Losing a loved one sets up a year of firsts. This will be the first Fathers Day without my dad here.
I still sense his presence in my life. I still talk to him. I believe he is with Jesus, wherever that is. Is there a place called heaven, fixed at some far away location? I have no idea.
My dad was very suspicious when I joined the Roman Catholic church eleven years ago. Now that I have left it, I wonder if he is somehow communicating with God, guiding me? I am on a journey towards progressive Christianity.
Part of the reason I left Fundamentalism was its emphasis on condemnation and judgment. Fear kept us in line. Even though the particular church in which I was raised preached “once saved, always saved”, there was a constant drip drip drip of dire warnings if we lived a life that “quenched the Holy Spirit.” Partaking of communion without the proper attitude could cause you to get sick, or even die. The things of the world were put forth as spiritually deadly, leaving us bankrupt in our faith. The church taught that if a person persisted in sinning, he could die.
Lots of threats of death.
I still have to get into the nuts and bolts that led me out of fundamentalism, and, now, the RCC. But for now I will miss my dad on Fathers Day, regret that I didn’t have enough time to really communicate with him. But I rest assured that my dad now knows way more than I do. He gets it. He’s with his loving creator.
I left the Catholic church very recently. She teaches unconditional mercy but won’t allow divorced and remarried couples to receive Communion. They can’t even go to Confession. It was a hard decision. I believe God has more mercy than is preached in the RCC.
Okay, I see. I know it must have been a hard decision. Have you found a new community yet, or do you plan to look for one?
I have no immediate plans to look for a church community yet. An MRI revealed a medical issue that could be serious for me. I have a consult about the problem June 25. I’m continuing my daily reading of the Lectionary and spending time in prayer. I get encouragement from a few blogs I follow, and I have one friend who is very supportive. She’s recently widowed and hasn’t decided yet if or where she will continue to go to Mass. My life is never dull.
Wow! More bad news. I hope everything turns out well in the consult.
There have been times when I have been unable to attend a church community for a period of time. I often feel a little unfulfilled for lack of community, but it is not the end of the world. In recent years there has been a tremendous increase in genuine on-line community as well as other more informal forms of believers’ fellowship. This is a considerable benefit. A support community doesn’t need to be large or organized.
I continue to feel the sadness over the loss of your father, but it seems that you are comforted. That is good.
I don’t remember your leaving the Catholic Church, but perhaps that detail just slipped away. Yours has been quite a journey: fundamentalist, Catholic, progressive. I know it has been traumatic, but I also think you have grown tremendously. I look forward to your future posts.