Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for July, 2009

Now we begin…nitty-gritty

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 27, 2009

As I had indicated in the previous Post, my parent and I had a discussion shortly after Thanksgiving about a certain false-sugar product that I had used for two years.  It came up because they also used the product and still use it to this day.  Our discussion revolved around the consequences of my consuming the product either in my coffee/tea or on cereal and other foods; mostly, I experience (almost immediately) an increased heart rate, while a little later I’ll break into a sweat, and that is followed by restricted breathing, and if not addressed immediately, unconsciousness. The discussion we had seemed rather benign, as I was trying to impress upon them the need to discontinue use of this product based on the reactions I had experienced and some other researched information; I had no idea that they would use this product against me.

 

Thanksgiving Day

 

For Thanksgiving, God provided the money to rent a car so that I could see all the family as my Grandparents had traveled down specially and my sister flew in from California.  If I hadn’t a vehicle, I would not have traveled, or better stated, I would not have had the option of leaving early if necessary.  It was necessary.  The whole gathering was very stressful with a few moments of calm.

 

After Thanksgiving, I seriously began discerning whether or not to return for Christmas.  After all, the grandparents weren’t going to be there (though my sister was), and so the trip was not so urgent.  I’m sorry to say that I did not listen to the results of the discernment.  Continuously, I was warned not to go.  However, I knew this would be my last Christmas with them as I was sure God would be moving me somewhere else and possibly very far.  So I ignored the warnings.

 

In retrospect, I also wanted to see if I could talk to my parent and begin to heal the breach that existed between us.  This is a tendency that exists with ALL victims of abuse – we REALLY want to help and love our abusers.  My parent wants the same thing from their parent, which is why they constantly agree to travel the five plus hours to help their mother clean out cupboards.  What is the result of this trip?  Clean cupboards, to be sure, but also a great deal of ridicule and chastisement for the lack of initiative of the children (us) and/or their spouse or even of themselves.  As if my parent is responsible for any initiative besides their own…

 

I asked my grandmother once if she had thanked my parent for helping her clean the cupboards – she answered NO and gave no further comment.

 

Therefore, when my sister called and asked if I’d like a ride down for Christmas, I accepted her offer (although a deep sense of foreboding remained in the back of my mind, reminding me that I’d have no means of leaving if things became difficult).  She picked me up in our parent’s car and drove me down in plenty of time for the midnight Mass at their church.

 

Attending Midnight Mass with the Family

 

It is important to remind the reader that my family was raised Cafeteria Catholic.  For those who do not know what that is, simply put: Cafeteria Catholics pick and choose what they want to follow and believe what the Church teaches.  Reminder! My parents did not accept the Church’s teaching on the use of contraceptionThis also means they have problems concerning the authority of the Teaching Magisterium who passed down the teachings on contraception.

 

As such, their church-of-choice also has difficulties following the authority of the Teaching Magisterium.  Many liturgical abuses occur, but none so blatant as the holding of hands during the Our Father (an issue that had been dealt with by our United States Bishops back in 2003, after the Vatican had passed down a mandate in 2001 concerning the practice).  The Vatican’s mandate required all parishes to cease the practice immediately giving the American Bishops the option of substituting holding hands with a different and reverent gesture.  Both Wyoming and Colorado’s Bishops choose to allow their parishioners to pray the Our Father with opened and raised arms, but upheld the mandate that the holding of hands should cease.

 

Why I chose the word “Blatant” has to do with an insert that happened to be in their bulletin, and that most everyone had with them prior to Mass.  There, in black and white, was the mandate and explanation for the change.  One would think that the Pastor would then begin leading his parish to the correct posture for the Lord’s Prayer… but he did not.  Everyone still held hands… everyone but me.  For some reason, I decided to stick out like a sore thumb, and NOT take the hands of those family members around me.  Needless to say, one parent was not too happy and told me so in the middle of Mass – to which I then pointed out the notice in the bulletin only to receive continued anger and contempt for disrupting Mass… btw, this wasn’t THAT parent, but the other parent.

I ignored their comments and after Mass went to calmly talk with the Pastor about my concern of his lack of authority within his own parish.

 

I’m telling you my experience with this because it will have a great affect on the events that would follow that also will lead into the next day; so please, bear with me…

 

When I went to talk with the Pastor, I did so with reverence and respect, because no matter what folly he may commit as a man the priest IS STILL Christ’s representative on earth.  Therefore, you NEVER attack a priest!  Not VERBALLY or PHYSICALLY for I believe the consequences will indeed be grave.  So I approached him in humility and simply asked him why his parish hadn’t been instructed in the (now 3 year old) mandate with the current Bishop’s response to that mandate?  He asked me to what I was referring, I told him by pointing out the section in the bulletin that addressed the issue.

 

A list of excuses and reasons why he has said and done nothing to change the practice followed.  My Father’s righteous indignation began to grow steadily within my own self, and I noticed a definite rising of Holy Heat within me.  This is how I can best describe what happens to me when the Holy Spirit begins flowing from God’s Truth and Word and directs Itself within me to those He wishes to teach.

 

This dear priest was not listening to his own feeble words, not realizing that he was expressly going against the Authority of the Church by his apathy, and as such, caused a great sadness and disappointment within my own soul that consumed all my energy.  Leaving church shortly afterward, I drove back to the family house, and proceeded to make myself ready for bed for I was tired and disgusted with the lack of pastoral care of the misguided and down-trodden priest, for the laity really do run that parish.

