Early on in The Relationship, I informed Mr. Genevieve of all Stern Mama Wolf’s strictures against alcohol, pot, caffeine, energy drinks, and anything else that impairs brain function (she has a degree in psychology).
I rather suspect her endless warnings are because Mama Wolf knows what all good Catholic mamas know: Life is not about losing yourself in the ecstasy of drugs.
RATHER, the spiritual life should be a moment-by-moment love affair with God.
I do believe I lived through the Great Summer of Sadness on something like two bagels a day and a crap-ton of black tea, which is why I suspect I didn’t see certain Demons approaching with the clarity I should have.
Somewhere in my youth, circa 2014, I was sitting in a classroom in the Shitty City learning Theology of the Body from a kind, Indian Catholic mama. I dutifully took endless notes and was very polite because she, like all the Jesus teachers, was besties with the mater.
It all basically boiled down to two things: Chastity and Complementarity.
This is good Catholic mama code for: all the many, many, VERY IMPORTANT reasons you should NOT sleep around because it will ultimately make you unhealthy, unhappy, and feeling like used-up trash.
I did my best to follow all the endless rules for Proper Catholic Womanhood through various Trials, Tribulations, and Tests until one day I gave everything up to God, and found a man soon after who, I realized SUPER QUICKLY, had the depth of faith to get through the next eighty years with me.
This is what happens when you online date, kids. Be very careful what you wish for where God is concerned!
I invited him to hop the ocean, make it past the fence of overcaffeinated, hyper-protective Big Bros with Advanced Degrees in Nerdiness, past the forest of Suspicious Sisters, around the feet of the gaggle of Curious Friends trying to trip him up, to sit down and chitchat with the Fierce Family Fixer.
I suspect no man has ever attempted an Everest so difficult.
I think I once remarked to a friend that I cannot do without Catholicism because I cannot do without a good, proper mix of hearty-hearty and heady-heady.
This is why, as a Catholic parent, you have to send your kids out to various places to fall in love with God in various ways if you want them to continue practicing and have deep faith.
A few years after the classroom in the Shitty City, I ended up at a youth conference hanging out with sisters and priests from every imaginable order. I saw the Carmelites and was like AW YEAH if I ever become a nun, that’s the habit for me!
But most importantly, we prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, which is essentially a collection of Psalms, writings of the saints, and Biblical readings. I’ve been praying it since I was ten with the Franciscan Sisters, but this time, we did something really, really special.
They divvied up some five hundred teens and adults into Mary and Joseph sides of the building, and a sister taught us how to chant it very simply.
And I HEARD it.
I actually HEARD it.
That elusive Mary-Joseph, Adam-Eve, man-woman thing.
As the feminine tones rose on one side, and the male tones fell on another, I heard God’s intention for humanity.
Not to get preachy, but, again, you gotta get yourself into spiritual situations to experience these types of things and fall in love with God over, and over, and over, and over…
That experience was the heart component to all the Theology of the Body head components…
[Why do I write a blog? Oh, yeah, because a certain English prof who was always going on about tension tension tension Tension tEnSiOn tension tension TeNsIoN, asked us, circa 2020, if we thought we could write our way into the pantheon of inspired writers who wrote the Bible. At the time, I was like, Ehhhhh that seems mildly heretical and unrealistic and unachievable, but now, after last year, I’m like…HUH. Writing your way toward Heaven? #Lifegoals! And this blog relieves the tension in my head.)