This is strictly a here-and-now matter, plus as always in the spiritual view. Faith needed!
I had a long talk, long distance this morning, with the spiritual father. Over the weekend, the man of the couple with their children who had prayed the Potato Novena with me for the area priest and parish, called and assured me their absence was not anything to do with my being candid with them from the onset about my situation at Mass and in other aspects, spiritually.
He asked if he could talk to their previous parish's priest. They remain good friends and continue to drive to that parish as often as possible, given the local parish's priest issues. It is likely the Mass there is not licit, sad to report. However, my spiritual father reminded me of aspects of which to be aware, to know definitively. The man, J., said he wanted to speak to his priest friend about my situation and to see if I'd be willing to drive with them to Mass when they go there.
All right. I agreed. Yesterday J. returned to my place here to help lift in a window I'd framed, and he reported back that his priest, who is very orthodox and true-on in living his Catholic priesthood, was wary when J. shared a little. Then J. and I talked of the local parish situation. I had been thinking perhaps the Lord wished me to do as He'd said a couple years ago, to not let the judges and criticizers affect me--"Pay no attention to them." And, I had. It is hard to take, time and again.
We wondered if perhaps the Lord wished me to go even to a daily Mass, of which the local priest last year had forbidden me to attend. (Yes, many have pointed out that he has no right to dictate that I cannot go to Mass any more than the handful of priests elsewhere who did not want me in their parish out of fear of how parishioners would "crucify" me, as one put it. (It is not easy being green, as Kermit the Frog used to sing.)
J. wanted me to try the daily Mass, to test the waters, to cast the net. He said he'd go with me if I did. But I wanted to talk these matters over with my spiritual father. And this morning he said to give the local parish a try with one morning Mass, but otherwise to set up an appointment with the orthodox young priest which would mean a drive and distance, but we agreed that we cannot blame priests for being wary. My spiritual life is atypical; my spiritual father once again said I am just so very different in that regard, even if it is not good or kind or fair the way I am treated as a result.
I also told him I had met with some Methodist women last week just to be around some kindly people and to practice what I thought might be waning social skills! He laughed. I also told him my thoughts that perhaps His Real Presence wished to utilize me with the "Gentiles", as it certainly seemed that the Catholics had a hard time coping with or moving beyond a profound yet not unheard-of, phenomenon.
My spiritual father blames the priests for not handling it well, not explaining and just then everyone moving on and allowing me to be the person I am otherwise, and let the phenomenon be as it is during Mass, and that is that.
When I said it practically seems as if His Real Presence is shooing me elsewhere, my spiritual father said it can certainly seem that way. And who knows? Maybe He wishes to utilize me with other than Catholics, for the others may be more receptive to sharing and learning about prayer, the spiritual life, and climbing the holy mountain.
But given past locutions, visions and dreams, suffering is my lot in life to seemingly a high degree, and I was called into the Catholic Church most definitely. Now we shall cast a couple of nets once again, and see what or how many (if any) fish the Lord puts in. I'm to report back to my spiritual father, regardless. I admit that when things go poorly with more scrutiny, misjudging, and criticism, I do have a hard time not paying any attention to it or the people who inflict what comes down to uncharitable rejection--even if it comes from their fears.
And fear is catching, or seems to have been for me. When others become wary of me, I become wary of them. It will take courage and faith to go and speak with the orthodox priest who told J. to have me call and set up an appointment, if I want. I really don't want, but I'll cast the net because my spiritual father said to give that a try and at least find out what happens.
So I will attempt stepping out of the boat again. I will try to walk across the water, step by step. First it will be attending this morning's Mass in the local parish, even if told a year ago I was not allowed. As my spiritual father said, I have a right to go to Mass, and I added that the Mass belongs to God.
We will see how it goes. If I start to sink, I must cry out to Jesus, and He will extend His arm and with His hand, lift me up. What is the worst that can happen, anyway?