 

While I was changing into my Pjs, my other parent (the one who accused me at Mass), called up to me and informed me they wish to take a family picture.  I called down and said that I was in no mood for a picture and to please take it without me.  I then went to the restroom to brush my teeth when that parent called up a second time and told me to get into the picture; clearly they had ignored what I had said earlier and expected me to re-dress and be down stairs for the picture.

 

However, when I emerged from the bathroom in my Pjs with my toothbrush in mouth brushing away, their words turned to complete anger as they ordered me back into my church clothes for the family picture.  I responded with, “I’m not 13 yrs old!  I told you I was not in the mood for a picture and to please take it without me.  If you want me in a picture you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” And I returned to brushing my teeth.  I paid no attention to their response, finished my tasks, and went to bed.

To be continued…

Previous Posts:

Healing Begins
Part 3 Continues…
Importance of Reconciliation
In Between Things

Recommended Reading:

Accept the Crown
The Thirteenth Man

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Answer Questions: In Between things…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on July 22, 2009

Before I begin with the nitty-gritty (next post):

The Following two questions have presented themselves to me from two different sources.  They are, “Why would I feel it necessary to publish such personal details concerning myself and my family?” and “Isn’t this detrimental to your family situation?” My answers are as follows:

First, the “why” I feel it necessary to tell such a personal story has three levels to it.  The first level deals with the necessary need for healing, as addressed in the first post.  The second level deals with the necessary need to be honest, especially with one’s own self, which I also addressed in the first post.  The third level addresses the universal malformation of too many families in America, which I will address now.

If a dictionary was kept on dysfunctional families, and it included pictures of said families and I KNOW my family would not be the only one.  Too many families have similar struggles of being honest with themselves about the need for healing and reconciliation.  Too many families feel like they are the only ones, so what can be done to help them? We ought to continue with ‘business as usual’. Too many families want to hope their problems will just disappear.

By telling my story in connection with my family, I hope God will use this to reach out to other families who are perhaps tired of their struggles.  Maybe it’s just one of the members who is tired, but I want to encourage THAT member to begin the process of healing, no matter how much it may hurt.  In the end, the hurt will be like the pains of a woman in labor, the pains ALWAYS bring about great joy!  That joy is contagious and will eventually reach others in the family who desire joy… who desire healing.  Healing IS possible for EVERYONE, even if it happens only one person at a time.

The second motive is to address my own family who read this blog.  It’s about time my own family begins their process of healing by first coming to terms with what exists in our family.  This brings me nicely into the second answer of the second question…

The answer is: NO, it is not detrimental, and for the same reasons that I gave in question number one.  For too many years my family has practiced burying their heads in the sand and hoping the problems will just disappear.  The problems have NOT disappeared; in fact, they have increased in number AND in severity.  God began the healing process with me.  Slowly but surely it is moving on to other members.  Prayer has always been part of my practice concerning them but…

Time is OF THE ESSENCE!  Remember the words of Jesus to St. Faustina,

“He who refuses to pass through My door of Mercy must pass through My door of Justice.” Diary§1146

Later in that same diary, Mother Mary said to St. Faustina,

I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a Just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day!  Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath.  The angels tremble before it.

I’m NOT saying the Day of Justice is around the corner, but the earth is not our permanent home, and each and every one of us will eventually die and have to face our Savior.

Jesus again reminds us when He taught us how to pray to Our Father, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…For if you forgive men their trespasses, so also will your Father forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you.~Mt. 6:12, 14

These aren’t JUST WORDS.  Jesus NEVER said JUST WORDS…

I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me will live because of Me.” ~Jn 6: 35, 53-57

Jesus MEANT what He SAID.  So there is NO REASON to doubt that what He says about forgiving others so that we may be forgiven IS TRUE!  But again, going back to the beginning post, there must be understanding AND acceptance BEFORE one sees the need for forgiveness.

Once that need is seen, then accepting and desiring forgiveness follows, beginning with oneself.  If one cannot forgive oneself, one cannot forgive others.  If one cannot love themselves they cannot love another : Love your neighbor as yourself ~ Mt 22:39b

It is IMPERATIVE for my family to take their heads out of the sand and face their mistakes, face what has happened to them through circumstances IN ORDER for them to see the need for healing which will only begin with forgiveness AND reconciliation.

Lastly, I would like to point out one tiny, unmistakable detail… No names are given throughout these writings, no genders beyond the grandparents /brother/sister are given, and NO ACTUAL detail of which set of Grandparents are even mentioned, though I only have one set of siblings.  So, should any of my family members claim insult, I ask:

How could you be insulted?  There are no names, no gender distinctions; nothing to indicate whom is who?  But if you recognize yourself, perhaps that is the first step towards acceptance which can lead directly to forgiveness that takes one on to full healing by the great Mercy of the Savior, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.

If you see yourself in any of these writings, take the hint! God brought you here so that He could reach out to you and let YOU know HOW MUCH He LOVES YOU!  How MUCH He so WANTS to HEAL YOU.  Won’t you give yourself that chance… Before it’s too late?

54 He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.~Lk 12: 54-59

And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment… ~Heb 9:27

Recommended Reading: The Thirteenth Man

Previous Posts:

Healing Begins
Part 3 Continues…
Importance of Reconciliation

Posted in Personal Story | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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