I was reminded again today of how much personal and relational history I have tied up in this journey of exploring Catholicism.
Setting aside for a moment the people who will be absolutely horrified to know that I’m even exploring this, there’s just a lot of history.
There’s the person I explored it for initially, hoping to find approval and love.
There’s the many, many, many experiences and moments that I experienced in the painful years following my time in Malta. The years in which many relationships I held dear shattered, and ultimately the entirety of how I’d constructed my life crumbled into nothingness.
I wonder if I will ever be able to step into a Mass and not think of Malta or Rome or even Canmore.
I wonder if I will ever face the beginning of Advent or Lent and not hear her words whirring in my mind, scratching at the doors of my soul.
If I will ever be able to explore the stations of the cross without thinking of that garden path and all that came from it, of how the shattering really and truly began there for me. How I felt it there for the first time.
I was thinking about it today as a long-time friend, a chaplain at my university anointed each head with oil, praying blessings on us in this advent season.
I was thinking about it and wondering if those moments will be an ache that will accompany me for all my days. Will they simply always be the hint of bitter in the sweet? Will they fade to merely a hint?
I’m pondering the history that makes me ache today.