Goodness me, this blog has received over 3000 hits in the last 48 hours. We have been overwhelmed by online messages as well as real-life messages and letters of support and so I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers which are really sustaining us. The response has been totally unexpected and incredible. Many people, both past parishioners and catholics in the parish, have knocked on our door either to offer congratulations and/or express gratitude for Robin’s ministry, sadness at his departure and also to offer us various spare rooms. On behalf of both us I’d like to offer my heartfelt thanks, for all the various gifts; it reinforces our sadness to be leaving such a wonderful loving Christian community and reinforces our faith in Christian fellowship. We all share one common faith in Christ and are joined by the Spirit in Baptism.
This blog regularly picked up a couple of hundred readers who were mainly friends, I had no inkling that it would be linked to by so many, or really that anyone would be interested, so my huge thanks to all of you who took the time, both to link to this blog, read it and comment. Each and every comment and email has meant more than you could imagine, particularly at a time, when in other online communities, I was being called an extremist, likened to an alcoholic who needed religion to survive and used catholicism as a crutch. I have been called blind, deluded, mentally ill and accused of likening myself to rape victims. Whilst I was undeniably hurt by some of these comments from people I had assumed to be friends, I realised that they weren’t in fact malicious, but were born out of concern and incredulity that someone, in other ways so normal, could also manifest, what appeared to them, to be incomprehensible views. All I can say is that being a Christian has never been an easy path for anyone. Had I known the gravitas of some of the readers, I would probably have toned down some of my previous entries, I have a suspicion that my fondness for general sauciness, bawdiness and double-entendres may well be my downfall one day.
I will leave the serious theological discussion and profound insights to other bloggers. I think the aim of this blog was simply to share my simple thoughts with others and also to engage in some Catholic apologetics but not at any detailed level. One commenter posted about free will and I was about to launch into a discourse about Thomas Acquinas and felt that probably wouldn’t have been the appropriate response, due to my lack of any formal theological training. What I intend to do now is share our journey, thoughts, a little of our lives and of course I welcome all comments, questions, thoughts, prayers, which I will do my best to answer.
At the end of the day, what I’m intending to show is that yes I’m a Catholic, I cannot divorce that from who I am, I’m not about to put it away in a neat little box because it makes atheist/agnostic friends deeply uncomfortable, but being a Catholic does not mean that I’m a brainwashed, indoctrinated, emotionless robot, incapable of rational or logical thought and devoid of all emotion. Quite the opposite is true. Perhaps I’m attempting to destroy a few misconceptions about us Catholic folk. All I am really, is a wife and mother, friend, someone who has a colourful career and personal history, who is a Catholic, has a blog and perhaps wears her heart on her sleeve more than is wise. Certainly not some great holy person – if only!
Enough of the introspection. A brief update. The scan on Tuesday was positive. We have one healthy baby, praise God, with a due date of 23 April, St George’s Day and also slap bang in the middle in the Triduum! I may be too sensitive on this issue, but I was again dismayed when we saw the Dr at the EPU, who, after enquiring whether or not it was a planned pregnancy, asked if we “accepted” the pregnancy. Robin felt it was a good choice of language, after all, in the spirit of the Baptismal promises, we could say, “yes I accept my baby”, but I also felt sadness at the other implications of the word. Although I am having difficulties in coming to terms with the realities of the pregnancy, I don’t reject the baby, although I might feel some trepidation.
Apart from a brief moment resembling something out of the Exorcist when I threw up in the sacristy whilst helping Robin clear the Church of his personal effects (don’t worry parishioners, there is no trace now), the sickness seemed to be easing until today when it has sadly come back with a vengeance, not helped by the fact that the entire family is running a raging fever, our eldest having picked up a bug on return to school. The baby wants to nurse constantly for comfort, whilst I have to sit there with a paper bag. As I said previously, that is the most difficult part, finding my baby’s smell objectionable, not being able to hold her close for long periods and constantly needing to abandon her to lie down. She is suffering from separation anxiety and so my useless mother neurosis are being reinforced, very poignantly she apparently said “mummy” for the first time this evening, when I was otherwise indisposed.
So, for those who want to continue reading, welcome aboard, for those that don’t, thank you for dropping by and your support. I am currently formulating the next couple of posts, which are going to be along the lines of what it really means to be open to life and also, life from the perspective of “Mrs Vicar”. Generally I blog about whatever takes my fancy, from Catholicism, to politics, to literature, current affairs and general inanities. I can’t promise that I won’t be a touch naughty at times, but I will endeavour to avoid offence and tastelessness.
In the meantime, for those who have not read it, here is the text of Robin’s resignation homily.