It was so very moving. At one point my youngest daughter hid behind my back, she couldn’t bear to watch Jesus being hurt and tortured.
It was more realistic and deeply poignant than I ever thought it would be. Because of the commanding performance by the actor who played Jesus Christ so perfectly.
He was everything I know Jesus to be. Convincing. Sure. Steadfast. Warm. Kind. Strong. Radiating Safety. Deeply Content. Tender. Beautiful. Faith-Full. Imbued in Peace. And Full of Love.
And His yoke was light. And I felt safe by Him. And I Love Him.
And I trust Him not to break my heart. And I long to be more like Him.
It was a privilege to take my children, to have the Passion be brought to life in such a tangible way. It will enrich their faith and make their knowing Him for the rest of their lives more tangible still. For sure next year I will take the other children too.
Today’s performance was especially poignant for me. I looked at Jesus’ suffering at the hands of man. Men who would murder, men who would slaughter an innocent and loving being, and any of my own suffering falls into complete insignificance. And believe me I feel more crucified, heartbroken, tortured and forsaken than I have felt in a long while. But not at the hands of my enemy, at the hands of myself and at the hands of those I Love.
For the past 4 years my yearning, desperation, hunger, passion, longing, and fire to be received into the Catholic Church, to be united with my children, and my Beloved in faith has been day by day growing greater, and Greater, and GREATER. This Lent I have walked 6 miles a day for 40 days, totaling 240 miles, offered up in Love and prayer. I passionately and courageously reached the very pinnacle of my very deepest desire to be received in to the Catholic Church. I was holding on with all my Love and Faith and prayer, to the prophecy (that I was so very sure) that I was going to become officially Catholic this Easter.
God had already told me.
To be received into the Catholic Church this Easter, is to be so especially blessed. Next year (as last year) Easter services takes place at our sister church of St Monica. But for this very special year of my journey, Easter is celebrated at St Sabina’s. My church home. The place where my closest church family have Loved, supported and prayed for me. This is the Holy place where I have spent hours sitting in front of the tabernacle, at times my refuge. Easter weekend surely has to truly be the most special time of the liturgical calendar to be received in, experiencing the depths and blackness of sin and death, and the wonder of Christ’s resurrection, and our new life restored whole in God. What an eternal celebration of the ‘faith of our faith’ every Easter.
3 days before Easter my priest summons me a.s.a.p to bring me the good news. I went instantly with a faithful and knowing heart, and he gave me the news which I knew in my soul was coming, the good news which I have so longed to hear. And I received it not with glee, but knowingly, and with a surprisingly quiet sure resolute strength.
However in the end, the 3 days before Easter a.s.a.p part, was irrelevant.
I am not to be received in at Easter. My priest mis-judged my absolute desperate relief and final dying vocal surge of energy, spirit, strength, resilience, courage, passion and faith in the Catholic sytem, for a bad attitude. And so he chose to delay.
And the disappointment, and the broken-hearted knife twisting pain, and the failure of all my prayers and prophecy, and the desolation, devastation and destruction of all my hope, (where my faith was so strong) has robbed me of something which I felt and knew in the very depths of my core. Something so alive and resilient, so sure and Sacred, and so very special deep down inside has died. And now I feel empty and full of sadness . . . and hurting . . . and emptier still. depleted. Nothing.
One wonders where God’s Will is done, and where it is challenged and thwarted by man’s own will. And now even if a miracle were to happen, so what. The depth charge of happiness has been decimated, and the consolation of reception into the Catholic Church at Pentecost, feels now so un-special, tarnished and imbued in sadness. In fact faithless.
On Maundy Thursday I sat with Christ for 3 hours until midnight, I did my intense first spiritual confession with Him before the tabernacle. Every sin that came into my mind I shared with Him, until I could recall no more. We prayed together. I still had faith right into the Easter Vigil that I might be recieved in, for that was what God had led me to believe. And now the Easter Vigil has come and gone. I stayed for the homily and then it became evident that I would not be recieved in. My faith did not save me, even though Christ said it would. I just couldn’t bring myself to stay till the end this year, to bear witness to the reception of another parishioner into our church family. I did though kiss him before the service and wish him every happiness. I didn’t stay to meet the risen Christ. Instead he is stilling inside of me. Inside my absolute disappointment is now a stillness. I feel emptied to nothing other than an empty calm flat still.
I read my husband my blog on Easter morning, his silence was acute and thunderous. I chose the Catholic Faith over him, the pain palpable. Easter morning for us bleeding and decimated like the red foil wrapped chocolate eggs. No resurrection here just death. In 1970 at 5.40 in the morning on Easter Sunday I was born. Every Easter Sunday since then had been so very special to me, a deeper connection. Today I feel crucified.
Pentecost will come and go too. It will forever be about the Love of the Holy Spirit coming down onto the apostles, every year I am already blessed by the Love of Pentecost. Beloved apostle of His soul.
Maybe the day for my reception should be united with the feast day of the one person who truly understands the broken heart. The saint who has walked with me as a friend. Who has been a comfort and my example of true endurance, despite the wrong judgements of others. The one person who truly knows unfaltering steadfast Eternal Love, from the Earth to the Heavens. The woman whom Jesus Loved more than any other. His companion. Who upon His resurrection He chose to first appear to. His Beloved Mary.
So that’s final I will wait. And one year, whenever God makes it possible, my free spirit will be received into the Roman Catholic Church – or not. And maybe it will be on July 22nd, St Mary Magdalen’s feast day. Or maybe it will be on Mary of Bethany’s feast day. “Oh” (she says sarcastically) “There isn’t one.” Maybe it wont.
Mary a lady who Loved her Lord.
A lady who knows that one day all broken hearts will be unbroken †
Bearing the weight of the cross
Dragging through hopeless hope and humiliation
Until broken of all physical strength
Collapsing. Prayers aspiring.
Nailed to the very wood with the iron will of Love enduring
The wood once nurtured from the clay, made oxygen for life.
Starving now of any of natures merciful spirit
The stab of human nature piercing the side
The side with the innocent guard down. The inside.
Everyone who ever failed to Love, modestly shrinking away in self-preservation.
Blood red, like teardrop’s which cannot be contained
A visual outpouring of Love.
What is Love ?
That your body be broken up for me.
That your blood be sacrificed for me.
That your sacrament is denied me.
God is this yours or human will ?
I Love, where lesser hearts and souls have died
Yet I am being crucified.
There is another way, My way
Where all our days could be blessed with loving kindness
A lifetime of intimate friendship, explored and shared.
Overflowing with support, kindred warmth, spiritual closeness.
Of understanding, respect, humility and compassion.
And Love of the very closest, eternal kind.
Love held in deepest Truth.
Love without sin.
And still, I will bear the weight of my cross for eternity
For in Truth, He will forever keep me close to you.
For God is Love, and I am too.
As my final Lent prayer, I offer all my pain up for Him †
My Faith in Him alone.