Monday, August 21, 2006

Take THAT!

There's just something about the place. Maybe it's because the priest who said Thomas' funeral left the parish, or maybe it's because my patience is waning the longer things don't go the way I want them to (and I'm acting like a petulant child because of it) but each Sunday at church is a new experience in futility these days.

I was actually feeling fine this Sunday morning before church. On the way there I even vowed to begin anew with God. I thought I'd start fresh, let bygones be bygones, bury the hatchet and see if I could just get over it already. It was a pretty, cool day, the sun was out and I felt totally fine. Almost peaceful.

Which lasted all of five minutes once I got into the church. I couldn't concentrate on my prayers and gave up, and then spent the bulk of the Mass thinking about Thomas. But not in a good way. I kept thinking about how close we were to having him - to being able to bring him home, safe and sound like so many thousands of parents do every day. How it was just a matter of minutes - precious, unmonitored minutes - and he was taken from us. How it would have been so painfully easy for God, who is apparently capable of some pretty astounding miracles, to make everything just fine. To save our son.

I tortured myself uncontrollably in the house of God until I was so furious my only option was to leave. But because I'm still faithful (or stupid) enough to fear the wrath of God (although I have no idea why - what more could he possibly do to me?), I waited until after communion. Until after I knelt down and pretended to pray. I gauged the flow of post communion foot traffic until I saw a break in the line and jumped into it, flowing effortlessly to the back of the church where I continued out the door and into the sunshine, free at last.

It's the only thing I'm brave enough to do to God. Isn't that pathetic? As if leaving Mass before the final blessing is the worst earthly crime a person can possibly commit.

"Never mind the pedophiles, axe murders and terrorists," says God, "what the heck am I going to do with that defiant girl who keeps leaving Mass before she's been dismissed??"

But it's all I've got. It's my only protest against what I still can't understand or bear - the loss of my son and the feeling that God betrayed me.

Sigh. Can't wait for next week.


kate said...

I don't know what to tell you...because i struggle with this myself. Church is *hard* and there are no answers there. But sometimes there is comfort there -- and i am sorry you are no longer finding it.

It also makes a difference who the priest is and what he says. I have found my own church attendance becoming more spotty since being subjected to one wholly irritating sermon about 'God's Plan'. Bulls**t. I am still trying to go, every week, though it doesn't always happen. I find that sometimes even if i can't get much from the sermon, the mass itself brings me peace. And sometimes there is not even that, but at least i can light a candle for Nicolas. I know, it's kind of pathetic, really.

Lisa P. said...

I haven't been to church in over a year. I'm not Catholic, so I am not sure if there is some Methodist version of purgatory, etc., but every time I think that I may just go and try to make peace with God, something happens to shake my faith. And so I stay home.

I think your attempt would be seen in a better light than mine... but who knows.

Sherry said...

I applaud you going at all - I can't bring myself to do it, and, even while at my dad's service on Saturday, I sat in the pew with a smug, disgusted look on my face. I wasn't there for Him - it was for my dad.

The fact that you go to God's house at all should be commended. That's true faith, even if it is a little shaky right now.

jogger blogger said...

I think it is o.k. to be mad at God sometimes. We are human afterall. I've always considered faith to be a relationship rather than just going to church every Sunday. And I think you have a very strong faith because you keep talking to God.

I talk to God alot, but I rarely go to a physical church because I sometimes find the sermons just don't speak to me. But sometimes I crave the feeling of being in a church. So instead, I go to mass during the week because they don't include a sermon. This allows me to digest the readings on my own (without some elses interpetation).