Monday, February 18, 2013

At Odds

I had a very long post written, but decided not to bore you all with the details, so here is the condensed version: Once again I am at odds with the Catholic Church. It all came to a head last week when the parish priest informed us that we could not be accepted into the church until our prior marriages were investigated and annulled. Not willing to open old wounds, fill out paperwork that amounted to an IRS audit, and a $500 administrative fee, we walked out of the cathedral office with me in tears. But not before Double D had some choice words for Fr. Paul about the church being filled with pharisees. I wish he hadn't said that. I'm just sick over the whole mess. Sick I tell ya!

After the meeting, and still in a daze, I took off in my car driving up and down River Road. As I drove along I noticed beautiful pastures filled with yellow wildflowers. The earth really does laugh in flowers, and God's creation still brings me great joy. This was like a postcard from God, reminding me that His world is still a beautiful place despite my feelings of rejection and disappointment with the church.
This blurred frame is compliments of Steve Rich.
Thank you, Evelyn, for the link so many months ago.






The Catholic Church may find our 22 year marriage unworthy, but we know better, and we thank God that His mercies are new every morning. (By the way, I still love my Catholic brothers and sisters, and have talked to many who feel that the church's requirements are completely over the top, including Sister Cynthia!) Sorry if I've offended or made anyone feel uncomfortable. Sometimes I just need to vent.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

56 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

And venting is just the thing you need to get on back on the 'right track'. I tellya, I was raised Catholic, and from our 1st day of marriage and now nearly 45 years later, I have often found myself at odds with the Church's thinking. This scenario would just make up my mind. I don't need a church to attend, I practice my faith in all the surrounds me...no building can do that in my estimation. I feel God is with me 24/7...guiding me, and as you saw in these lovely images...he's at work for us each and every day.

And truly, your post is not at all offensive. It's YOUR blog, you write what YOU want. That's what blogging is all about.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

...ps...that should read ALL THAT surrounds me. Not all 'the'. Geez.

acreativeharbor.com said...

magnificent photography and so glad the Spirit came through to you in Nature ~ Organized Religion is a business like any other business to me ~ lots of hugs to you ^_^

eileeninmd said...

Gail, I was also raised Catholic and I know how frustrating it can be. I am now one of those who believe you do not need a building to pray or believe in God. Beautiful images! Have a happy week!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm so sorry about the church. I'm not Catholic, but I do have a hard time with some of the judgments from various churches. It makes me sad.

Pam ;) said...

Ditto to what Anni and Eileen said.
Forgive the church and move on with your beliefs- the church is run by mortals NOT God.
God knows and understands your heart- that's all that really matters Gail.
Be happy and celebrate your relationship with God.

Shug said...

I'm not familiar with the beliefs and doctrin of the Catholic church, so this comes as a big WOW to me. I'm sorry for the heartache that you have gone through this past week...God loves you and HE knows your heart. Don't let the enemy defeat you and keep on trusting God for answers to heal your brokenness. Love ya girl!

Danielle said...

I am so sorry for the legalistic views that made you so angry and sad. I was raised Catholic until after five children my mom said enough is enough and wanted to use birth control...of course the church said no...so my Mom...a once very devout Catholic...left the church...and as her children...so did we. It is very disheartening...but as you said...God leaves his thumbprints as reminders that he is more than organized religion...he is bright flowers brought to us at a time when we need them the most.

Patrice said...

Gail, I know the distress you're feeling. I went through the annulment process about 8 years ago, and it was painful. Hurricane Katrina helped me out, though, because much of the paperwork was lost, so they just granted the annulment. Blessings to you and Double D; God knows what is in your heart.

Barb Brookbank said...

So sorry about your experience with your church... but your images of yellow fields are so calming and beautiful - I can almost smell the warm spring air.

Jori said...

I hope you are feeling better Gail. Those fields of flowers are beautiful. I am always amazed at all of the beautiful things God created for us! I know God loves you, and all will work out as it should. :)

Lisa Gordon said...

I don't know what Double D said, Gail, but I am going to have to take his stance on this. I was born and raised a very strict Catholic, but the Catholic church needs to come out of the Dark Ages. There are far too many rules (that can always be bent for a fee!) that are simply not practical in the current day society that we all have to live in.

rainfield61 said...

I shall forget all the sorrow in front of this beautiful setting.

Stephanie said...

