December 16, 2015

The Mourning of My Mother

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of my mother's death. Two years. Two years ago she had some kind of attack and fell to the floor from her kitchen chair. She was in her pajamas when one of my sisters found her. It seems like it was just yesterday.

Of course, I pray for her all the time -- still. She may be in Heaven, but she may also be in Purgatory or even Hell. I doubt she is in Hell, but none of us ever knows the final destiny of a person's soul. My mother was raised a Catholic and she was a proud Catholic. She loved having her aunt who was a nun come visit her school. She told me how she bragged a bit about it. She also prayed the Rosary to me in French, because that is the language in which she was raised. Canadian French, that is.

Unfortunately, my grandmother had a terrible incident with her parish priest. And then there was the time my mother sought out a funeral Mass for her, and the pastor would not accommodate her.  My grandparents went to the Saturday Vigil Mass every weekend. They sat in the same place in the same pews at the same church, and this priest was inflexible when my grandmother died. Much to my mother's dismay, we had the Mass at another parish in the city. (At the same time, thanks be to God that we could have it somewhere else!) The parish was barren and cold and echo-y. Not comforting.

These happenings tainted my mother and she became spiteful toward the Catholic Church. It so breaks my heart that she distanced herself  at those times. She never went back and she held a grudge for the rest of her life. Even after I converted back to Catholicism, I was at a loss of how to convince her that being Catholic meant being true to God and to our Faith, not to the failing humanity of priests.

I wish things could have been different, but they weren't. My mother may not have drawn upon the salvific strength of Jesus Christ, but that doesn't mean I don't have to. In fact, I do it right now. It is His strength I draw upon to carry the sadness associated with my mother's loss of faith -- and of all my siblings' loss of faith. Some of them are carrying on the bitter burden my mother carried due to the shortcomings of these priests in her life. May they come to see the face of God. May these priests come to see the face of God. And may I come to see the face of God as well.

I love you, Mom.

images -

1 comment:

Ebeth said...

My dear, dear friend in Christ! So many of us have similar stories to tell!! Priests are human, the Church Christ instituted is human..and will not be needed hereafter. God our loving Father knows that all too well. Be at peace with your mom and grandmother, I would be willing to bet they are both praying for you and us with the Church Triumphant!!

My own experiences resonate with your grandmother....I'll pray for you guys. And I am still a committed Catholic!!