About three years ago, upon admiring his acting skills, I had a light-hearted, jovial, playful conversation with my parish priest ~ I told him that I was unsure whether priests were failed actors, or whether actors were failed priests. 🙂
Today I was unexpectedly blessed by having the chance to venerate John Paul II’s relics, someone who supposedly ~ successfully lived this †rans-formation.
God knows that life has been difficult enough for me since I became a Catholic ~ including loosing some very special friendships. I pray for these friendships everyday to be restored to better than ever before.
The above friendship with my firstborn’s Godmother, was shelved by my friend, shortly after we shared this lovely day together, when she sent me a photo of a little girl who lived under Catholic law ~ she had been raped by her stepfather. My friend was presenting the case for the little girl’s right to terminate the baby. She sent me this devastatingly sad Facebook petition, knowing fully well that I of all people understand what it is to be raped. I rightly so chose to support the petition, but in response to my friends need of formation I sent her a copy of my above blog ~ since her reception of that blog, my friend judged my Catholicism to sadly be worthy of loosing her friendship, although for some strange reason she has never knocked me off of her Facebook friends list, and so I continue (maybe, if she’s watching) to evangelise her with everyday loving kindness. There have been other devastating losses too ~ and now I understand some of the most distressing parts of the bible ~ the bits which talk about following Christ and loosing everything.
This week my perception of Heaven shifted drastically. My perception of Heaven upon earth did too. As did my perception of Hope. My favourite line of prayer ~ of all time, ‘earth as it is in Heaven’ suddenly hovers in no-mans land in a subliminal wasteland. For I was born a woman.
This week the NFL player Benjamin Watson’s gifted us all (through Facebook) his wonderful thoughts on the ‘Ferguson decision’
At the end of it he says ‘I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.’ And on this very line my heart clenched ~ because I realise that because of being a Catholic woman ~ because of my sexuality ~ because of my situation ~ even though I am celibate ~ I will never ever be a part of that beautiful thing ~ with the same teammate, friends and mentor support ~ in the same way that a Catholic male will be.
Love ~ in the deepest sense of the word ~ is the only Heaven there is.
In class this week we had a brilliant deep discussion, it was put to us by a student that ‘If God created everything then surely he created evil too?’ ~ the discussion evolved ~ ‘Ok’ the student said ‘well, then if he created us with free will, God must at least allow evil?’ ~ we then eventually got to the point that God didn’t create evil at all ~ somebody then said ‘therefore evil must be an illusion’ ~ another student said ~ ‘never underestimate the very real threat of evil, of somebody turning away from Love ~ from God’.
If as Einstein says that darkness is merely the absence of light ~ and cold is merely the absence of heat ~ and that evil is merely the absence of Love in a mans heart ~ of God ~ Then I believe that hell must be in reality merely the absence of Heaven.
The absence of Love.
Surely if we never cease to stop Loving as individuals, hell for us surely has to be an illusion ~ doesn’t it? . . . Doesn’t it??
Today I went to pray ~ I went to be held and to be nourished by God in the Sacrament of the Eucharist ~ somewhere where I don’t often go. God so blesses me. I unexpectedly got to venerate a relic of John Paul II. Mine and John Paul II’s acting and faithful worlds, in different ways in different decades, have crossed each others paths. He once drove past The Young Vic ‘Cut’ in Waterloo, blessing the people he passed ~ and now I have a rosary actually held and personally blessed by him, given to me as a gift, once belonging to the old Polish ambassador-to-Rome’s wife ~ gifted me by her dear friend, a Godmother of the London Theatre scene. So his closeness today in proximity to mine, felt so very special ~ reminding me we are all profoundly connected in some small anonymous way.
But even more special ~ when I was leaving and passed through the only open doorway to leave ~ the bishop looked at me sincerely, and as he held my hand he said ‘Good to see you again’. This dear man has only ever met me twice before. Once briefly at Walsingham, where I anonymously gave him a copy of my Charism, as a welcome gift ~ and once briefly at Abbotswick House of Prayer. He none the less recognised my face. And in that moment ~ both he and God held me ~ and blessed me ~
~ Anonymous me.
On the slow breathtaking drive back home I began the decent down the steep hill which passes the old mill ~ it was bathed in winter mist ~ it was breathtaking ~ and God let the same old silent tears release themselves ~ never ending ~ silent ~ gentle tears. Jesus’ wellspring ~ Living water.
And I had a gentle ~ still ~ quiet ~ sure ~ thought; everything changes constantly all the time ~ everything slowly slips away ~ Everything.