Many years ago now there arose a wave of what became known as the “Charismatic Movement” and being a seeker who yearned with all my heart to actually know and experience what we call God, I dove into that wave head first. At the time I was a member of the Catholic religion after coming from a Baptist/Methodist background. I officially converted a few years after my marriage to my part-time Catholic husband. I say part-time because he found living life to the fullest was much more satisfying and fulfilling than being a full-time practicing Catholic. This living life to the fullest and gobbling up all the different and interesting things life had to offer was his religion.. This was not a bad thing because this man could love like his very next breath depended upon it. At the time I did not understand a lot of things like I do now and I often resented his plunging into experiencing all of life that he could experience because it left me alone a lot of hours with the job of rearing our children pretty much entirely by myself. I was not as free as he was to pursue interests and flit about unaffected by all the responsibility that came with caring for children minute by minute.. John did hold a job and worked very hard but any and all his free time was his. Let me hasten to say that what this restlessness, resentment,and the emotional pain in my life (including guilt) did for me was to make me all the more hungry for finding peace, love, joy, contentment and understanding of myself, my life, and my God. So were it not for that, perhaps I would never have become what I call a Christian mystic though I hesitate to pin a label upon that which does not wear a label well. I will deal with the subject of mysticism in another chapter.
While I resented my husband’s religion of plunging as deeply as possible into experiencing all that life had to offer, he never resisted my seeking my own way to make peace with life. He fully supported me in anything I pursued and that included financially if that was called for. Was he perfect? No, but he was a prince among men and one whom I never really fully appreciated until I could see with new eyes. He and our life together looks so differently to me now as I look back and re-evaluate everything from a different point of view – that is, seeing through new eyes.
My path is what it is day by day minute by minute. And as my new eyes have grown through the years to see yet more clearly, that which has been, is now, or will ever be, changes each time I look at it.
How did I find myself in this enchanted land where nothing is as it seems or seemed, where thorns and roses can abide on the same one stem and be understood? How does one, for example, find in a person or condition or event both the good and bad, the wanted and unwanted, or an adversary and a supporter simultaneously? How can we find both tears and joy in one event? How can we find sense in those things that do not make sense? How can we find the whole in the world of division? Why do we even care about such things? One usually gets the urged to explore beyond what they think they know and understand, because of curiosity or pain or something that they cannot explain. It can be one thing or another of these or combination thereof. What made Alice go through the looking glass or chase the white rabbit? What made Dorothy want to go somewhere over the rainbow to make her way to the city of Oz and the Great Wizard? Whatever it was (and as undefinable as it might be) you know it when it calls your name and urges you out of your familiar comfort zone. As an aside, a “comfort zone” may not be all that comfortable but it is familiar and there is some comfort in the familiar; so, something has to call us to leave that comfort zone and to explore the unknown. So if you hear that call, let us leave behind what we thought we knew and begin the journey to chase the White Rabbit and slide over the rainbow to find the Great Oz.