She was a throw away

20 Jan

My client Joyce referred a friend of her’s to me to come in for a haircut. Joyce knew me pretty well, we’d had many conversations about faith. She knew I was new to the game, and although she never got details, was aware I had a much different past.. Her friend was telling me about her fourteen year old daughter. She was having a really hard time with her. She was having sex with multiple boys, drinking , smoking pot, and generally wrecking their home life.These were faithful people. They were mortified.They got this girl out of the foster care system when she was10 , and eventually they were able to adopt her. She told me she now regretted that decision. She didn’t know how to handle her. She brought her to church services every Sunday and they lived a moral life. She couldn’t understand her behavior.I battled with myself. Should I say it, should I not? I had the feeling Joyce sent her for more than a haircut. So, I listened to my heart, where the Holy Spirit had taken up residence.I told her, ” Bringing her to church is great, but she’s not getting out of it what you might think. They might as well be speaking chinese. She has no back story. When you are rasied in faith it’s easy to assume everyone knows what you know. I had to be told. Everything. Do you really think she is grasping Jesus, and his sacrifice for us? She needs to know she belongs to Him. She was His good idea, he made her ,He knows her, He loves her. She needs to get that dignity.I think in her mind she is acting like she does because she was a throw away. In her heart this is probably how she feels so it doesn’t matter how she acts, because she doesn’t matter. Someone needs to convince her she is the daughter of the King. It doesn’t matter what her birth parents have done, this is how she got to you guys. You guys are how she’s going to get to Him. She is behaving like she has no worth, when she finds out she does, she will change”.

I’d rather read than ask

13 Nov

I would rather read about things concerning God, than ask. I kept it very private. I felt like I was bursting inside. I had so much to say, and to ask. But I have seen these “religous nuts” and I didn’t want to be thought of as one. Besides, I didnt know enough to be thought of as one. There was a lady who saw my Baltimore Catechism book on my station at work, and got into a conversation with me that I had very few answers for. She asked me questions about the Catholic church, then answered her own questions with quotes from the bible. She didn’t have a bible with her, she seemed to have memorized it somehow. She quoted different books and verses. She left me with alot of questions. I really hoped she liked her haircut, so she would come back to me. Next time I would be ready, I would have better answers, I would be better informed. I felt like I lost an argument. I wanted to tell her why we do the things we do, but I didn’t want to be wrong. I’d wait until Wednesday and ask Father Carey how to answer her questions. She seemed to be uninformed, but I didn’t know enough to correct her. But I will….

For the people that don’t know

13 Nov

I feel so sorry for the people that don’t know. I was one of them and in many ways I still am, because I don’t know enough. But I know God is there. And I’;m happy to know that he knows me. More than that, he made me. I want to tell everyone”HE MADE YOU!” He knows you. I wonder if it’s wrong what I’m doing, when I’m at work, and I’m silently praying over the people who’s hair I’m shampooing.  When I feel they need prayers, and are having a hard time, I just want to ask on their behalf for God to come into their life. To help them somehow.  Who’s going to pray for them? So I ask The Holy Spirit to hang with them, the way he did with me, and just maybe he will bring him to the Father and the Son. I go into the book store when I’m not busy, and I was looking at an art book of paintings. There was an old man with a knife in his hand and a boy being pushed down on a pile of sticks. There was an angel in the corner,looking like he was saying “no! no!” and I felt sick/ scared looking at it. I saw a ram in the right hand corner of the painting. Abraham!!!! I looked for a title , the painting was called” Sacrifice of Isaac”. It was painted in the 1500’s, there were alot of paintings about all the things that happened and all that I was learning, and they were beautiful. Somehow it confirmed for me this was all very real. Very real.

O K, Lets Start

16 Oct

I arrived early,and rang the doorbell to the rectory. ” Good Morning Father. How are you today?” He smiled. and gestured”please come in”. I said” Thank you, you are too kind”. He said OK, Lets Start! “Oh good, I have so much to ask you. I’ve been reading about Abraham moving to  Canaan. He was so worried because the Canaanites sacrificed their first-born to a God they believed was responsible for goods crops, strong herds and blessings on their families. Abraham worried if he would be expected to sacrifice Isaac who he waited so long for and loved.Was God testing him to see if he was obedient? When he was willing to do as God asked , God stopped him, and supplied a ram for the sacrifice. “This showed him that he does not want human sacrifice”, Father Carey said.”Believing and trusting in Him is what brings them abundant blessings.”

“Isaac married Rebekah , and they had two sons. It is from Abrahams family that Jesus , the redeemer , would come, as the savior of the world.”

“That’s what I just don’t get”, I said. “How is it that God , obviously did not want to see human sacrifice, but sent his son to be our human sacrifice”?

Father asked me a question, “how can people make up for their sin? What could they possibly do to redeem themselves to God. They are not equal to God, anything they did would be lesser than.”

“So”, I said,” He was the apology? He was the sacrifice that was acceptable to God, because…..He is God?” Sometimes Father Carey just stared at me, with no indication if I was on the right track or the wrong one, this was one of those times. I never knew , was I right about that or wrong. But at this point the only thing that I was sure of was ,that man on the cross was more than a man, he was God, God the Son, the second person in the Blessed Trinity, and he came to save the world.

