I was all too eager to share with you how my organization progress was going. Not all too eager to share with you how my spiritual goals were progressing. Needless to say, the title says it all.
So this is my public admission. Because I’d hate for you to be over on that side of the computer thinking that my silence means I’m actually doing what I set out to do.
If I sound tired, I am. But I am also just trying to let you know what a work in progress I am.
So, I said I would pray before all meals, with an outside sign of the cross like I do at home. Yeah, totally was doing great on this until…I met up with a friend from college for dinner. Why is it so much harder for me to live my faith out loud when I am around people who knew me before I had my faith? I wish I could just say “I forgot” to make the sign of the cross, but I didn’t. I just, chickened out. I just, feel like such a hypocrite. On some level I guess that means that I haven’t forgiven myself for what I’ve done in the past? Or I don’t want to appear too changed and thus too foreign? Or maybe its as simple as I didn’t want to stop the conversation and be like “HEY I’M CATHOLIC, REMEMBER? Ok, continue.” This is hard for me to decipher, but I know I came home, felt like Peter, and decided to make it better going forward. So I did. The next day I met up with another friend from college and stuck to my Lenten goal, which was to be consistent with the way I pray in public as I am at home. I was back on track.
For a day.
Then I had an unexpected trip home for a funeral.
And failure abounded.
I am very aware of the unspoken separation I have caused in my family by finding a faith in general, let alone the Catholic faith. I was a crazy child in high school (always?) and these stories always seem to come out, much to my embarrassment. But hey, I can’t run from the past. I did what I did, and some of those stories are pretty darn hilarious and humiliating, so all I can do at this point is laugh at myself, admit guilt/wrongdoing, and try to move on. These people know me and my faults better than anyone else.
But do they know my faith?
I am aware of what has been said about Catholics in my family and I admit, sometimes I just want to take the easy route, not cause a stink, just try to go to Mass at the least inconvenient time and say my little prayer without anyone thinking that I’m trying to show anyone up. But I fail.
And then during this trip, made for the funeral mass of the last practicing Catholic family member on the day the new pope was elected, these things that are normally silent undercurrents came to the surface in explosive “discussions”. I am glad things were finally said, and these things discussed, rather productively (in that we all maintained relative composure and hugs happened at the end) but it took me a while to realize how this effects how I live my faith even more in front of my family and those I’m closest too. I guess it was easier in a way when I thought these feelings of separation and causing a stir were all in my head. Now it is confirmed they aren’t.
These things are so hard. I know that its hardest to live out your faith with those you are closest to, but I also know that its the most important too.
So, that’s where I’m at.