Somehow just hearing those words the other day "That man giving into his lust is no different than when you give into yours." was enough to keep me going. It doesn't seem to matter how hard Jesus's words are to hear, just hearing something is enough to keep me on the journey without losing heart. Even though hearing so clearly doesn't happen often (in fact it is a rare occurence)I do seem to hear when I really need to as opposed to when I think I really need to. Oh, there have been times of utter pissyness at God because I am demanding an answer, a sliver of hope and there seems to be none coming. To live by faith seems like a cruel joke some days.
One time I went to church and told God, "Please just give me something to hang onto to get me through this week. Something I can take home with me to keep me going."
I am not very brave. I don't say things like that to Him very often cause I am scared of being disappointed. "Show me the goods, God" I want to say, "my faith is getting faint."
I go to a little Catholic Church that is truly in the boondocks. On a good Sunday there may be 10 adults present. If 75 people showed up we'd not only be packed in there like sardines, after a while we'd smell like them too. If you can picture a tiny country church similar in size to the ones built on homesteader prairie land 100 years ago you would be seeing the little church I attend.
There was a time, before I was Catholic, when I arrogantly thought I would never make this little church my home because if there were only a handful of people there, surely it was a dead church. That line of reasoning made sense to me and besides, I was meant for bigger and better things. It was in this church I was too spiritual for, that I asked God, "Could you just give me a little something to get me through the week?" Sounds almost like a drug deal.
The heat is kept to a minimum between Sundays. Couple that with it being an old church with poor insulation and well, some Sundays we all keep our coats on until quite a ways into the Mass. I often am envious of Father Charlie and his robes and catch myself thinking how warm they must keep him!
On this particular Sunday it was cold and people kept their jackets on. I have always loved the Procession of Gifts that happens during the Mass. The combination of people approaching the priest and his joyful expectation have often made me teary. This particular Sunday a mom and her adolescent daughter were the gift bearers. Being a writer I often scrutinize people; taking note of what they wear and how they carry themselves. I am always taking in the little things about people. I am sure there is a file in my head full of snippets of observations. So this mom and her daughter were bearing the gifts. The mom wears her sandy blonde hair in what we used to call a 'shag' haircut. She was wearing faded jeans and a down filled jacket. Her daughter looked like any ordinary girl at school. Approaching the priest they were ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing. I was observing them and thinking about how glad I was that fashion parades just don't happen in my neck of the woods. Into the midst of these observations came the words "Come as you are."
Instant tears. Tears all the way through communion as I told Jesus I was coming to Him as I was. These words still echo in my heart often as I receive the Eucharist.
I got over myself a bit that day. I learned that Jesus isn't into fashion parades or equating lots of people in a church with it being spiritually alive.
You could say I got my fix.