Glorious Things are Said

Glorious Things are Said February 26, 2023

a white dove
image via Pixabay

I am trying to pray.

Sometimes I don’t speak when I try to pray, as I told you all the other day.

Sometimes I try to speak.

Sometimes it doesn’t come out very well.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

In the Name of the Father. What is a father? A father is someone who fathers, and that is different from being a mother. A mother walks around with a child inside of her for months and then nurtures the child from her body on the outside for a year or more. Fathers never have more than half a child in their body– or, rather, half the blueprint on which cells divide and turn into a child. A father is separate from a child in a way that a mother is not. A father could beget ten children and not even remember it except as an unusually fun night. A mother carries children inside of herself for most of a year, and births them in agony, and is forever changed.

Is that why I’m supposed to call you “Father?”

Because I was told that it’s very, very important that I call you “Father.” My mother said it was a sin to say “Our mother who art in Heaven.” It was the sin of being  feminist and a liberal Catholic. God is male. “Father” is your name. Am I to call you that so I’ll think of you as a set of rules for what I ought to become, separate from me, instead of a nurturer who carries me?

Very well. In the Name of the Father. 

In the Name of the Son, the Sole Begotten of the Father. Who is the Son of God? The Son is the One Who came down from Heaven, for us men and for our salvation. I am not a man. But for me individually and for all of us, He came down from Heaven and became man, and lived and died for my sake. He did this for me, so that I might live.  He did it at the greatest cost to Himself. He did it with blood and with pain and with crying out in anguish. He did it so that I might be one with Him, one Body, my own life brought into the life of the Holy Trinity.

That sounds like a mother giving birth.

The Son of God, He, True God and True Man, is my Mother.

In the Name of my Mother. 

In the Name of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. I am more terrified of the Holy Spirit than of anything. I would rather be eaten alive by Cronos or face Odin on a bad day or fight with Apopis the god of chaos than deal with the thing that drove my family mad in the Charismatic Renewal. Unless, of course, the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with the Charismatic Renewal. If the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, I don’t see how it could be the spirit of the Charismatic Renewal. The spirit of the  Charismatic Renewal is anxiety, cacophony, apocalypticism, scruples, gibberish, one-upmanship, shunning, shame, and submission to false authority.

In the Name of the opposite of the Charismatic Renewal. 

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and giver of life: come and dwell in us, cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.

Hágios ho Theós, Hágios iskhūrós, Hágios āthánatos, eléēson hēmâs. Holy God, Holy and Strong, Holy and Immortal One, Have Mercy on Us, Amen. 

Glorious things are said of you, o City of God. Great is the Lord and worthy to be praised, on the city of His holy mountain. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. I rejoiced with those who said, “Let us go to the House of the Lord,” and now we are standing within you gates. Jerusalem, City of God, you will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed and gathered together. I came to the City of God, to Catholic Disneyland, to the place with the reputation of the most faithful and authentic Catholic community in the United States, seventeen years ago, and got trapped here because I’m too poor to leave. It has not been easy. I have been humiliated and shunned. I have been called a burden and a heretic. I have been raped. I have been abandoned to figure things out on my own. I have wanted to leave here from the moment I realized I was conned– either this isn’t the City of God it was promised to be, or else it’s the city of a god I don’t want anything to do with. But there’s no way out.

If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own all the things you have prepared?  But what happens if you lose your life and don’t find it? What happens to people who lose their whole life and also their souls? What happens to people like me? What happens to people who do give up everything, take up the cross and follow you, and it doesn’t work? I don’t know what I would’ve become if I’d never heard of you, but I did hear. And I gave up everything and came here to follow you. And I lost all that I had. And now I’m too sick with religious trauma to go to Mass or confession. The thought of it gives me a panic attack. I stay in bed on Sundays, wondering if that makes you angry.

What happens to people like me?

Are there other people like me?

Is there a kingdom somewhere, where we can at least get back the things we’ve lost?

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. What is eternal life? Is it something I will like? Is it better than dying and just ceasing to be? Because if it’s just a great big Charismatic Revival infested with the same Charismatics who ruined my life, I’d rather not. I would be open to something else, though.

Because, in spite of it all, I still love You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I am still trying to forgive You that things went so terribly wrong.

I am still hoping that you are still listening when I lift my voice to You.

And if You ever come back and make this right, I will try to learn to trust You again.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 



Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.



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