My brothers amazing, beautiful Ordination was two weeks ago and I feel like he kinda rubs it in my face.
It’s a horrible way to start out a post about my family and my faith, isn’t it? I feel so proud of my brother that I could burst. I watched him when he first got out of college, working for a truck leasing company and you could tell that underneath the rapid book buying, he was so frustrated with himself. And then when he made the choice to go into the priesthood, he was slowed by a family trait. Our severe lack of social skills, in his case “empathy”. The diocese spent an entire year or more on him, making him go out into the community, learning to act, spent in reflection, to build the skills he needed so that he could start the long Formation Process.
And at Ordination and more when he said his first Mass the next day, joy radiated through him. It was wonderful to see. No matter my own feelings on the Roman Catholic Church, it suits him, which is all that is important. To see how bright he shone as he administered communion is all I’ve ever needed to see from him. Perhaps, he is better as Father than Brother.
It was at his ordination that I started to feel it though, that I was meant to radiate that joy as a devotee, perhaps someday a maenad, of Dionysos.
But at some point, that depressed me. Because here was this huge community outreach, family, friends and church, that came to support him on this journey. I still feel like I have to hone everything down anywhere outside the internet — including local pagan groups. There’s always places like Cherry Hill and such, but they too are more towards outreach and versions of clergy that participates in groups. The social problems that my brother had were easily fixable, introversion isn’t so much.
I can live without community though, but knowing I’d likely never get that support from my family is so disheartening. They’ve accepted without saying anything that I’m not Christian anymore and I think they are relieved that I’m not an atheist, but none have really ever has wanted to talk to me about what I believe or what I do. They look at my altar and then away, call me heathen or make small jokes (and appreciate that I’m more mature in my dismissal of Catholicism, although I think mom is a little sad that I didn’t become a Baptist!), but nothing that would lead me to believe that they’d support me in the way they supported my brother.
Sometimes I even feel this way about my husband; he who loves me beyond all reason, puts my faith as one of those things that is beyond all reason. I think he’d support me though when he’s ready to start taking it seriously.
It’s shame for them though, because they won’t see the joy in my eyes when I am ready, when I am filled, when I am dancing in the wake of Dionysos.