My mom, who was raised in the Lutheran church and isn’t Catholic, asked me to attend a Stations of the Cross service at a local Catholic church yesterday, Good Friday. She says I am not as happy as when I regularly attended church, which is true in some ways. I do miss the fellowship and the messages of those priests who work so hard at making Christ’s loving ways and messages pertinent to today. (Obviously, I don’t miss the dark side of the church.)
I did not want to go because recounting Jesus’ beatings, his blood loss, his falls, the nails through his hands and feet, the sword to his ribs and the profound suffering of his mother, is hard if you don’t return on Easter Sunday to celebrate His triumph over death and the misguided ways of the world. But I went because she is my mom and moms tend to know what we need, even if we don’t want it.
I hadn’t been in years, but it seemed to me the message of the day was more direct, more terse than I remembered. The needs of all suffering people, the homeless, the hungry, the addicts, the dominated, the ill, the devastated, the elderly, the poor, were addressed in this way: Those who cause great suffering for others should stop; and that the suffering-Jesus knows who we are and why we suffer and is with us, all of us.
This is hard to admit, but I realized while in the church that my worldview of established religions has become cynical and how easy it is for me to feel that I don’t need a faith, that I know about the stuff of God. ‘She who knows, knows not,’ was the message sent and received. It is been a while since I felt open, contemplative and humble at the same time. Mothers do know best.