I was talking to my archpriest just now about my struggles with the faith and all the details in the catechetical instruction classes that one must learn and go over. I loved talking to him! He was able to give me so much encouragement about where I was at in the faith and how all the apostles always had these doubts even though they were right there in the entire experience! He even gave me great encouragement about going back to catechetical instructions and what I need to focus on the most! It’s quite different than what my own parish priest suggests about learning the faith.
My archpriest, when I was talking to him, told me things that Auntie would tell me! I was telling him about my suicide, my depression, my meds, and he was just so sympathetic and empathetic about how these things can create so much mental confusion. I had wanted to call him because of his stature as one who might compare to that of a sage hoping it was more than just “appearance” and I was correct! He was more than a sage, he was an angel! I haven’t talked to an angel in so long.
He was asking me about whether I felt God or experienced God at liturgy–“Not really” was my response. But he was so caring and empathetic and he explained to me how we have all these characters in the Bible and how the people express and reflect the faith and how there can be a lot of people who abuse authority (such as my parish priest) and that there’s a lot of hypocrisy going on in religion. The important thing is NOT to focus on the details–the important thing to come away with from catechetical instructions, regardless of all the extra “fluff” and what-not is to know that God loves you and that there is a cross and that he hung on it for you.
People are always going to add to a lot of the confusion and there is always going to be hypocrisy but as I go back to catechetical classes tonight, I will try to come away with the most important thing of the faith (not the fluff)–the cross and God’s love for me! It helps to know that I can always call him though and that I always have that invitation from him right now in case my parish priest starts trying to focus me in too much on the details of it all. I’m pretty certain though that Auntie and my archpriest would make quite good friends to share a cup of tea with, though. And in the end, as he said, God is so big and we’re not going to understand every detail of him so there’s always going to be doubt.