The past few years have seen a slow deterioration of my faith—to the point where I fear it’s mostly dead.
But, to quote Miracle Max, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. I suppose “Christ-haunted” describes me well enough. Or poorly enough. Take your pick.
While there are some squares I can’t circle, I wouldn’t describe my fall as intellectually-driven. I haven’t arrived at this place through argument. I’m here mostly because I no longer apprehend God. Not the God of theologians or bishops or lawyers, anyway.
I’ve mostly lost hope—hope that some power or person of goodness is ultimately guiding the world or me to some kind of salvation. To me, the universe seems ordered more towards oblivion than towards restoration. Prayer seems pointless. Grace seems fleeting. The light is real, but I expect the darkness to win. Don’t know where that leaves me, but it’s where I am.
Maybe this is despair.
The hardest part of all this may be the estrangement I feel. I still attend Mass, if without full participation, but I’d be lying if I said I felt welcome. No one has explicitly asked me to leave, mind you, but I know where I stand. It doesn’t help that I can’t take the words of the Nicene Creed to heart when I say them. I usually just don’t say them. I’m a wallflower in the pews.
My wife aside, no one behind or before the altar knows of this crisis. No one cares to ask. Our home parish has been without a permanent pastor for almost a year. We tried another parish, only discover they too will need a new priest. What new direction this second place will take is anyone’s guess. I feel for the parishioners.
So here I am, hanging around. Friends have recommended I try another faith tradition, but I’m not ready to replant just yet. And I don’t yet identify with either agnosticism or atheism. I’m just here, uprooted, spiritually homeless, wandering in the night. The journey’s an endless Lent.
Perhaps prompted by what little hope I have left, I’ve decided to write again in this space. Maybe it’ll help me find what I’m looking for.
If you could send some positive vibes, goodwill, or prayers my way, I’d be much obliged.
Image via Pixabay.