Hi dear Gail,

I am not Catholic so I don't understand everything, but I am sorry for all that you are having to go through. All that matters is what God says and how He leads your life.
Your pictures are beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for posting them. God's cretion truly is magnificent, isn't it?!

Hugs,
Stephanie

Linda said...

Gail, I prayed before writing this comment, asking God to help me know what to say. This passage of scripture immediately came to my mind, so I think God must have wanted me to share it with you: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..."

You will find pharisees in every denomination, but the key is to keep your eyes on Jesus. He's the One Who paid your sin debt. He's the One you're to Whom you are accountable. He's the only One Who can save you. Trust Him.

Linda said...

I meant to give you the reference for that scripture passage. It's 1 Timothy 2:5.

I also forgot to comment on the beautiful photos. What a breath of spring it was for a northerner to see the green grass and yellow flowers. :)

Nancy said...

Leave it to God to give you a big hug in the form of His beautiful creation when man has hurt you so much....
I think it makes God very sad when man hurts His children with rules and regulations which certainly was not the way Jesus lived and taught....

I know He will guide you in the way you should go....

Tricia said...

I was raised Catholic, but could never understand all their rules and rituals. I think it's best to just focus yourself on God and let his principles guide you rather than the thoughts of a particular religion.

Your photos look beautiful. xo

hootnonny said...

So sorry in your disappointment, Gail. Now that the door is closed, open the window and go directly to the Lord...no intercessory, audit or fee needed! And what a beautiful landscape HE gave you!

TexWisGirl said...

the catholic church relies on 'man's rules' to keep control and raise funds. i am no longer a contributing party, but God and i are still tight.

nothing worse than a reformed catholic. :)

Mary said...

Sweet Gail, Sorry for that feeling of separation from your church...yes, to keep on the love of your "fellow" brothers and sisters. I love your sunny yellow pictures. What a wonderful early Spring showing. Loving to see you again, Mary

ladyfi said...

What gorgeous shots!

I believe that your heart is the best church we could have...

Renae at simple sequins said...

hi Gail! You didn't offend me. I understand your venting [and the need to vent]. Your photos are GORGEOUS!!! ESP. the first one!!!! I loved the border effect.

THANK YOU for the fun birthday greetings. (hug)

Amy Burzese said...

Bless you, Gail. My husband is Catholic and I don't understand the role of the human leaders between God, Jesus, and the parishioners. It is not for man to judge. It is between you and the Lord. Try to be at peace. Your photos do indeed show your relationship with God. Beautiful.

Tricia Hays said...

It's very hard seeing the comments here today, very sad... I'm terribly sorry for what you've endured w/ the church, Gail, I truly am, but I have to stand up for her. I know you don't mean to offend anyone

I don't believe God guided 'Linda' to post that Bible verse, I believe Linda guided Linda to post it due to her lack of understanding of the church & the secular world's constant pounding in our heads of what the church should or should not do!

Not many understand, but I'll certainly be praying for us all.

Most have no idea what the church has done for everyone, not just Catholics... Where do they think the world would be without the Catholic church? I wholeheartedly believe the world would be in much worse shape if it wasn't for the Catholic church!

God bless =)

HansHB said...

Great photos!
Lovely post!

Phil said...

You found some super greens and blues in your pictures Gail, but don't feel all blue yourself.

Tricia Hays said...

Sin would be even more rampant if it "came out of the Dark Ages" as one suggested... the church isn't here to band-aid anyone's feelings, they're concerned w/ our souls & where our souls go after death!

And if we didn't need 'church' to worship & rejoice, then why did Jesus Christ himself start the Catholic church? Ppl who say we don't need church & call it organized religion really know not what they say or do.

And TWG is right, there's nothing like a reformed Catholic, (but 'worse' isn't in any way how I'd describe us) however, I do believe that we're the ones that have seen the light...

My belief is that all believers in God should stick together w/ the shape this world is in right now. Believers are about to be worshiping in hiding, period. Just because they don't believe in something, doesn't mean they're right.

Catholics are the only Christians that have stood by the teachings of Jesus Christ... If we ever get a pope that is 'ok' w/ gay marriage, abortion, the pill, etc, then true Catholics will have to go underground & that's all there is to it. Those ppl that say otherwise have no idea that they're talking about & I apologize for their ignorance. I'm blessed & have a gift to be able to see the big picture.

