I stopped blogging over a year ago, but feel this may be the best way to answer a blog I read, "The Middle Road" I will not going to this analyze this post for reasons I will explain later, but I just want to comment on the words.
Discernment on my faith journey often exhaust me. Many of the arguments spin in my head like a whirlwind of leaves that gather together funneling upward, then break apart falling flat to the ground lifeless. I must confess that I feel like that most days. Some spiritual consolation enters my heart and my thoughts are awakened to spin and dance, joyfully celebrating the faith, the Holy Catholic church I am a member of but then, the winds change, breaking apart my microburst of joy leaving me exhausted and spiritually desolate. Thankfully great saints describe just this type of spiritually activity and how it is to be expected in anyone who is perusing "spiritual perfection". Okay let me put this out there right now. Even though I use these words. "Spiritual perfection", I may be the farthest from that. Farther than anyone who may fall upon this blog. BUT it is my desire, so let me put it out there. I AM NOT AN INTELECT. So criticize, my grammar, my choice of words, and my spiritual knowledge. If I worried about all of that I would not be writing. I would be locked up in my room feeling sorry for myself. Okay, now that I have said that. Let me continue.
Let me say right off, my reversion to the faith was a complete gift. I feel I was one person one day and the complete opposite the next. My priest tells me this usually doesn't happen and that I actually received no merit in this act at all. Maybe it was an answer to someone's prayers or my prayers. I really don't know, but I thank God every day for this awesome grace I was given. Many times in my life I have been asked to take the middle road. My first true spiritual director told me that maybe I was being asked to "Stand in the GAP" I took these words to my heart and still hold them close. None of us actually know God's plan for us, but we want to be perfect servants. Don't we? So I spend hours and hours meditating on these sort of things.
Getting back to the post. I have to say I was allowed to travel both roads. At the time of spiritual awakening, with my newly recognized faith, I jumped head on into every activity allowed in my parish and the surrounding parishes. I felt that was what God wanted of me at the time. My desire to understand His truths was ravenous, and so I went way beyond what I might consider the average Catholic might do. I spent many sleepless nights reading everything I could get my hands on, and I was a person who never ever read anything. As I studied more I traveled up the Novus Ordo road and ended up TRADITIONAL. I felt really scandalized by what I had been taught for the past forty something years. That is the only way I can explain the grief I felt.
I have been trying to follow St. Francis’ rule of 1221. At one point I contacted different Franciscan priests seeing if any one of them might consider directing a group of people who want to revert to something closer to Saint Francis’ original rule. More than once I was told I had to stand more in the middle combining the two. NO, I don’t believe this is physically possible unless a person wants to be torn in two. I spent many hours and years trying to be just that. I went to events in my new found parish where the TLM and NO masses are offered. I saw that people really didn’t pass freely between the two. Still I tried, I went to the N.O. mass with my mantilla and long skirts and made a few acquaintances. I continued attending meetings of the SFO and even became the coordinator for the Adoration chapel at my church. I had a table at the school fall fair that had traditional literature and books hoping that people might have some interest. NOPE. I think seeing me is painful to them. ( I look OLD FASHIONED! ) I know that attending those events were painful for me. We have two different spiritualties. The differences are greater than the similarities. I couldn’t figure it out until I started studying documents. We follow a different catechism whether anyone wants to admit it or not. What is an absolute no no for us is perfectly allowed for them. Again let me say I stood in that church for years. I stood in the sanctuary as cantor and visited the sick as a Eucharistic minister. I loved it all. The Novus Ordo church made me quite happy and what I thought was fulfilled. Then I read the documents. The ones that people don’t read explaining how ministers of Holy Communion should be in extraordinary circumstances. How special care must be taken when giving communion in the hand. How Priests hands were consecrated and that is why they were allowed to touch and hold the sacred vessels. I noticed how the altar servers were all male at the TLM and that if at any time they had to touch the sacred vessels they held them with their surplice. How if the tabernacle was to be opened a bell would ring and ALL would genuflect. I saw no of this during my life time going to the Novus Ordo mass. It is not healthy to pray and act a certain way at the TLM and then take off the Mantilla and long skirt and remove all the rules of sacredness. If and when I questioned why things are so different it created friction. Even if it was asked in humility. My story is so long and complicated that I can’t really share it but my conclusion is we have two churches, two theologies, and I think two priesthoods.
I can’t explain why Our Holy Father teaches the way he teaches. I do know that when I was in the church he favors I was a grievous sinner and really didn’t understand. I committed so many sins through what I want to blame on complete ignorance, but really it was probably lack of desire to understand my faith. I separated myself from grace by my own sinfulness and I couldn’t see my way clear of it. The happiness I found in the church I attended was only a costume I put on. I changed myself outwardly but not on the inside.