Holy Eucharist at Home and Some on Bernadette Roberts

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Recently, I decided to join my husband’s Unitarian Universalist church. Several reasons contribute to my decision, but I’m not going to bother with them here.

I’ve decided to start doing the Holy Eucharist at home. No, I’m not an ordained priest, and so perhaps it isn’t “valid,” but here’s the thing: I’m tired of doing this idiotic dance of ordination. I’m tired of hoping, waiting, wishing for a Gnostic church to appear here.

It’s probably not going to happen.

In practice, I’ve gone to the UU for four years now, more than I ever did to the Episcopal Church- I still have fond memories of Saint Michael’s, of course.

At the end of the day, it’s just easier for us to go the UU and the come home and have Holy Communion.

And I’ve taken the liberty of creating a UU-esque Holy Communion as well. It has definite inspirations: the Liberal Catholic Church’s liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer, and a few Unitarian Universalist Holy Communions I found.

When I mentioned Holy Communion on Facebook, several UUs expressed interest in having this house Eucharist. I’m down for that while explaining to them a definite belief in the Priesthood of All Believers- I am no more or less a priest than anyone else around me.

I’m excited but have to do a few “test-runs” to make sure things will go smoothly. It’ll be nice to celebrate the liturgical  year with the people who are interested in it.

Shifting gears, I read a new article by Bernadette Roberts. I’m not sure how I missed it, but…let me say that whatever’s happened to me recently has also allowed me to see that I think she’s ridiculously aggressive in her approach and sometimes misrepresents other people’s positions. Some of her latest article sounded like word salad.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out how the Incarnation being God creating Its own Human Nature and uniting It to Itself has anything specifically to do with Jesus of Nazareth if the Incarnation is not also God the Son appearing in the flesh as Jesus Christ. I mean, why bother calling oneself a Christian?

But then I haven’t journeyed as far as Bernadette has.

The most bizarre aspect of my dear Bernadette to whom I’ve turned for so long is that she’s fairly unhelpful as far as what to actually do goes- are we to sit and still the mind? Receive Holy Communion frequently? A combination? Seek to help others? All these things and more? From everything I’ve gathered, she began having mystical experiences pretty early in life and proceeded from there. I’m not sure we’ve all had those kinds of experiences from the beginning.

My own experiences have shown me that the Green Man for sure exists, but there’s not much evidence I’ve had for other Gods, at least not anything that’s totally conclusive.

I just wanted to note that her unnecessary aggression will likely push people away.

Steve

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Own Way

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My husband has been away on TDY for the past week and a half.

I do enjoy time alone. But I still miss him.

And the one day, I had a breakdown of sorts. While simultaneously enjoying my alone-ness here at my house (save for my three animals), I had to confront that bitter inner world of mine where I perpetually am isolated from everyone and everything.

The loneliness and fear surging up finally forced me to break down and cry. I cried over all the things- the fact that people I love one day will die, the fact that I have no idea what happens after we die, the fact that so many people are suffering every single day, and I can’t do anything about it.

I cried because I know my existence in some way saved my mother, or at least she thought having a child would save her from her own existential isolation, and it didn’t. I cry because I can’t keep my mother protected from her own loneliness and isolation. I can’t protect my own mother from the evil of the universe because I can’t even protect myself. How can I protect anyone else? I can’t save her or my father or my brother or anyone I’ve ever cared about.

I’ve cried over the fact that my dogs will one day die. This is my life- crying over the inevitability of permanent change and separation.

And I’m supposed to just accept it, according to many.

If I knew that we all go on when we die, if I had absolute proof in the way I know that I’m sitting here typing this at this moment, then I would feel better about these things.

But I have no proof or evidence that we go on when we die, and that doesn’t make me try to “live my life to the fullest now,” the bullshit sort of notion forced upon by privileged white people wearing yoga pants- it makes me realize that the only people who can possibly conceive of “living life to the fullest” are the people who have enough money and privilege to do so, that it requires relief from systemic oppression and wage slavery to be able to do anything we call “living” on that level.

I read Eat, Pray, Love and watched the movie. I enjoyed it. But another part of me, the realistic part, was furious. Here’s a woman who has incredible privilege and was successful in the world who destroyed her own life (instead of telling her husband she wanted to travel and didn’t want to have a child yet, she kept trying to get pregnant) and then decided to take a sabbatical and learn all about spirituality BECAUSE SHE COULD FUCKING AFFORD TO JUST WALK AWAY FROM HER LIFE AND START OVER.

Most of us will never have that chance. Our starting-over will either be forced upon us, or we’ll have to gradually change. It’s not something we get to choose to do just whenever.

Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about Eat, Pray, Love, and it probably won’t be the last, but the point is that people who spew that kind of bullshit really annoy me. They don’t know what they’re talking about and aren’t addressing real issues like existential isolation. That’s the point.

No one, so far, has told me how to deal with that inner pain I carry. No one has come along that could be a teacher to me. I need the person that I can trust because I otherwise trust no one. Half the people who claim to teach others don’t know what they’re talking about, and I can see that, and it scares me because I can’t speak out against them- it upsets the social order.

I need a teacher that I can test, and test again, and test yet a third time with real issues. If a teacher comes along and passes all three tests, I’ll follow them, probably into Hell and back.

But until then, I guess I have to make my own way, loneliness and pain and all.

Steve