I wrote this while I am sick and loaded up with anti-histamines, cough suppressant, fever reducers and allergy medicines. None of which have been prescribed by a doctor or anyone in the medical industry. Well, maybe a janitor at the local hospital. So if it runs astray and makes no sense I blame the pharmaceuticals that I have ingested over the course of the last 48 hours.
I don’t feel well. As a matter of fact for the last two days I have felt like warmed-over, half-baked, deep-fried, 12-day old rotten eggs. Seriously, that is how I feel. I am by no means in the mood to write nor am I wanting to sit down and remove any cancerous goo that may be festering inside of me at this point in my life.
Something inside of me is compelling me to sit down and write. My muse? My sense of respobsibility to myself? My followers and reader? The fact that I have Willie Nelson slowly singing about life in Georgia through the computer speakers as I sit here and type away with a slow, high pitched harmonica playing longingly in the background of the song?
Maybe… Just maybe. Or, it could be that since I have been ill the past couple days and I attended a wedding yesterday at the same church I was married in 20 years, 4 months and 5 days previously has gotten my mind racing again. Thoughts of hopes, dreams, love and happiness. All of those emotions were involved yesterday as I sat at Saint Pauls Catholic Church watching two people whom I have known for over 5 years make a lifelong commitment to each other. Actually, I have known the bride longer but that is a minor fact and has no bearing on this story whatsoever.
I like Saint Paul’s Catholic Church, it is an old-school Cathedral style church with sweepeing butresses and arches that seem to have no start or finish. Fresco’s painted on the wall and preserved with a budget that could pay for my mortgage in a single year, the stations of the cross scattered throught the church and carved with such care and precission that you can see the actual tears on Jesus’s face and the scars on his body. Stained glass windows that are almost 2 stories high and when you look at them directly overwhelm your eyes with a blaze of color and somber reflection that you nearly want to break down and cry because of the beauty that is invading your mind, body and soul.
The floors are solid marble and have been shined to such a high gloss that you feel sorry for the women who are walking around in high heels and skirts and are afraid they might slip and fall with their skirt ending up around their head. The pews are solid wood with no cushions and they even have the kneel bars that flip down at your feet. The High Alter is solid marble too and it is HUGE! The whole place just screams with religion, worship and the presence of God. It was quite a treat to revisit it and it made me think about why I had left the place years ago. So, while everyone in the place was watching the wedding party march down the main aisle and murmurs of who was wearing what clothes and why so and so was sitting on the groom’s side or what happened at work with fellow co-workers I was making mental notes of why I had left this place so many years ago.
Do you want to know? Are you sure? You do know you can stop reading right here, right now. Just click to another page on the internet and you won’t have to worry or even think about it ever again. Me? I am gonna continue. You? Do what you will. Oh, and if your Catholic this by no means is a aspersion on you or your faith. These are simply MY reasons.
Reasons I left the Catholic Church and Saint Pauls.
1. I was tired of the routine of the Mass.
2. I did not like that they got rid of Father Disney and then Father Naro.
3. I did not like the Priest they replaced the aforementioned Priests.
4. I was tired of not feeling as if I were growing spiritually.
5. I always felt bad about not being able to feel connected spiritually with God.
Now, by no means are those in order of importance or is this list complete. I know there are other reasons/excuses I left that Church and you know, I sometimes think about going back. I know the current Priests there and they are very nice guys. I enjoy speaking with them and seeing them around town and I do enjoy their manner of speaking about their faith and their own personal walk on this ball of mud.
I also know that while I have entertained thoughts of going back to my Catholic roots I most likely wont. I just have a hard time with some of the Dogma and method of teaching. I am an old-school man with a modern outlook on religion. I am an enigma in my faith but I am by no means alone. I am at a church now that is filled with people like me. Albiet not all of them come from Catholic roots. We have Episcopallian, Babtist, Lutherans, Pentacostals and even some lapsed Athiests.
I am “Plugged-In” at my current church and I am happy there. I even enjoy some of the people some of the time. But, that being said, I do know attending Church is not about me. It is not about you, it is not about some guy in Italy who just woke up from a 3 day bender and feels the need to get right with God. Nope, it is about God and his relationship with us. I am just now really coming to that realization. That even though We as humans meandering around here on the mud ball are brought up with a Theistic sense of religion we sometimes stray and falter and even second guess what we are taught. We doubt, we blame, we deny. We find any excuse to not do what we should do. What we have been taught to do.
Most of us when we get married plan and plan and plan about how every second of our wedding day, our FIRST DAY, is going to go. (Ok, mostly the women do all the planning. As men, heck, if we manage to show up sober it is a minor miracle and proof of God’s existance.)But how much planning do we put into day 10 or day 100 or even Day 2,549? (That’s a rhetorical question follks) We don’t think about those days. If we manage to even think past our paydays at the early stages of marriage we are fortunate. (In some cases 20 years go by and you can’t even think PAST pay day.)
So today, for the day after my friends wedding and while they are most likely sitting in front of a roaring fireplace at the Biltmore Estates I just have one final thing to say.
Congratulations and Good Luck you to silly kids. I love you and I pray for the best in your lives and may all your children be strapping young men!