Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Order


This Lent, I'm supposed to have renewed my inquirer status with a lay Catholic confraternity which lives the rule of Saint Francis. I'm not quite sure what to do about this, however, because, while I felt a great attraction for this group when I first found out about them last year, my enthusiasm has waned somewhat. This is partially because I am so overworked and tired, and partially because of a couple of comments I've received from some of the group's members, which, while well-intended (and the people who made them kind and holy), made me feel there might be some disconnect between their theology and mine.

One said, on the occasion of my second pregnancy loss in four months, that if the child had been born he might have eventually turned away from God, which was supposed to make me feel better, the presumption being that the child is in heaven now but might not have gotten there had he lived. Another told me, after a look at this blog, that I am clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of my abortion seventeen years ago, and helpfully suggested that women who have had abortions are more likely to suffer miscarriage. (While I'm certainly open to the idea of chastisement, in this case I felt I had to point out the lack of evidence for her assertion, as well as the fact that miscarriage is extremely common even in women who have led blameless lives. It's certainly tempting to imagine that God is doling out karma and just desserts to grievous sinners like myself, but it seems to me that such an easy notion is in direct contradiction to everything Christ said and did, so I doubt it.)

Perhaps I should look into becoming a Third Stream instead of a Third Order Franciscan. In the meantime, however, I would be most grateful if any reader of this post would pray for my discernment in this matter.

6 comments:

Fallen Sparrow said...

I came across your blog through my trackbacks, and it's a revelation. Thank you for adding me to your blogroll; I'm glad you found me and allowed me to find you. Keep up the good work!

God bless.

Pentimento said...

Thank you for your very kind words. Get well soon and happy Easter!

Maclin Horton said...

Job's comforters are perennial.

Pentimento said...

Well put, Maclin; I hadn't thought of it that way. It's a bit discouraging to feel that even the holiest of spiritual strivers are afflicted with such disturbing ideas about God.

Tertium Quid said...

There are several distinct species of Catholic spirituality. I'm most comfortable with the Dominicans and the Benedictines. God will guide you in your vocation and bring you the fellowship and support you need.

Pentimento said...

Thanks, T.Q. I feel pretty much in the dark about God's ways and means in this case.