I wrote this poem to my then fiancé, Joe, during my English 201 course at the College of St Catherine (now St Catherine University) in St Paul, Minnesota.
It was never said that I would go to Hell
If I decide to eat meat on Friday
I was never made to learn the names
Of all the saints
Kneeling is not just a way to get sore knees
And the sign of the cross is not silly
I never had to memorize the prayers
For the Rosary
And I never go to private confession
And tell the priest ALL my sins
I do not pray to the Blessed Virgin
Because I think God cannot listen
Priests should not marry; they should be like Christ
Because they love, not as a punishment
I do believe in the sanctity of life, not to
Deny women rights but because life is a gift
The pope is not God; he is a politician
And Vatican City is his Washington
The Church is not the focus of my life
But my faith is
I cannot turn my back on everything I love
And trust in for you or anyone else
But I can tell you that I know the truth
Lutherans are simply lazy Catholics!
Bad poetry, for certain.
But back then I was still a girl and unmarried. And I was addressing things that played a HUGE role in our marriage.
My husband was too stubborn to come to faith. He hated Catholicism and he hated that I practiced it.
It's ironic that I have evolved into a believer who is in constant communication with my Father God and - though still a practicing Roman Catholic - I would still define myself as spiritual and faithful rather than religious.
It's more ironic that my husband is seeking an annulment and belonging in this beautiful, ancient faith considering that we had this conversation in the last days of our marriage:
Me: I was reading about that (I can't remember what "that" referred to) in Ephesians. It says…
My husband: I don't even know why you read that Book anymore; it's so out of date.
He really needs to read Ephesians before he celebrates the sacrament of marriage for the second time - and restates the vows he said to me four times for the fifth time with someone else.
He also needs to read Corinthians, the Psalms, Proverbs, and… errr a few others. It wouldn't hurt his bride-to-be either. Reading this beautiful love letter God gave us is never out of date. God wouldn't have given us such a gift without it being a timeless transcript of His love for us.
As for me? Thank GOD I held firm to my faith. I faltered for a time and did let my husband take first place in my priorities. I came to my senses though!
And praise God for all I have and will have! God is SO VERY, VERY GOOD!