40 Years Away from the Church

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Most Sundays, for forty years, I would wake in the arms of the woman I love, the mother of our two kids, debating whether to wake up or not. After no one winning, we would make love and wake at around noon, eat a power brunch and laze on the couch cuddling, dreading the inevitable coming of the blue Monday.

Last Sunday I found myself in church, our daughter sandwiched between me and her mother for her wedding. Angel was right. She had managed to drag us to church. I loved her as much as it hurt to lose her to another man who would never treat her like the princess she is.

Nothing had changed much though. It was the same Catholic Church, antediluvian pews probably salvaged from the capsizing Noah’s Ark; the same old hymns that never see time catch up on them.

It was Angel’s big day. I had to be there for her, not for the service, or worship of a God I doubted scores of years ago.

It was awkward. Ave Maria started and it was déjà vu again. But I couldn’t get the lyrics. My wife seemed fine right. Did she sneak to go to church and leave me? I guess when I will be burning in hell she will be gloating in heaven.

Angel, the girl I had seen grow from a baby to a lady, my second best friend, opened the hymnal and moved it slightly so I could see the printed lyrics. I could feel the smile forming on her lips.

Well, when you go to Rome—- I realized I didn’t know the tunes anymore. Actually, I did not know the tunes for any hymns.

The choir began to sing in well-rehearsed falsetto, and everyone joined in. During consecratio I found myself standing alone when everyone was on their knees. Well, I had to do what they were doing. For the rest of the service, I joined in. 

Born in Curse

When I stand to go, the first step is the hardest, but I take it. All I am thinking is I want to get myself out of the curse of being her ‘only child’. My spirit is bubbling from deep inside. It is that liberating. I will go and forget I had an elderly mother. I won’t look back, I decide. Even when, and if, she realizes that daughters too are children who can take care of their parents, I won’t come back, I tell myself. I am getting away from the curse, taking back my life. 

The Runaway Priest

Photo: devianART.(www.devianart.com)  “I’m leaving the church, Bishop,” Fr. Nicholas said.             “You want it out there, Father, but winter is coming.” “I’d rather live with sin than in sin,” Nicholas

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