 

 

Lamb of God

16 Oct

I attended mass every Sunday. Little by little it became more and more familar, and slowly made more sense. There was so much to know.I am embarrassed to reveal just how senseless, classless actually, I was back in the eighties.My only excuse is that I was literally raised in a Woody Allen Movie. So , when Father Carey looked on me with disappointment, because I wore a mini dress to mass, low cut, tight, I just didn’t get it. He had to actually explain, whats appropriate, and whats not. I had no respect, and no common sense. When he made me aware, to have modesty, it was something I didn’t think about. Ofcourse, once I thought about it, I made sure that I was covered up in church, and not wearing anything too low cut or too short. Isn’t it amazing that I needed to be told? By a priest, no less! He also didn’t care for my “Hey, how ya doin?” after mass ,   “see ya Wednesday , k?”  He would say to me,” Good morning Father, how are you this morning? I’ll look forward to seeing you on Wednesday”. It was like My Fair Lady, I was his Liza Dolittle. But I really couldn’t wait to talk to him on Wednesday because when he held up the Eucharist and said” This is the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.” it reminded me of the old testament, the atonement, the jews got an unblemished ( perfect) lamb, male. Not a bone could be broken. ? Consistant with the old  covenant, they offered a sacrifice on the alter, laying their hands upon it, shedding its blood, transposed theirs sins upon the unblemished lamb, and offered it up to God for forgiveness of their sins. I needed to ask Father, when he calls Jesus the New Covenant and at the same time Lamb of God, who takes away sins, it’s the new covenant, gone with the old( no more animal sacrifice),in with the new, Jesus becomes that sacrifice, for us, is that right? Was that the old version of our common day confession? I was really afraid of the day I would have to tell him about all the things I had done wrong.  What would he think of me?

It wasn’t so very long ago

10 Oct

I bought a bible. I didn’t know how to find my way around in it. I brought it with me on Wednesday , to ask Father Carey to please show me. “Is it a catholic bible,? ” he asked. “Aren’t they all? ” I asked back in all sincerity. He told me for 1600 years they all were, Then there were those who protested against certain things, and broke off, and formed their own version of Christianity. I was glad to have gotten the original version. He explained that there were two parts, The Old Testament. The story of creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noahs Ark, The tower of Babel–I read those stories , I was up half the night, every night all week. I read about Rebekah and Isaac, and their sons Jacob and Esau. How God formed a covenant with Jacob, and changed his name to Israel, and how his sons become the twelve tribes of Israel, and were known as Israelites, and I never knew  any of this, it was fascinating. I learned about Moses and the ten commandments. I thought it was about time! So far, from the beginning, starting with Adam and Eve there was sneaking , lying, raping , killing, it must have been beyond disappointing. Even after the ten commandments , they couldn’t hold it together for long. I never expected to read stories like this in the Holy Bible, I couldn’t have been more shocked. Father Carey showed me how to skip around and look up certain passages or stories. Look for the name of the book, chapter and verse., such as Jeramiah 1:5( chapter one, verse five) Which I love. There were books of  law, wisdom, and prophets. There were poems and songs, and there were clues and mysteries. About Jesus, and  what would be happening, and how we would know him. That was the first part,the Old Testament. The new Testament was all about Jesus coming, what he taught us, and what the apostles  did and said after his ascension, and how they built our church. Father Carey took my bible and showed me something pretty cool. Here is listed the first Pope, Saint Peter, Jesus’ apostle, the “rock” on which he built the church. He gave him all authority, in his place, to continue his work here on earth. Then it listed the pope after him, and next, and , next all the way up to the current one Pope John Paul the second. So we can trace our church straight back to Christ who founded our church on Peter. All of a sudden, it didn’t seem that long ago. Really the world was kind of slow to change for centuries. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution, that the world had a flurry of  inventions that  changed our world for ever. I thought back to when there were no tv’s, phones, or cars. It wasn’t so very long ago.

Love

9 Oct

I always walked to the church, but it was the middle of the night, so I drove. I told Father to give me the hours hardest to fill, for Eucharistic Adoration. I think I was understanding it, and if I was correct, I was going to be alone with my Lord, Jesus Christ. I pulled that heavy church door open, blessed myself from the holy water font and slowly, taking it all in, started down the aisle. A lady got up to leave when I got there. There was a man in the back as well. I saw the golden monstrance gleaming on the alter, and inside the window of it was the Eucharist. I went up as close as I dared to go. Shaking. Actually trembling, I got down on both knees. I still didn’t know many prayers, just two, so I prayed Our Father, the Hail Mary. ” Jesus….? I want to thank you for working in my life. I am so in love, I have never been happier.I also want to thank You for Father Carey , who I know You have put in my life also. I am trying to find out as much as I can about You. For now I just want to be here with you, and remember how I always knew there was You. I looked at the monstrance and clasped my hands together.  I concentrated on it. Then I shut my eyes.  I wondered if You were happy that I came. While my head was bowed in all the reverence that I had in my being, I pictured this.-In my minds eye. My eight year old self broke free from me, like a child running into the arms of her father, there I ran right up onto the lap of Jesus, and curled right up to be held in his arms. I didn’t think of another thing, for two hours, I was in my fathers arms. Love.