“Oh my God!” I gasped.
My new friend, Millie had just turned on the lights in Immaculate Conception Church in Ottoville, OH.
“Praying just comes naturally in here!” The lofty arches with their luscious blue painted corners evoked awe and wonder. The nature of God and His dominion as heavenly beings far away and inaccessible to us mere earthly humans was confirmed in that architecture.
In my current walk around the State of Ohio on the Buckeye Trail, I’ve visited the Catholic churches in the many small towns along the route. The Catholics of the late 1800’s, when these towns were formed, built cathedrals for their worship. The spires, piercing the sky, visible for several miles across the flat farmland, are still prominent landmarks. Most are meticulously maintained with skillful tuck pointing of the red brick, painting of the artistic masterworks of the interior, and thoughtful insulation of the expansive stained glass windows. We only saw St. Mary’s in Junction, OH sadly abandoned.
What’s my attraction, besides their alluring architecture?
It’s the Story. It’s MY Story of being a child of the Catholic Church.
Last Sunday our itinerary put us at St. Mary’s Church in Defiance. The Buckeye Trail’s blue blazes were on Washington Street at the back of the church. Without manipulating our morning’s walk in any way, we arrived there at 7:51 -perfect timing for 8:00 Mass.
A woman happily directed us to the “back”, which is really the “front” of the building with its massive doors and bell tower. Entering these doors, indeed, put us at the back of the pews, gazing at the distant sanctuary. We slipped into the last pew.
Mass began with the clanging of the bells and the processional of the servers and priest. I was instantly swept up into My Story of the Catholic Church. The songs, the Order of the Mass, the gestures, the choreographed standing, sitting, kneeling, the ritual of Communion wrapped me in its rhythm, its quieting of my mind, its calming authority over my thoughts.
But I rebelled.
I revolted by thinking my own thoughts. I questioned the words that wanted to fall rotely from my lips.
I allowed my renegade Radical Forgiveness view of the world to stand next to the Catholic world view. I recalled the article that Colin Tipping, author of Radical Forgiveness, had posted a few days earlier, illuminating the role of Religion in maintaining the illusion of separation from Spirit. The Radical Forgiveness Story puts Spirit and Humanity in juxtaposition, with an overlapping area like a Venn diagram, where we might experience the two worlds together.
“Oh! I see the Story here! And it’s OK! I see how this Story has shaped my beliefs, my view of life, my experience!” I sang along with the recessional hymn, “How can I keeeeep – from singing?”
“I see why it has been natural for me to quietly keep my views to myself, when a different Story, a different World View, has been stirring in my soul for many years! The Church is a very powerful Authority, a dedicated and purposeful keeper of its Story. Its leaders have not been looking for other Stories, not from me, anyway.” (Which, of course, IS MY STORY! LOL)
I love the energy surge when the glaze of an Old Story lifts and I realize that I can CHOOSE another story, a New Story, to describe what’s happening in my life! Even life-long stories like this one can yield to another story, with BOTH of them being “right”. I instantly feel free! And, I even feel more loving and related to all the people in Church! My Old Story has been witnessed and validated. My New Story has been proclaimed. I leave that Mass ready to walk this new acceptance of myself and others into my body, to integrate this shift in perception.
I can love myself fearlessly.
I feel oneness with everyone and everything.
I can CHOOSE my stories and let them all be right.
P.S. Are YOU ready to have your Old Stories yield to New Stories?
Are you ready to feel that surge of energy?
Ready to be FREE of your past?
Ready to have vibrant energy and fulfilling relationships?
Contact me TODAY! I can help you with that.
I offer custom coaching sessions and packages.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and say, “Yes! I’m ready to bust my Old Stories!”
You can start telling that Old Story right there in your first email, and I’ll set up a time for us to chat about it.
Here’s to your New Story!
Get the book that tells you how: Radical Forgiveness
I find that Pope Francis gives me hope of a new story.
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