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Writing Prompt for July 2017

I’ve been immersed in all things nonphysical these last couple of weeks as I prepare for my Spiritual Memoir workshop this Saturday, July 15th. So, anyway, I’m watching a quirky movie the other night, and the main female character says, “I unfriended God a long time ago.”

The way she said it struck me as funny at the time, but I’ve certainly had periods in my life where I wanted nothing to do with God, Goddess, religion, higher power, spirit, the divine, whatever you want to call it. Those were some of the darkest and most painful times of my life.

So, let’s write about those uncertain times. Did a certain situation bring about this crisis of belief? How did you respond to it? What, if anything, did you do? Have you come to an understanding about this time? Or if you’ve not had these times of disillusionment and doubt, have not experienced a loss of faith, write about that. Why do you think you have not been shaken by life’s curve balls?

I know this is a personal subject, so you don’t have to share what you’ve written if you’re not comfortable, but do write something. You may be enlightened when your fingers begin to form words and sentences. Ready? Go.


  • Brenda O'Connor
    Posted July 13, 2017 at 9:42 pm


    It was difficult to breathe as I put down the half read paper. The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team had broken apart the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic Priests. Fifteen years later I have not recovered. I do not go to church except for a wedding or funeral.

    I understand perverts inhabit every community, every profession, every organization. The Catholic Church, in that regard, is not unique.

    As a teacher, I am a mandatory reporter. If I know of abuse, I must report it. It doesn’t matter if the abuser is a teacher, parent, principal, or anyone else. If I don’t report the abuse, I could lose my license to teach, my job, and my reputation. And I have reported suspected abuse to my immediate superior. When he did nothing I, as required by law, called the police. I was not absolved of my duty to protect a child until the proper authority was involved. And, I taught in a public school.

    Bishops and cardinals are supposed to be “Christ Like”. Jesus is often called “The Good Shepherd”. We hear the oft repeated Bible story of the shepherd leaving the flock to find the stray or lost sheep. Public school teachers are expected to protect children, shouldn’t bishops be required to meet that same standard at a minimum?

    Bernard Law protected the abusers. He did not protect the children. He was derelict in his duty as a priest, as a bishop, as a man. And he was promoted for it.
    He was brought to Rome and appointed to be the Archpriest of Saint Mary Major – one of the five most important Catholic Churches in the world, and his role as Archpriest made him one of the most powerful men in the church. His committee appointments were very powerful as well. No priest could be appointed bishop or cardinal anywhere in the world without first being approved by Law’s committee. He had the ear of the pope and was housed in the palace apartments that once belonged to Italian royalty. It was as though the Pope and the Roman Curia were saying, “This is our beloved son in whom we are well pleased.”

    I have studied the clergy abuse throughout the world and the Catholic Churches response to it. The abuse varied the response did not. There was always a cover-up. There was always dragging of feet. There was always lies and denials. There was always blaming of the victims.

    So that is why I am uncertain. I am 74 years old. I have been a Catholic my whole life. I am still a Catholic, albeit not a practicing one. I do not, as I said earlier, go to church. I do not give money to the church. I do not listen to priests, bishops, cardinals, popes telling me what is right or wrong. I do not listen when they oppose LGBTQ rights. I do not confess my sins to them.

    They are hypocrites and liars. They are not holy men. They cannot truly believe in God. They surely do not follow Jesus’ teaching.

    But, I do believe in God, and I believe in Justice.They cannot take thy faith away from me.

    • Brenda O'Connor
      Posted July 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm

      Thy faith = my faith – sorry about that.

    • iamgenie726
      Posted July 16, 2017 at 6:41 am

      I understand your feelings. As a child, I had been abused by a family member. In those days no one spoke about such things. The family felt shame and hid the problem instead of fixing it. I was sent to live with other family members. I could not understand for a long time why I was the one to suffer. There was no therapy for the abused. It took a long time for me to forgive my abuser. It was only thru my relationship with God that I could finally let it go. The hurt remains no matter how long ago but in asking God to help me forgive, I finally found my peace. I am glad you have not lost your faith. It took me a long time to find mine.

  • Jeanne Sullivan
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 6:23 am

    My daughter was scheduled to have a knee operation about a year ago. At the very last minute she cancelled it. Later, during a phone conversation, she said Mom would you like to hear the truth of why I cancelled. Of course I answered. She said she felt that she was going to die. I reassured her that all surgery has a possibility of becoming more serious. She had had several surgeries and came thru fine. We never spoke of it again.
    Late last year she rescheduled the surgery again. She came thru it just fine, went to a rehab facility for about a week. Then she had therapy at home. Since she could now drive she went to outpatient therapy which would end on February 1, 2017.
    She retired the first of 2017 and made plane reservations to come to Florida. She would be staying for three weeks during which time we would finalize an apartment for her and she would move here to take care of my husband and I.
    Around January 6th she told me her leg was swollen and she was coughing a lot. I told her she better see her doctor. She went to dinner on a Thursday night with a friend and her friend’s husband. Her friend is a doctor and when my daughter told her the problems she was having, she told her to go to the doctor or better yet the emergency room. My daughter told them and me that she had an appointment on Tuesday.
    I tried to call her Tuesday night to see what the doctor said. I tried three times leaving a message to call me each time. At 11PM I left the message to call me when she got home no matter what time it was. I woke during the night and she had not called. I got a bad feeling but knowing my daughter I rationalized that she wouldn’t have called me so late.
    In the morning I tried to call..still no answer. I contacted two of her closest friends and they did not know where she was. I was getting frantic. Although she was 64 years old, she never went away without letting me know where she was going. I called the apartment complex where she lived and asked them to do a well check on her. They found her lying on her bed as if she was taking a nap. We found out she never made it to her appointment. She died from a blood clot, as result from her surgery.
    I am heartsick. My only consolation has been from friends and doctors that the death from a blood clot is instant and there is no pain. I am strong in my faith and yet I wanted to shout out in anger to God how could you do this to us. We had such great plans for the rest of our life together. My faith tells me that God has plans for us and they are not always the same as our plans.
    She died on January 11, 2017. Today is July 16 2017. My goal right now is to make it thru a day without crying. It will not be today.

  • Post Author
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Oh, my gosh, Jeannie. I am so sorry. How heartbroken you must be. There are no words I can say to make it better, only that I care about you, and I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being brave enough to share this with us. I hope putting your loss into words has given you a measure of relief for the moment. Take care of yourself, Jeanne.

  • Brenda Conner
    Posted July 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    The day without tears will come when you are ready. It is too early – the terrible wound too raw. Until then let the tears flow, but as they do, think of a good memory. Talk to your daughter tell her how much you miss her – how angry you are that she died, and about that memory. If you can, set assign a time each day to have the conversation with her. You can tell her how hard it is, or what triggers the tears.

    You may think I’m crazy, but this is what I did when my parents died. Even decades later I find myself having conversations with them. I share joyful as well as sad moments with them – even everyday boring moments – and it has helped me.

    I don’t know if it will help you – each of us has to find our own way. This was my way to peace.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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