Monday, February 18, 2008

I Fought God, And I Still Don't Know Who Won

At Mass on Sunday evening*, Monsignor gave a homily about how I wanted to punch God in the face last year after someone I loved died, but that it was okay because I was carrying the cross. Maybe that's not exactly what he said, since he wasn't talking specifically about me, but it was close. I felt like Roberta Flack singing Killing Me Softly.

Seriously, how on earth do priests do that? It's like they look out at the crowd and say, "Oh, hey you, remember that time you felt horrible and it was hard as anything and you wanted to die? I KNOW ALL ABOUT IT. And I thought I'd talk about that to the entire church today."

He was discussing the transfiguration and how everyone, at some point, goes through a crisis of faith. He said sometimes it’s spurred by something that happens to us, like someone we love dies and we get angry at God and we push Him away. That's the time when we “go to the mountain” and see something bigger than ourselves, the time when our faith is made stronger.

I don't know if that's what happened to me, but I know I was (and sometimes still am) incredibly angry with God about the last year of my life. There were times when I didn't believe in God at all, and times when I believed, but only so that I could focus the burning hot hatred in my heart at someone who I didn't think was imaginary. I still don't understand how or why two of the people I loved most in this world are gone. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them. If acceptance is the final stage of grief, it may be a very long time before I get there. And if acceptance is the mountain, I surely have a very long walk before I arrive.

Despite my mixed feelings about faith and religion and everything, it was an amazing hour of my life to sit in that church, listening to a moving homily and participating in an incredibly beautiful Mass. I highly recommend Holy Family in South Pasadena if you're a Catholic looking for a warm and welcoming parish.

* Yes, I actually attended Mass. Wonders really never cease.

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