Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

A Letter to My Friend

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 26, 2010

K,

I thought I’d share a brief note with you about what’s going on in my life.

It’s almost Easter, and I’m almost complete with the RCIA process – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the process by and through which one becomes Catholic. Everything culminates on Easter. And though at this point I won’t be able to have full communion with the church – that is to say, I won’t be able to receive Eucharist because my previous marriages are awaiting annulment – I am greatly anticipating that day with great excitement!

I have learned much, and am continuing to learn even more. Last night I attended a community reconciliation service at one of the several Catholic churches in Huntsville. Though I missed the service at my home parish, there are several other services being held throughout this week and next. Yesterday (March 25) also was the Feast of the Annunciation, the day in which the Virgin Mary was visited by the Angel Gabriel from God to announce the good news that she, a virgin, would miraculously bear the Savior of all humanity – the Incarnation.

And so, nine months later, we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior.

Her “not my will, but Thine be done,” attitude was neither self-seeking, nor self-motivated, and demonstrates an amazing relinquishing of her will to that of God’s. While she has the ability to control some aspects of her life, ultimately, she can accept or reject the holy message. She accepts, of course, with the words, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the LORD; let it be done to me according to your word.

This morning as I was preparing my breakfast, and going about the morning’s activities, a word you’d earlier written came to my mind. In it, you shared how you’d separated spirituality from religion. Of course, at the time I read your words, I found them curious, though I read them with an open mind which I hoped would bring understanding. Although, it would be remiss of me to mention that I disagree with that thesis, and perhaps I may have mentioned that to you at that time, though I don’t specifically recall if I did, or not.

Recently, I read something about religion, in which the translator/editor Kurt F. Reinhardt briefly shared about what religion was. It was from “The Dark Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) – formerly known as Juan de la Cruz. The 1957 second printing was published by Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., and has Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 56-12399. KFR wrote in the introduction: “The Latin noun religio derives from the verb re-ligere or re-legere, that is, to re-unite, to bring back, to bind together. “Religion” thus marks the end of some state of disharmony, of alienation or estrangement, and denotes homecoming, reconciliation, and peace.”

Nevertheless, as I was pondering this morning, it occurred to me that I have sought INTEGRATION, rather than DISINTEGRATION of my spiritual and my religious life. It is the coming together, rather than the breaking apart, which strengthens.

I sense that, in a very real way, I am coming home – coming home to the faith of my fathers, coming home to the mother church, coming home to God, coming home.

Part of that sensing arises, I believe, from confession, also referred to as “reconciliation.” It’s amazingly freeing to confess my sins to the priest, and to receive absolution and pardon. Of course, my confession often occurs after I have already prayed to the LORD for His divine forgiveness. And yesterday, we collectively prayed for the same in the Lenten Penance/Communal Reconciliation service. It had been a few weeks since I’d attended confession, and I was feeling the need to get “cleaned out.”

Having made some study of the 12 Steps as you know I have, I find an amazing similarity in the Church’s practices to them. That “fearless and searching moral inventory,” as well as “admitting to God, our selves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs,” “being ready to have God remove all the defects of character,” “asking God to remove them,” “being willing to make amends to those we’d wronged,” etc., I have found them all in the faith.

I hope you know how fondly I recall you, and know also that you remain in my frequent prayers.

Tenderly,

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