No other organization on Earth gives more to the needy, poor, sick, etc, than the Catholic church & that's a fact. No other entity has been around as long as the Catholic church & that's a fact.

Jesus told Peter & the 12 that whatsoever you bound on Earth is bound in Heaven & whatsoever you loose on Earth is loosed in Heaven.

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I'm truly sorry you are having trouble joining the church you want to join.
Beautiful photos today- I'm glad you found a little peace in God's backyard. I do too.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Stunning photos Gail!
Remember, God is your heart and in the beauty of nature that surrounds us, not in a brick and mortar building.

Evelyn S. said...

Sorry about your difficulties with your Church. Unfortunately, men(humans) have created their own version of "church." My first marriage ended in divorce about 40 years ago. When I moved back to my home country from Micronesia and met my now-husband (almost 35 years), I wanted to be married in my little home church; the minister there wouldn't perform the ceremony because I was divorced. As it turned out, I contacted the minister who had been there when I was in high school; he came from Idaho to perform our small, family-only wedding. My strong belief: it is God who forgives, not Man.

Evelyn S. said...

Darn....I forgot to say how beautiful your spring images are! The yellow is amazing in those landscapes! Nothing but brown, gray and beige around here. I took a drive this morning trying to find something worth photographing and ended up with a gray wooden gate. ;-)

Charlotte Wilson said...

Gail, I am on my way out the door but I just read your post about your marriage and the annulment factor.

I had an annulment that took almost 2 years to complete but I am here to tell you that it was very well worth it.

Jim and I are now being trained as case sponsors to help the broken hearted ...those who are divorced and those seeking annulment. We are learning about Canon law and why things are done in the way that they are. PLease don't give up yet. I will write a n email to you re: this later.

Hugs,

charlotte

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I do not want to be one to make judgements,but I do know that there are many churches out there who would welcome you with open arms. allowGod to lead you to the right fellowship. The pictures are gorgeous. I really like the frame on the first one.

Ann said...

His bounty is beautiful..i'm hoping it brought you peace.
i am not a believer of any formal religious group...too many things have happened in the name of "church"
my God is a loving god..who doesn't care who you marry,how many times or anything else!
He loves us as we are.
Funny..wonder what California priests would have to say!! they haven't all been "priestly"
i just don't think anyone has the right to judge another person.
hope you are feeling better.
Formalized religion....fine for many,not for me.

She Who Carries Camera said...

No wonder society is moving away from religion with such absurdity. As long as you live a good life, you will be at peace with God. Go find yourself a church that will accept you with open arms! And, I'm in awe of your captures today...a sign that God is on your side!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Might not be the place for this and I'll never be hurt if you delete this comment, but I had to laugh when some comedian commented that he felt sorry for the new Pope because he would have his hands full bringing the Church into the 17th Century! (I was raised Catholic, haven't been active for some time for reasons a little different from yours and too many to list.) There are certainly some great people still working within the Church to change what's wrong and nuns seem to be at the forefront of that. Power to the Sisters!

For whatever it's worth, you are not alone!

beth said...

i applaud you for your honesty and sharing it !!

KUDOS to you !!
xo

dinascitywildlife.com said...

Beautiful shots! The yellow flowers are amazing. Great eye to see them and get these shots.

(As a former Catholic from long ago and now a practicing baptist, there are other churches who would love to have you, no so called annulment required.

Barbara said...

This doesn't offend me. I know how frustrating it is. I had a friend go through it a few years ago, and heard all about it through out the process, but as Charlotte said, my friend also said it was well worth it and was grateful our priest advised her to do it right away, a few years before she even met her future husband. I know how hard it is for those who aren't Catholic to understand a lot of the rules. It's still hard for me to understand some of them (I say that's the Baptist coming out in me! lol) We can probably blame this one on King Henry VIII. They had to make it tougher to get annullments.Most recently I was frustrated when my kids wanted an outdoor Catholic wedding and discovered that was impossible, and the reasons I was given don't make sense to me. But it doesn't change my overall faith in the Church. It just makes me sad that they won't be having a Catholic wedding. I pointed out to the deacon I spoke with that I have friends who got married in a swimming pool and they've been together 35 years now! The love is what matters.
That field of flowers and gorgeous blue sky are definitely a message from God giving his blessings on you and your husband. A big yellow and blue hug from heaven! I was so excited about my handful of yellow flowers - you've got a dang carpet of them!! Beautiful shots! Thank you for sharing them with us and knowing you could vent to us!!

bailey-road.com said...

