Where my faith and experience begins.

As written to my friend,

You found basics in the teachings, the foundations of the Catholic Religion, but they were the basics for me, and the religions I was exposed to, as well.  But your guidance, illuminations, your relating to God, prayer life, was your own, out of yourself.  Not out of your Religion.  But, for both of us, our Religions and Churches were pointing us in a right direction, even as they inevitably fell short of our needs.  We had to relate to God on our own.

I had a religious experience in Church yesterday, and it was real worship for me.  The offertory music was played by a flutist.  It brought tears as I remembered some of my best memories of my Dad.  He played the flute, and he played it in Church at times, but I had forgotten that.   The Offertory music was “All is Well with my Soul”.  I was left in tears.  Writing it now brings tears.  I meant to go up to tell the lady who had played the flute, but she apparently left then, after having played for both services.  But, I brought the program home, and will try to contact her and tell her this.  I called my friend, Dot Everett and told her about it this morning.  She remembered her father having her sing a duet with him, years ago, “I walk in the Garden Alone”.   She joined me in my tears.

Then, in July, we have had Music as our worship service, with a short message / sermon.  The sermon was excellent, but the hymns were the old ones familiar to me, including both “The Old Rugged Cross” and “I Walk in the Garden Alone”.  Both  were the songs my Mother had requested for her Memorial Service.  There was no funeral, because she had requested Cremation.  The Memorial Service was not held in the same reverence as a funeral back then.  My brother Carlton’s was recently, but Mother’s was not.  They put it off for convenience, and no one expected Diana or me to make a trip home for it, and our husbands also did not see the need for us to each fly 2000 miles to be there for it.  Probably we did not either.  So, I had not gone “home” for it.  But, singing those songs myself, both of them, hit me hard, so much so, I could not speak, or sing the words as I attempted to do so.  This was so moving for me.

The sermon, too, tied in with our idea that God does not want us to merely remain obedient children forever, but to grow up, and in the example of Christ, become sons and daughters who choose and try to be responsible in the faith we have for how we should live our lives.  Not to gain admiration or praise, not to be proud of ourselves, but to still know that the Grace of God is needed for what we should become.

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