What a day that has changed through my life!
As a child, I was baptized Catholic and my parents never went. I did not understand what all that 'church stuff' was about. And although Mom taught us to pray, we stayed home on Sundays. I was confident and free. The only thing we did on Sundays was see my Italian Grandparents for a nice Sunday dinner.
Then, one Sunday, Mom and Dad dressed us up and said, 'We are going to Church.'
We drove to a local protestant church on the corner. I was alarmed at first because they separated us--my younger sister to one room, me to another, and then Mom and Dad with the grownups. It seemed wrong.
But my teacher was so nice! We would sing as a group of kids and break off into smaller rooms for study. I memorized the books of the bible and won pencils that said, 'Jesus loves me.' My family would be happy for the rest of the day.
So, one day, Pastor said something Political. And dad chose not to go. After a while, Mom gave up trying. And we stayed at home.
My only time at church was on Easter Mass when we stayed at my Aunt's house in the desert. I was mystified and drawn to the faith. I did not understand why my cousins did not appreciate being a part of church like I wished I could have been.
It wasn't until my sister turned seven that we both went for first communion. And Saturday nights we went with Mom to mass, me, mom, and sis. I loved it. I opened my heart to the Lord. We went on to get our confirmation, too.
And there were social activites for me outside of Church. Campus Life Youth For Christ, and that same Protestant church had activities for youth. I went on camps, bible studies, the Core Group, and meetings. And my Church. There was always a little bit of conflict within, because my bible was different (Catholic has extra books at the end) and the others looked down on Catholics as 'not real Christian'.
I drew the line on Witnessing. I could not try to convert someone else. There was pressure. I decided to live my life as an example, that was it, no more.
Through college, two marriages, medical school, residency, fellowship, and single motherhood I went to Mass. And gave a lot of money to the Church. I was happy, and Friday Night Fish Fry's were one of the most fun social activities my son and I enjoyed.
On a deeper level, I began to have mystical experiences. I had read a book on Medjugorge, and met a visionary who was a family friend. One day, on my knees, next to her in her rapture, I prayed this:
"If that is you Blessed Mother, then where am I touching you?" as I reached out my hand.
"On my tummy." she giggled back.
I have been talking to her and writing messages ever since. I have a foot locker packed with these automatic writings. I am considered one of her Chosen Remnant, and said a LOT of rosaries and even went to Lourdes. Blessed Mother is ALIVE! Very pretty, with clear skin, rosy cheeks, dark hair, and blue eyes. Most of the pictures you see of her don't get her right. But her energy is very beautiful, and to be near her is very very nice. I also have seen Jesus, and angels.
Part of why I became a single parent is that although he was psychic like me, and he was like, the ONLY person I could talk to about these things, when I started sharing that I was seeing angels while he was giving me a massage (my back hurt a lot then), he walked out. Couldn't take it. No angels for him. Right in the middle of the massage, out the door and never came back until the baby was born.
I have lost friends because of my gift. Not many, because I am very careful. The other was a friend from the protestant church and Youth for Christ who is very into religion, and when her deceased son had a messsage for her, I sent it. She did not like that at all and started quoting scripture at me, saying I was 'from the devil.' I didn't understand my gift, but I trusted it. I helped souls cross to the Light in meditation. Would get them to hold my hand, then put their hand in Blessed Mother's, and they would go...
Then I studied Reiki. I still went to Mass, but I knew the Church was opposed to it. There are books by a nun on Reiki, and Priests have taught it. But that was before the Church said, 'no'. There were times in my life all I wanted to do was pray and considered Religious Life. But my heart said that is not the answer, we don't go into that to escape our problems.
Now I stopped going. I used to be a Lector and a Greeter. And I stopped. Not even watching on T.V. The pastor at our local catholic church sent me a letter basically asking me 'where is the money?', asking for a gift of 'time, talent or treasure', which is to cover if I lost my job or was in financial situation.
And I miss it, the routine. But I work so hard (working twenty-four hours today) that I like that extra time at home.
What made me change? Let me think about it.
I got to the point where I wanted to make choices for me, how to live my life, what lessons to learn, and how to spend my money. I don't want to have a priest, and the pope tell me what to do. I keep my power of attention. I don't give it and my money and time to them.
I missed Christmas Mass for the first time in forty years. I still love it. But I had to work, and my son was too tired for the midnight one the night before.
I think of the time I spend right now as 'sorting things out'. Reiki and my spirituality are bringing me closer to Source. I pray without ceasing, every day. For old times' sake I might just go once in a while. But not out of habit. And not giving at least one hundred dollars a week to the collection basket out of conditioning, either.
Only in the future will we know for sure if I did the right thing.