, eg two sisters, or close friends.
Some of the real fire in my mind has come from the Catholic Forum. I’ll post the links here to the discussion. I have found some of the topics, as well as the responses of ordinary Catholic people very striking in their closed-minded, judgmental manner.
There is a certain thoughtlessness, lack of charity and compassion from many people who do not understand what kind of emotional turmoil it is to be SSA and Catholic. They just like to lecture to you and quote biblical passages, or use trite catchphrases like “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”. Even when you are not arguing against Catholic and Scriptural teaching.
I guess what I am getting at here is that many Catholics do not like to follow this line from the Catechism:
“2358 … They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided…”
Just a rant I guess.
My very dear friend raggedblossom visited me on Monday afternoon and brought me a prayer which I am going to share with you here.
A blessing for those already blessed who may now know it
May you recognise in your life the presence, power and light of God’s Spirit accompanying your own spirit.
My you realise that you are never alone, that your own spirit connects you intimately with the spirit of everyone else and the rest of God’s creation.
May you have respect and love for your own individuality and difference.
May you realise the gift that your own uniqueness could be for you and for the world.
May you realise that you have a special desinty here, that beneath the surface of your life there is something beautiful and good and eternal going on.
May you learn to love the Spirit of Jesus within you, the Spirit who prays always on your behalf before God, like a heartbeat, even when you are unaware of it.
May you learn to love the gift of your belonging with others, to savour their love and companionship, to rejoice in their gifts and share with them your own, that together we might build the type of world that Jesus lived and died for.
May you learn to copy with tour own and others’ mistakes with compassion.
May you never give up trying to be all you were created by God to be, an image of Godself.
May the mess that you experience in life never put you off your trying.
May tou know the joy of forgiveness as you yourself forgive.
May you learn to see yourself and your life with the same delight, pride, mystery and appreciation with which God sees you in every moment.
[adapted and inspired by John O’Donoghue’s ‘Anam Cara’, p.161]
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s window he entitled, “The Holy Spirit Window”, and completed about 1895.