Lately I haven’t felt the usual energy to express and articulate myself through the written word, in order to make sense of the unwritten word experienced and lived by my life. I hadn’t felt any motivation for weeks. The last blog-post was obviously just pulled from Mr Rohr and collated into one post by me, for my own interest, and realising that it may also be of interest to others, I posted it.
I am sorry to say that although I admire the wisdom of the elders, and whilst some of those that are learned in spiritual teachings inspire me, I often have a different more wonderful perception of the world. And although some parts of my journey relate in some ways to other people’s posts and teachings, I think they often tend to kill everything off which is beautifully spontaneous, by over analysing, over compartmentalising, and over prescribing the presumed or expected experience of being.
And that’s just it ~ whilst there might just be a universally native existential path of being a spiritual human ~ too much of it is anticipated, explained, preempted, articulated and manipulated, rather than allowing each belovedly created person the beauty of naturally experiencing their own journey, based on the unfolding and unfurling of their own spiritual process led by God ~ based on their very unique relationships, experiences, perceptions and awakenings ~ beyond others manipulating, directing, subverting and prescribing in advance the cause, effect and process of our gentle else dynamic naturally God inspired journey, which is uniquely, profoundly and deeply personal, akin to all the components that make us purely and uniquely who ‘I am’ ~ akin to His Grace bestowed upon us.
After a difficult time of never feeling fully or truly welcomed in my own Catholic diocese, I tried to make the impossible leap of crossing beyond borders to the next diocese, which has at times felt like a kind of temporary part-time surrogate home. Logistically, financially and vocationally this is an impossibility in itself, and location wise it is completely impractical. I can not live as a hypocrite sharing and promoting the beauty and freedom of the Catholic faith with each of my innocent children, and others, whilst personally being on the receiving end of her lack of forgiveness and mercy, rejection and institutionally flawed character, whilst watching her preach welcomness, acceptance, forgiveness and God’s Mercy, publicly to all.
So I take a sabbatical (unknowing whether it is permanent) with a heavy heart ~ and surprisingly after only a few weeks of no church it becomes a little easier to bear. On my one day in London there is a church where the Blessed Sacrament is permanently set for adoration and I take this opportunity to be with Christ in a Sacred setting, where my hurting is held before the altar. I thank God that He taught me the depths of Spiritual Communion and Love, beyond the Institutions restrictions, and beyond personal prejudice. Thank God for Him being my Rabboni and holding me so very close. Thank God for allowing me to know Love beyond rejection, suppression, repression and restriction, and Thank God for His spiritual Graces that I pray continue to bless my life.
Despite my painful situation, I had Church commitments which I had to honour this week, which were booked since last year, outside of my own parish. I was so blessed to have felt truly a part of such a loving dedicated and vocational team of people on the Beloved Retreat weekend for women. For so long I have been held apart from so many inspirational talks and lectures of any great standing, and yet here I was blessed to not only witness other people’s testimonies (in 5 x 20 minute talks) ~ but also I had to give one of these talks to the other women participating on the weekend. You can read my talk here, it is entitled ~ I Am my Beloveds. The title was very apt for St Valentines weekend.
I only got to being a part of this team, by having found my way to the Beloved Retreat, through a chance meeting with a member of the Sion community on a discernment weekend in Hammersmith London. This chance meeting inspired me to book on to my first Beloved Retreat weekend. To have been a participant on this most beautiful retreat last year with my dearest friend who is ill with terminal bone cancer, was such a precious blessing ~ and to spend this precious time for the whole intense weekend in the same room ~ with such profound Love and pain shared between us and Christ, was just so poignantly beautiful.
The only way for me to come back again was to become a part of the team. So I enquired and one thing led to another in a way that I hadn’t foreseen or planned, and in the unfolding of duties assigned to people, I ended up putting my name down beside a potential talk. The day grew closer and the many tasks were assigned to the different team members, and so it was confirmed that I would prepare and give the talk entitled ‘I am my Beloveds’. On the actual weekend I introduced myself by giving my own little personal testimony and witness, before the actual planned talk which is on the above link.
I was Sooooo nervous, it was the first time that I have ever committed to such a ministry. And for once I felt without fail or falsity the genuine fraternal & maternal support, love, encouragement and warmth of others around me ~ all wanting , praying and willing for me to succeed. I never realised that this nurturing Love had felt so vitally lacking up until now, and that in its presence I felt fully embraced, and unable to fail. To feel that perfect warmth was a blessing that has given me new hope ~ and one that I hadn’t anticipated discovering at all before the weekend. It is a sadness for me that Beloved only happens twice a year.
The conversations that preceded, unfolded, and followed the talk, ~ the Love given, shared, and received ~ the witness ~ the blessings of knowing what it is to be fully accepted and loved beyond prejudice ~ without manipulation, judgement, unkindness, awkwardness, suppression, or frustration from the sheer mis-perceived preempted judgements cast upon my every choice (which is usually the case by others) and stops me from doing what others are entitled to choose to do freely, was so very reassuring.
I shall remember these precious weekends of Love and kindness for the rest of my life.
It was such a beautiful privilege to be on the team. I went to bed late and rose early at 5.ooam on secret duties. Each meal, each gift, each touch, each perfect little attention to detail ~ and every care taken so precisely to deliver something of God’s Love to the other women who were on retreat (who had no idea what to expect next) was such a blessing. It made me full of the desire to want to deliver no less than what Gods Grace had entrusted me with.
I pray I never let Him down.
On coming home I am both moved and saddened at the close of this weekend. My dearest friend is undergoing her 3rd round of grueling chemotherapy for her terminal bone cancer which is now in her bone marrow. I am accompanying her to the hospital for the whole of her treatment plan, and I will care for her with the deepest Love until the end of her life ~ because that woman has given me the most beautiful gift of loving friendship and support, throughout one of the most difficult times of my life. Life of late has not been easy for her, her husband is sidetracked and preoccupied by his demanding new business franchise, and their relations have become strained and often fractious under the immense strain of everything they are facing.
I am scared of loosing her ~ and I am scared of witnessing her pain and deterioration whilst accompanying her on the difficult and gruelling path ahead. I am scared for her children’s hearts. This week after great difficulty she finally had a PICC-line put in, a 4 hour blood transfusion, and her first session of now weekly chemo. Please pray that she wins back a little more time to be with her 3 children. And Please may I ask for your deepest prayers for all of us ~ for strength ~ courage ~ Love ~ and finally ~ Peace. Please may I also ask you for prayers for my own children ~ that their faith in Jesus may be Forever.
Thank you All ~ God bless you ~ mags †