Mother Mary in Alabama – Let it Be
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Medjugorje in America
I recall reading the stories of the children of Fatima and the messages from Medjugorje. A part of me wanted to be there, wanted to be them. I later had my own personal experiences with spiritual energy that I recognize as the frequency of consciousness of Mother Mary and it was a blessing.
Yet, I have not participated in very much of the Catholic ritual, despite my awareness that I am here to walk a blended-tradition path of spirituality beginning when I walked beyond the confines of rigid, fundamental Christianity and continuing as I stepped into and beyond the rigidity of other faiths.
Maybe I haven’t been drawn to Catholic ceremony because it contains so much structure or maybe it’s a subconscious thing from being raised Christian. I don’t know.
Maybe it’s my resistance to this idea of suffering and pain as a path to God. I’ve certainly traveled that path, beginning with my piously religous Grandmother who knew that life was not where treasure was….that one had to suffer and wait and be rewarded in heaven.
I also saw this structure of suffering in the Native American rituals of Sun Dance and Vision Quest and in a lot of the Sweat Lodges too. While I saw a different way being worked by the few, a way of being lifted by the energy where suffering was not necessary and a supernatural force took over, the many still seemed to be suffering.
Then, I saw what seemed to be the opposite in Buddhist ritual….the giving up of desire and thus the end of suffering. Didn’t quite work that way for me but that’s another article.
Anyway, despite what the areas of my resistance are to being much in the Catholic Gridline, this spiritual journey I’m contemplating now holds more.
Most of what I know about it holds no appeal whatsoever. Camping out for 5 days, being asked to say specific prayers at specific times, having to endure heat, mosquitos, standing for long periods of time, being required to wear long sleeves in spite of the heat, and having to walk a mile each way, each time I go to the ceremonial area.
So what draws me to this unpleasant scenario? Do I hope to “get” something? If so, that’s what I recognize as ego-bait, something my personality self has latched onto which distracts and tempts me long enough for me to get something else.
All I know now is that I’ve gotten my tent out of the storage building. It’s been there since I bought it, except for one time that my nieces and nephews used it. That tells you how much I like camping.
Is Mother Mary calling me? Or is this just the lure of the ego….a hope that going to Caritas of Birmingham and being part of Medjugorje in America will change my personal life in some miraculous way?
The only way to know for sure is to go.