My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Archive for November, 2013

To be, or not to be… Catholic?

November 20th, 2013 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, I’ve always thought of myself as a kind of, sort of, probably best described as a lapsed Catholic. Maybe? I mean, I go to Midnight Mass because I like the decorations, and the songs, and the story, but that’s my yearly visit to church.

Many years ago, after I quit talking, before Sara went away, I wanted to “get right with God.” It just seemed like the thing to do, for lots of reasons. I started dragging my assistant to mass every Sunday, I was looking into bible classes, I wanted to take Confession and Communion. I was really serious, it wasn’t just a passing thing. After a month-ish, less, I was at an evening mass and at that particular mass was a Bishop. It seemed so perfect, I wanted to ask someone how I would go about taking Confession and Communion, as my chair won’t fit in a confessional, and I’d recently switched to eating via a tube in my stomach. I knew I’d need accommodations. I figured a Bishop could totally get me those accommodations. I figured a Bishop would be totally happy to do so.

Well, after mass, my assistant and I went up to the Bishop, my assistant (Steven) explained my goal toward Confession and Communion. The Bishop looked puzzled a moment, then he asked Steven, talking about me in the third-person, “Can he take anything by mouth?” Steven explained that I can’t because of the tube in my throat, but I have the tube in my stomach, and we can crush things to go down said tube. The Bishop shook his head and told Steven that Communion has to be taken by mouth, only by mouth. Someone else then came up to chat with the totally not helpful Holy Man, and that was that. We left.

I didn’t lose any faith in God, but I definitely lost faith in His PR people. It felt kind of un-Christian. I remember thinking, had I just approached Jesus, He wouldn’t have totally blown me off, He’d have at least talked with me awhile, something. I remember leaving church, the sun was setting a gorgeous orange, I was thinking about dinner with Sara, a cold evening breeze making me feel keenly alive. I felt God all around me, but outside of that church, away from that Bishop.

Ever since, I only go to Midnight Mass. I always feel close to God at Midnight Mass. Generally though, I don’t go to church to strengthen my faith, God feels so much more vivid elsewhere. I see God in star-filled night skies, in sun shining through green tree leaves. I feel God falling asleep holding someone I love. I see God in her eyes, eyes that love me back. God’s not relegated to a place, God is everywhere, so it’s not like this bad experience at church broke me. I just quit feeling like church is important.

Well, after my experience at the Greek Orthodox church, I started feeling like I’d like to go back, maybe a lot. It felt nice being there. I liked being there with Maria, liked how she lit up telling me all about the church, the Liturgy. I liked how everyone was so friendly; people talked to me, not about me, in the third-person. The church itself is gorgeous. I was happier when I left than when I showed up. I was thinking about all of this stuff while hanging out with Maria last week, mentioning parts, leaving out parts.

We started talking about going to visit my church sometime, as she put it, “your turf.” I had to laugh, the Catholic church is hardly my turf. I reminded her, “I’m a lapsed Catholic AT BEST.” Then I started typing, Besides, I’m technically originally baptized Serbian Ort-, at which point Maria said, “Wait, if you type Orthodox, I’m going to have a cow!” I had no idea I was saying anything important. To me, it’s always been an amusing aside that I was baptized Serbian Orthodox, and was promptly baptized AGAIN, as a Catholic, as soon as my parents divorced. It never seemed like it meant anything. I barely knew my dad, I really don’t know the Phillipses at all, so I always just thought my baptismal resume was just another example of my never doing anything normal, and it is, but it’s more too.

Basically, if you’re baptized Orthodox, but fall away for whatever reason, they’ll always accept you back, if you ask. You don’t have to renounce anything, or convert to anything, you just get welcomed back.

I asked.

There’s one small ceremonial thing to be done, but after that, I re-join my Orthodox heritage.

I don’t know how this is going to go, but Atheism isn’t for me (sorry, Ziztur!), and I’ve really always wanted to be a part of a more welcoming church. I’m sure I’ll disagree with lots of things, as I always have, but I’ll be a part of something that’s beautiful, a place to be among friends. A place where they’ll let me take Confession and Communion, I won’t be rejected for losing something that I didn’t lose by choice. That alone tells me that I’m doing something right.

4 comments

Note:

November 19th, 2013 | Category: Life

Writing is really really really hard.

That is all.

1 comment

No notes

November 18th, 2013 | Category: Life

So, no crazy notes today.

I’m working on some posts that don’t suck, but it’s been slow going. I can’t focus.

No comments

So weird

November 17th, 2013 | Category: Life

So, this is just totally creepy, like, beyond creepy.

This note was found in my driveway at around 11 am…

I had to post it as a link because the font’s quite small, it almost looks like it came out of a dot matrix printer.

In case you didn’t hit the link, the note reads…

I had sex with Natalie Wood.

It is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen.

8 comments

Tattoo night!

November 16th, 2013 | Category: Life

Poems and Trees

November 15th, 2013 | Category: Random Thought

I never thought I’d see a poem lovely as a tree… and I was right. Trees are great.

No comments

Name Day

November 14th, 2013 | Category: Life,Opinions

So, a few of you actually guessed right, I was at a Greek Orthodox church, because…

A few months ago I started e-mailing with my high-school honors world history teacher, Maria (Ms. Palios way back when), but unlike how a lot of my e-mail correspondence tends to go, our correspondence stuck. She’s just very kind, and very smart, and she writes e-mails that feel like paper letters. I think that’s why I kept writing back, I love the idea of paper letters, old-fashioned correspondence. Then we met for tea, and now we hang-out once a week. I pretty much only hung out with my teachers IN high-school, so being friends with one now isn’t a big stretch. Maria also isn’t a ton older than me, so we have more in common. It’s a total fluke, she’s gotten to be one of my best friends.

 

Archangel, Michael

Archangel, Michael

A bit after we met, Maria gave me this carving of my namesake, the Archangel, Michael. We’d talked about our faith before, I’m a kind of, maybe Catholic, she’s totally Greek Orthodox. Usually, I get gifts like this, usually trying to “save me,” and it just feels… weird. I say a nice “Thank you,” stick the whatever in my closet, and never see it again. This felt different. Maria knew about my faith, knew I like religion, but am not religious, and that I like religious art, so it felt like a unique, thoughtful gift, rather than someone trying to sell me something. This is why it’s hanging on my wall, not stuffed in my closet.

Well, then she told me about how the Greek Orthodox celebrate the Archangels, and the Saints (technically, they recognize the Archangels AS Saints), and that when they celebrate Michael on November Eighth (I have to ask if it’s always November Eighth, or if it’s something that shifts, like Easter Sunday), that’s my Name Day, which people also celebrate. I’d never been to a Greek Orthodox church, or seen a Greek Orthodox Liturgy (it’s like a Catholic High Mass), so we went. It was honestly the best church experience I’ve ever had, it felt the way I’ve always wanted church to feel. Everybody was welcoming, people talked to each other. It was just a really spectacular feeling, being in a beautiful church where everyone was happy.

This isn’t actually the end of my Greek Orthodox journey, the next part’s kind of a shocker…

5 comments

Pathetic

November 13th, 2013 | Category: Life

Define pathetic: My daily posts!

1 comment

No time

November 12th, 2013 | Category: Life

I didn’t have time to write.

2 comments

Really, tomorrow

November 11th, 2013 | Category: Life

So, tomorrow, I’m going to explain the pictures tomorrow.

No comments

« Previous PageNext Page »