Sunday, July 6, 2008

I've Been a Baaaad Boy

I'm glad Confession hasn't come to this:

I know I've got some people curious about my "confession", and why I should make it public. But even AA recognises the need to acknowledge the ramifications of our failings and to make amends if possible. My sin may not be as bad as this, but still might get me here or, maybe the modern equivalent.
This confession may sound "tongue-in-cheek", and may have elements which are such. But the general topic is as serious as it can get. It is more of an examination of conscience.
I'm going to ask my readers not to comment on how wrong my actions are, for you won't say anything I haven't said to myself. I'm not writing this to brag or to be funny, but to get my own thoughts organized and to see what ideas my fellow travelers have to bring me closer to God an His Church.
Enough stalling. Here it goes.
I haven't been to Mass since Easter.
Why is this important? I know that I need to be fed by the Word, and by the Eucharist. I need my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have no problem with the teachings of the Church.
I think my problem is that I don't have a parish that I think of as "home". I used to have a "home" parish 3 years ago, but then the parish staff decided to take over many of the activities done my parishioners. I was involved with RCIA formation for about 10 years, then the pastor hired a "lay formation" educator and he basically put a number of us "out of business". The same thing happened to liturgical ministers, many times resulting in more "performance" services and fewer Liturgies.
As bad as these changes were, at least I was being fed Liturgically. My intellect was being fed as well as the rest of my being. Then I was forced to move (due to employment) and my current local parish is of the Kwik-E-Mart variety. I tried joining the RCIA formation team, but he program had very little in the way of catechetical formation and consisted primarily of "faith sharing" the Sunday readings. Formation of liturgical ministers was of the same caliber. The preaching from the pulpit is of the same level, kind of like eating pure meringue, all sugar and no substance.
I can't blame my problem all on the parish. I suffer from depression, and all I don't have this problem personally alcoholism is prevalent in my family. While I've never been an active person, I also often suffer from a lack of energy. I often spend the weekend in bed and/or watching TV.
So what is my plan of action? First, I need to find a parish where my needs both spiritually and intellectually are met. Second, I need to get to Confession, the Mass, and probably the Anointing of the Sick. Third, find some place where I can participate is spiritual Formation, as this seems to be my Gift from God to the Church.
Finally, let me ask your forgiveness, brothers & sisters. Not only have I been missing you; but you have been missing me from the Body. I think this is the thing I've been missing the most over the weeks I've been "missing in action". God willing, I may soon be worthy of your company again.


Puff the Magic Dragon said...

You are always worthy of our company. May saint Joseph lead you to a parish you can call "home"

Kit Brookside said...

It happens. We wax, we wane. It doesn't make you "bad" - just human.

Trust me, living where I do, I have not been at "home" for nearly 5 years, and there have been more than a few Sundays where I just DO NOT want to go watch the liturgy being massacred, because I feel like I'd get more from watching Mass on EWTN. But of course, I'd be missing my chance to be in communion and experience the beauty and victory of the Blessed Sacrament, which is one thing these apostates can't ruin for me, whatever shenanigans they come up with before and after the Consecreation.


Sounds like you have a plan in place, so get to it!

Jaibee said...

It's not about worth. We are never worthy of partaking of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. But for some reason, He wants to unite Himself to us. And that's why we go to Mass. The priest is a conduit for Christ, and the rest is supposed to help us draw closer to the Lord. I wouldn't worry about worth, but just work on the relationship. And He knows your heart, and that you are trying to return to Him -- and that's amazing!

Kasia said...

What those three said, only less eloquently. :-)

Who wants to browbeat you about how bad you've been? I just praise the Lord that you're going back. :-)

Anonymous said...

The Lord came to heal the sick.....let him do his work...

Tara said...

I know how you feel about the bad parish. Soon after I became Catholic, we had a priest who was, to say it mildly--out there. I stopped going to Mass also, for weeks, but at that time I did not realize it was a Mortal Sin to miss Mass. I seriously questioned what kind of an idiot I was to have joined the Church in the first place--as I used to pride myself as not being so gullable to buy into religion.

But Jesus had another plan for me, He reminded me of all the reasons to be "joined to the body." Deciding to go back--even if things were a bit weird. My priest told me, "Tara, I'm glad you came back before I left." I was secretly happy he was leaving, but very sad for him at the same time.

Then Father Erik came and strongly nourished my faith, I felt so blessed! That's what I'm praying for you--to go back and be richly blessed!

Depression, something we have in common, is a serious chemical imbalance in the body--it also lessens the culpability of sin. sometimes we need chemicals (drugs) to help us come out of the depression--go to a doctor and get them! Also, I have a SAD light, that I use for thirty minutes a day--it really made a difference--buy one!

The best thing you can do now, is not isolate yourself--you need to get out and talk with people--God wants us to be together. And always know that God loves you--no matter what--His mercy is infinite. He made you for a reason, out of all the infinite beings he could have brought into exsistence--he brought you, not them--because there is something about you that he was attracted towards--you.

Archangel, I am so sad that you have to suffer with depression, and a bad parish, so sad. I wish I could just reach through this computer and give you a big hug!

My daily prayers are with you, just think if you would have "spilled the beans" sooner, you could have had more prayers! That's what friends are for.

You are going to feel soooooo good after you go to Confession and be re-united with Jesus! Please let us, your friends, know when that happens.

Love, hugs, kisses, and prayers, my dear friend!

ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Thanks all for your encouragement & prayers. I'll keep you all apprised of any developments.
Tara, I am on an anti-depressant (Prozac) & they tried putting me on another but the weight gain put my diabetes out of wack so I had to stop it. Makes you wonder how the saints made it day-to-day (besides the Heavenly help) before the days of drugs!

Tara said...

As a nurse, I am always concerned when doc's try and prescribe more than one anti-depressant--sheesh just think of the side effects. In such cases, it would be better to find the underlying cause for the depression--rather than just continue to treat the symptoms.

My SAD light was a bit expensive, but within 5 days I could feel the difference. Also, I hate to say this one, but exercise, I know it's a dirty word, but it helps. And if you can at all afford a Catholic psychologist--also not a bad idea.

But the most important thing to do is go to Confession ASAP! There is no healing better than the Sacrament of Confession--but if you hear a loud womens voice--run! LOL :)

Adrienne said...

Well - glory be. I was seriously concerned about your "confession"

I can certainly understand how you feel. Our pastor is pretty "by the book" but the NO Mass and the horrible music make it very difficult to drag myself in on Sunday.

Go church shopping (Catholic, of course) and maybe doctor shopping, too. And listen to Tara - she has loads of good advice!!!

PS I took Prozac for years and it always worked well for me....but everyone is different.

Kelly said...

My prayers are with you and I am glad to see you back.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Mike, I know it's a drive, but go talk to Fr. Martin Tran at St. Mary's-by-the-Sea in Huntington Beach, CA. Or Fr. Al Baca at St. Cecilia's in Tustin. No one says you have to attend a church in the LA Archdiocese.

Or go sit and have a talk with Paul in Pasadena, at St. Andrew's. Yeah, yeah, I know you have not always gotten on famously with the Griesgrabers, and Tommy has said he wants to kick your ass for things said to Michelle, but now Michelle and Glenda and Therese are pissed with me since I had the audacity to speak my mind at last Thanksgiving, so who gives a damn? Paul has always been cool.

gemoftheocean said...

Would that we be worthy of your company! The church is a hospital for all us sinners and not just a monument to saints who were all sinners too.

If it's any small consolation, I've seen numerous "jacked around by their parishes" and at least you have some company. I know that lack of energy feeling so well!


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

You are definately forgiven!

I'm pretty happy at my Church of St. Thérèse in Alhambra, the 1pm Mass is the place to be on Sundays! (TLM)

Angela M. said...

Get your ass back to Mass. (can I say that??!!??) I also recommend reading Fr. Benedict Groeschel's "Healing the Original Wound." Let me know what you think of it.