OK, everyone, why all the pain, tragedy after tragedy, disappointment after disappointment? Why do so many lives sound like a country song? I’ve shared my fantastic encounters of grace with my readers and some of my pain.
If I was honest, I haven’t had the favor of man since I was in seventh grade. Seventh grade, people! This is not a country song, it’s my life. In my teen years a lot of the trouble was with me. A well-intentioned heart pursuing things like love in a disordered way simply produced pain and baggage. Not even two years ago I interacted with the first love of my life, crossing social boundaries at times, in an attempt to understand the depth and source of some of my pain, and to my surprise concupiscence was alive and kicking even in my sold-out soul. I believed I would internalize love lost by a sort of immediate detachment, like growing numb, without letting it go and still loving the person, lying to myself how much I loved the person to protect myself from pain. Sorry, everyone, this method does not work. Crazy enough, I found myself in the same circumstance a couple years later but this time around it was the wife of my youth–baggage on baggage.
Out of all this, praise be to God, I turned wholly to the source of love instead of people, and found my hope. Yet this did not cure my pain felt from others. I have eleven children on this planet with me and yes, that same wife of my youth, years of buried baggage only to surface after I dealt with my first lost love. My kids have no extended family to speak of besides the saints in heaven.
I have pursued Christ with a great zeal, but not the obnoxious sort that knows no social boundaries. If I were honest the level of spiritual life I’ve walked in is rare, even uncommon. I have no room to boast, I have been an outcast most of my life since seventh grade to one degree or another. As an evangelical I knew something was wrong, like Neo, but instead of ‘what is the Matrix?’ my question was ‘what is the Church?’ After years of grappling and praying, I got my answer. I realize that this was part of my problem in that world. I could not settle for anything less than the truth and this marginalized me from the protestant world, I would get that look, ‘you sound like a Catholic.’
When I became Catholic by supernatural graces and theological conviction, I found out a terrible reality that continued to marginalize me from this world. Hoards of Catholics, at least the thinking kind, were no more Catholic in their convictions than Protestants and in many cases worse.
To make things worse for my circumstance, the Catholics that are conservative are Priesthood top heavy, which is they don’t take lay people very seriously. So as far as my story goes I am outcast, and this is the plan of God for my life?
I have seen grace in two areas in my life, and that is life in God and my family. My children have heart knowledge of God that is rare, and all the graces given to me by God have been nothing short of ridiculous at times. Yet the favor of man has eluded me.
And no I don’t think I’m deluded simply alone. All of my education has been self-directed, akin to reading who’s who of Christendom, most of it found in history. I’ve educated myself to a marginalization where folks of my sort are Professors or Priests. I’m just a simple guy with an average IQ that has devoted his mind, will, and intellect to God. My skill set is for the formally educated so I am alone with all this God knowledge that goes way beyond a theology course. Lord what shall you do with a man such as me? Please, Lord, show me the way. If I were honest with all of you, I’m tired, I look at the wounds of my Lord and I just want to crawl inside and cry.