“I think it’s perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don’t know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.”
― Philip Pullman
It is another season of Lent and the followers of the Catholic doctrine practise abstinence of some kind. Little children will be encouraged to give up something they love or enjoy…mostly chocolate, crisps and so on. Teenagers might be encouraged to spend less time with their androids but the success of such an intention is vastly over extended. Mature adults are encouraged to practise more deeply their faith, aspects thereof and to be kinder, more prayerful and definitely more generous to those in the community far less privileged. Those who feel they have more in their maturity and strength will embark upon some form of fasting.
For years Lent meant everything to me for even though I am a collapsed catholic my life remains deeply emersed in the traditions and spiritual concepts of the doctrine. This year however things within myself seem to be
different since I have now passed the age wherein I am expected to ‘abstain from anything. I thought I might for a time refrain from listening to the radio during the long night hours when I can’t sleep. Radio EWTN and Radio Pulpit are surely going to be the end of me as far as my standing as a God conscious person is concerned. Both radio stations spend hours of programming to ideological, doctrinal and moral argument. I don’t think I have the endurance and fortitude to go another year listening to the endless very logical and simplistic explanation offered by the people who get paid to ‘encourage and lead’ the mere mortals who listen to their totally balanced approach to things vastly complex. No…not for another year can I do this. In fact even though we are preparing for the season of Easter and the great Triduum I believe I would be better off not listening to anyone speaking to me about faith and God. There are however some prayers I would like to say…sometimes I feel as though my Creator has been especially kind to me….I am not burdened by a domineering and difficult partner, I don’t have to constantly sidestep the minefield that is his reality, I don’t have to make in the kitchen what someone else expects to find. I don’t have a difficult child or children who have suddenly developed a hearing and attention problem. None of these small irritations do I have to endure….however I am constantly reminded that it is these very small realities and irritations that enriches a woman’s life. I think back for a moment on the beautiful book Bridges of Madison County. That book and the film invaded my spirit and senses for weeks. I could not come to terms with many things in the book…the terrible sense of loss and futility.
“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.”
― Voltaire. This would also be my prayer!!!!
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
― Harper Lee . Where I live I experience this constantly…people who were very correct and totally dedicated Christians but who hurt without thought, remorse or regret. I am supposed t accept with good grace these things that define who we are. I try.
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi