Sunday, January 8, 2012

Exposure

Well, the journey isn't all bullfrogs & butterflies. I really just wanted to hole up in my own little corner of the church today, but its a day of Solemnity- a Day of Obligation- and the place was packed. I stayed quiet instead of participating & closed my eyes to listen to the words of the scriptures & prayers. I felt a paralyzing heaviness & zoned out shortly after the homily, letting my gaze play outside in the naked trees. The light was still soft in the blue sky. I wished I was still in bed. I looked around the congregation as the bread & wine were being consecrated. I knew some of these people. It was a comforting feeling. But could I ever let them know me?

I felt very alone today. I was greeted by 5 or 6 people, but it didn't seem to phase me. Jesus was made present in the sacrifice, but I didn't connect with the reality of it. I left right after the Sign of Peace, realizing I had no clue why I was there. But I was compelled this morning, so I went.

While my heart usually soars from the meaning of the Mass, I've still been afraid to participate in full. I don't know what it is that I'm afraid of- people seeing? Or maybe I'll do something wrong? Yes & no. For me, full participation would be like an exposure of sorts, even though these folks participate freely & without fear... I would probably not stick out like I think I would, in fact, I would blend in even more! I think my hesitation actually has little to do with the need to practice & get the proper physical/verbal responses down. For me, it seems full participation would subject me to a kind of internal scrutiny. If I refrain, "Christianity" remains safe. If I engage...

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