Beautiful fields of gold.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Oh Gail,
I was raised Methodist, went to Catholic School for high school = made to go to mass every Wed. and Fri.!! I took my bible with me and the Nuns wouldn't let me in with it saying it's not the real Bible. love the rituals of the Catholic church and became Lutheran. YOU know what is in your heart and most importantly - GOD knows what is in your heart!! Find a congregation that will accept you and your family. You don't have to believe every ritual they follow - but it will help to be with others who do believe and practice their belief. There is good and bad in every denomination. Remember that your faith is between you and GOD -- not you and people.
GOD Bless you!!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

BTW- Your yellow fields of flowers are beautiful!!! GOD speaks to you!!

Mitzi said...

awe honey, don't worry what the Church says...that is just so wrong on so many levels & exactly why I left the Catholic Church years ago. Having a marriage annulled doesn't erase the fact that it occurred. Been there done that. But I'm so glad that you were able to experience some of God's beautiful blessings on your drive. Sometimes it is indeed the little things that bring the truth to light and you just can't argue with God's beauty. Big hugs, xoxo

Rosie Grey said...

First of I want to tell you how much I love your wonderful photos - so full of hope for spring and warmth!
I'm so sorry for your sad experience! This is really unbelievable and I feel so deeply with you and also Double D! I'm really at a loss of words!

Hilary said...

I am SO the wrong person for this kind of advice. I just want to say that I'm so sorry you've been through such an ordeal and I hope you find your peace. Hugs to you.

Linda R said...

I always think that when something like this happens that GOD has other plans for us. You know the saying when one door closes another one opens.

I am so glad you got out with your camera to find a little peace. Your photos are amazing my friend.

Big Hugs~

the wild magnolia said...

thankfully God is not Catholic. I know you love your church and that doesn't have to change. You understand how God feels, you understand how you and dear hubs feels.

it will work out how it is meant to be.

sharing is a good thing, blogging, a communication.

take care of you.

the wild magnolia said...

thought I better add, I am not a Catholic, but I love the traditions and liturgy of the Catholic church.

i love there is a place for Blessed Virgin. i pray to her sometimes.

Lynn said...

Been there, done that . . . the day you leave the the question of religion blank on a questionnaire you have crossed a bridge. Gail, I am so very sorry this is happening to you. Vent on, dear lady, vent on!

The Flirty Girl said...

If it's what you want I hope you find a new and more accepting congregation to join. But, I truly believe religion is best practiced in our own hearts and day to day actions. Sometimes I can't help but to wonder why religion seems to create more conflict than calm and more judgement than love. It makes it hard for me to accept organized religion as a necessary part of one's relationship with God.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

Bless you and your hubby and know that GOD is the only judge of us, not man. I am not Catholic but Baptist. I too was married before and its GOD that forgives through Jesus shed blood and He turns no one away that comes to Him. Put your life in GOD's hands and let him be the judge of your past. If we have sin, then let us confess it to GOD through Jesus and he forgives like it never happen so states the Bible. He remembers our sin no more. Yes, in the bible it does state that if we remarry, its a sin but our sins are forgiven if we ask Him in Jesus name. No where in the bible does He turn away someone after they have ask for forgiveness and come to believe in Jesus, confesses sin and lives life according to his teachings. Because we believe we have salvation and forgiveness.

I will not let any earthly being cast judgement on me for my past sins, the only one that matters is GOD and he says my sins are forgiven.

Keeping you in prayer dear one and know GOD sees and is your judge.

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

One more thing, when there is so much corruption in all churches of all faiths, I do find it difficult to put a lot of faith in church leaders. They are tempted and give into temptation just like we all are, and sometimes even more. I do not look to them for much council but keep them in prayer that GOD will give them wisdom. Church leaders sin and many cast judgment on people when they themselves are sitting in the same sin. That is why I look to the bible for my strength and guidance. Only God and Jesus are sinless and are my judge.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Makes me wonder if God approves of these man made rules! Don't let that Catholic Guilt get you down! Gorgeous photos!

Kerry said...

Ridiculous of them. I'm so sorry you went through this. It is disappointing, but you have the sense to know that your marriage is right & that silly red tape is foolish. And God knows this too.