Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Trying to keep the faith with gutters full of rain

These past few weeks have really rocked my boat. My church has been through a horrific scandal, my kids have been non-stop sick (nebulizers, recurrent ear infections, strep throat, stomach flu), John ended up with an infection, and then received a promotion at work (something positive!). The church thing has stung and left me angry. I keep talking about it at home and wanting to know what others think and asking my mom what her friends think. I mean I realize this is sadly only one of many scandals and while I have known that there were wrongdoings in the Catholic church all along when it slaps you across the face it shakes your foundation. I couldn't sleep the other night and I came to the conclusion that that's just it, my foundation has indeed been shaken. In the last eight years I lost my father, my future father-in-law, and my grandmother.

Now a truck is parked in my mother's driveway and it's not my father's.

I will never spend a holiday crammed into my grandmother's house with all of my cousins again.

A priest I knew did horrible things to kids my age, and our Bishop knew this was happening yet did nothing to stop it. I know I can't categorize every priest into this category, there are good ones out there, doing honorable things but I feel as if my faith was stolen. My father was President of the Parish Council when I was little and I remember spending many evenings after school at the rectory with him. He would tend to whatever council business he had to do and I would watch reruns of MASH in one of the priests bedrooms (no the priest wasn't in the room with me), or watch the housekeeper as she prepared dinner. I was free to roam about, sometimes hiding on the plush carpeted stairs or hypothesizing if the giant red velvet chairs that were roped off were there for some future Papal visit.

I grew up in this church, I was baptized and married here.

I wore my mother's First Communion gown for my First Communion.

My grandmother helped to put her kids through Catholic school by making and selling her spaghetti sauce to Sam's Diner on Dix Avenue as well as to local affluent doctors. My son goes to that very same school today.
I know what you're thinking: Amy, you're 34 years old, people die and priests are flawed humans like the rest of us. Move on with your life. I know this. I know it's time to make new traditions, to find our own way as the Stevens family. The constants of my life are evolving as is my role in all of it.

My dad always said, "keep the faith." The one thing I have realized through all of this is that while the institution of the Catholic church may be corrupt, the community of people that I grew up with is the foundation that grounds me.

David Gray: Gutters Full of Rain
A gutter full of rain
An empty picture frame
A house out at the edges of the city
Never noticing the war
Til it's right there at your door
And suddenly your hands are bloody

Let it go now
Let it all slip away
And we'll start it all over again
Me like a million others before
Trying to make sense of the rain

Were these twenty years a dream
Was it ever as it seemed
Get to wonder if it really existed
Cause the thief who stole my life
Has taken too my faith
I can see now how the world gets

In spite of all the shame
Sometimes I hear your name
I think of us when we were younger
Then I'm shutting out the noise
And I'm trying to hear the voice
That used to tell me love was


Dan Taylor said...

If I've learned nothing else....faith isn't bound my earthly means.

Oh, and FABULOUS wedding dress, btw! ;)

Kristy said...

Seriously stunning in the wedding photos!

I can't even imagine what it feels like to know someone capable of such horrific acts let alone have it been someone you looked up to.

They got the bastards. Have faith that their judgement day will come and that the victim's sad story will potentially help others.