Thursday, July 21, 2005

Chapter 22

Thursday nights came and went (and we loved them), and every Sunday we'd go to the 9 o'clock service and get dismissed with a blessing, before Communion. I hated sensing the eyes of the whole church on us as we left . I won't miss those Sunday sessions with the "Team" members. Make no mistake, they are all wonderful and well meaning people, but I don't respond well to little candle-lighting ceremonies and guided visualisations. I hope I don't sound self centered, but judging by what various people said to me, they got more out of my contributions than I got from them. I did, however, get to know some terrific people .

There eventually came an evening when I threw a real wobbly. We were reading the passage about the sheep and goats, I think, and about who is righteous and who isn't. I can't really remember all the details but I felt I had to make a defense of all my observant Jewish ancestors. I said they were more righteous than the supposedly "good" Catholics who had attacked them, in Poland. Weren't these people Catholics who attended Mass all the time? Surely they went to Confession? Did they confess the murders of faithful Jews who clung to their faith in God? Surely the faith of those Jews was not in vain. I was angry and I was crying and I was challenging Fr. Hickey and all of those in the room.

To my utter amazement, Fr. Hickey agreed with me. So I came back the next week. I still felt as though I would bolt. Each landmark in the journey was approached with trepidation. Fr. Hickey always told me I had that "deer in the headlights" look and I am sure I did. I think I still do when I go up for communion. Some part of me is still terrified I am doing it wrong.

In February we were taken to the Cathedral to meet the Bishop, at the official "Rite of Welcome". I Think, from that point on, I put myself on autopilot until after the Easter Vigil. I knew I believed and I really wanted to go through with it, but I also couldn't handle it. I don't know how to adequately explain that. I had to do it all as if I was observing someone else, which may be why it is difficult to write these last bits.

I threw myself into making a dress to wear to the Easter Vigil. I threw myself into my blog. I became involved in poor Terri Schiavo's story. I threw myself into trying to find a Patron Saint. This was particularly difficult. It was like....imagine th Ulster Protestants are the Catholic Church, and Cromwell is a favorite saint......

On March 14th I had a dream and a situation which I believe came from God. It helped me to know i was on the right track.

To be continued.......