Life begins at 50 –

The Tribunal’s Declaration of Nullity, received a little over a month ago, has had a wholly unexpected effect on my spirit, on the way I see myself and my own life; it is as if Mother Church, speaking through Her tribunal, has declared not only the attempted marriage null, but also the scorn, ridicule and contempt experienced for those years, which has followed me as a foul oppression even twenty years after we separated (January 16, 1988).

All of life is sweeter, and I feel liberated – and the difference is being seen, and responded to, by my local friends.

I’ll be starting Graduate Studies from Franciscan University soon – within the next week or two, I think –

So much to look forward to – ! So much to be grateful for, to rejoice in!

and here is another poem from Joseph Pearce’s Flowers of Heaven

Vox Ultima Crucis

Tarry no longer; toward thine heritage
Hast on thy way, and be of right good cheer.
Go each day onward on thy pilgrimage;
Think how short time thou has abiden here.
Thy place is bygged above the stars clear,
Noon earhly palace wrought in so stately wise.
Come on, my friend, my brother most entere!
For thee I offered my blood in sacrifice.

(John Lydgate (ca. 1370-1450)

A different sort of epiphany

According to the dictionary, an epiphany is not only a manifestation (from whence we get the word “Epiphany” for this Feast of the Three Kings) but it is also an unexpected revelation. I had two of those today – one a joy, the other humiliating.

The first came as I sat, knitting and pondering this new spirit I’ve been experiencing in recent weeks. It is hard to describe, but suddenly I have felt as if I have awakened from a very bad dream to find that life is sweet and full of promise, and that I am lovely and lovable, worthy of all beauty and goodness –

and I realized today that, in declaring the nullity of my marriage to my first husband (I will for the moment refrain from sarcastic nicknames), Mother Church has in a very real way nullified the abuse I endured for those years. The power of the sarcasm and contempt, the sneers and neglects, the “Don’t touch me! You know that bothers me!” – all the occurrences of “I’m busy” (watching tv?) “don’t bother me – no, I don’t want to … (talk, go for a walk, sit together on the couch, hold hands, whatever) – all the manifestations of utter, contemptuous misogyny that I was convinced were personal, deserved, due to my own unworthiness —–

evaporated in the warmth of the words – “we decree the publication of the sentence declaring the nullity of the marriage….”

I didn’t realize how deeply I had absorbed Dan’s loathing, until now.

And that leads to other ponderings about the power of men – but that will be fodder for another post, another day –

The humiliating epiphany is the realization that I selfishly, thoughtlessly, desperately clung to my men friends while going through this process – a truly uncomfortable attachment for them, I realize now – drawing on their strength and dignity and approval and affection and their very being to cling like a life preserver when I thought I would drown in the misery of reliving the marriage, while working on the questionnaires. I think they have understood, though, and have forgiven me – and I pray God bless them abundantly in recompense for their generosity of goodwill toward me during those bleak, agonizing (are there enough adjectives in the dictionary?) horrid months.

and that leads to other ponderings… etc. (wink)

On the Feast of the Epiphany –

I can’t help thinking of this glorious poem, by Christina Rossetti:

In the bleak midwinter,
frosty wind made moan,
earth stood hard as iron,
water like a stone;
snow had fallen, snow on snow,
snow on snow,
in the bleak midwinter,
long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him
nor earth sustain;
heaven and earth shall flee away
when he comes to reign:
in the bleak midwinter
a stable place sufficed
the Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels
may have gathered there
cherubim and seraphim
thronged the air;
but his mother only,
in her maiden bliss,
worshiped the beloved
with a kiss.

What can I give him,
poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man,
I would do my part;
yet what I can I give him
give my heart.

Words: Christina Rossetti, 1872

Happy New Year, Everyone –

Sinus infection has me feeling yucky, but otherwise the New Year is off to a wonderful start.

I am going to ask tmsharel and Karl to take their little mutual admiration society elsewhere. Karl has found my email link at the top of the page and is now plying me with emails detailing personal and private things that are none of my business. A friend has taken a google look, and Karl is, to put it mildly, obsessed, and has been for years.

I pity his ex-wife and his children, being humiliated with such unmanly behavior. I am angry at Karl for violating the sacred trust given him in his children. I am angry at him for continuing to burden me with long diatribes that violate the sanctity of marriage. I am angriest of all because he calculates to place his children in the middle and to insist they take sides.

This is not mentally or spiritually healthy behavior. I suspect it is only the tip of the iceburg.
This little melodrama is tedious, and is hopeless of a satisfactory resolution.