A Call to Love
It is no exaggeration to say I was a rollercoaster of indecision about what to do for a long time. One day my confidence would be high and I had great hopes for proceeding with the project; the next, my courage deserted me and I saw the whole project through the eyes of a cynic and a sceptic and felt sick with fear. After about a year of this emotional ricocheting I knew I had to make a decision one way or the other – the lurching between emotional extremes had to stop. I couldn’t continue to live this way. I gave myself full permission to walk away – to abandon the whole project without ever criticising myself for doing so, with no regrets. Or, if I were to continue with it, I had to commit 100% and never again allow my fear to derail me. I went with the latter. And ever since then, when fears arise, I move them to the side to make way for me to proceed. I am not responsible for how my story is received, I am only responsible for sharing it and I will not let fear of ridicule or failure stop me trying to do what I want with all of my heart to do. This, I guess is courage.
Once I had overcome my fear of going public for general crazy-woman reasons I encountered a new problem in the form of a dark cloud of shame around the gross failings of Christianity. In coming out, so to speak, as a Christian mystic I did not want to be aligned with the Church (although I didn’t need to worry on that front since they had already closed the door on me three times). I was deeply conflicted between my devotion to Christ and my shame for the wrongs the Church has committed, supposedly in his holy name. I was deeply ashamed of how brutally the Church had treated people historically, especially women. I was ashamed of the horrific scandals of child sex abuse in the Church that were covered up and facilitated to continue by Rome. I was ashamed of the misogynistic refusal to admit women priests. I was ashamed of how women had been written out of the original Christian Story. I was ashamed that it took Rome 2,000 years to acknowledge that Jesus had female disciples. I was ashamed that Rome had stopped at naming only one female disciple, Mary Magdalene in 2016/17, instead of the twelve or thirteen that actually followed him. I was ashamed that the feminine experience of Jesus had been lost to history. Are we to believe that no women could speak or write at that time? I was ashamed that Adam got the credit for Eve’s sin. I was ashamed of how far from the true message of Christ the Church had strayed. All of this made me deeply hesitant. I was proud to identify as a follower of Christ but I was ashamed of the organisation.
Nonetheless it was impossible to be ashamed of my mystical experiences and I was hardly ashamed of God. I was not ashamed of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. The crux of my conflict was that I felt that to declare for Christ publicly would mean that I was necessarily standing for the Church when I was not. How could I distinguish my offering? How could I declare for Christ without feeling responsible for the harm the Church had done? I was deeply confused. In the ugly debate that had raged all of my adult life about the Catholic Church in Ireland Jesus had been lost in the crossfire. I was not ashamed of being a Christian but I was ashamed of my Church.
All the same, I could not deny that when the Catholic Church celebrates the great feasts of Christianity it does so with astonishing beauty, holiness and reverence. I have appreciated hundreds of profoundly reverent and deeply affecting sacred celebrations in the Church with sublime sacred music that transports me instantly to the divine realm. When they stick to their proper business they do it beautifully. But on any Ordinary Sunday or weekday Mass I observe on a sliding scale of reverence the priest simply going through the motions, reeling off the words, and not at all present to the glorious wonder of the sacred event he is privileged to celebrate on the altar. The role of the priest is to draw all those present into the sacred mystery of the Eucharist in a very real way – so that we all experience this transformation in our own selves, so that we join with Jesus in the mystery of his death and the glory of his resurrection. If the priest isn’t feeling it he has nothing to communicate to the congregation.
Overall I thought it was beautiful to be a follower of Christ who had not only preached a Gospel of Love and humble service but sacrificed his life to demonstrate and exemplify his message of Love. To follow Christ properly is to live for Love and humbly to serve the world in the name of Love. I did not identify my Christianity with the Church, I identified it with Christ. When I attended my church I did so knowing that life is always a series of compromises. I knew the Church was in need of radical and dramatic reform but it was not on my list of things to do in life.
Over and above the longstanding historic failings of the Church, I have always held the view that the death knell of the whole Christian movement was sounded in its earliest refusal to embrace the mystical component of Jesus’ life and teaching. Instead, it adopted decidedly earthbound practices and teachings despite the fact that Jesus’ whole life was a lesson in the mystical movement between the two realms. Refusing to guide followers on the mystic path meant they were already gone astray. On first principles, the only true path to God is the mystic path of pursuing a direct relationship with God. Anything less is self-delusional about what is in actually play. To deny, ignore, or be fearful of the mystic is childish and immature and it keeps followers spiritually childish and immature. To ignore the mystical level of knowing God is resolutely to embrace finitude instead of the infinity for which we are designed.
The Christian Church has always held the known mystics apart from everyday worship, treating them as an elite few, privileged with a special blessing that is irrelevant to us ordinary people. This is totally wrong. We are all called to immediate and sacred encounter with God. To ignore the mystical component of our relationship with God is to distort the whole endeavour. It is pointless to try to know the Infinite with the finite mind. What is the benefit of thwarting the development of our mystical nature which enables us to receive the Infinite with that which is Infinite in us. This singular failing has led the whole Christian Church astray. How could I reconcile my experiences with the Church as it is?
In a great breakthrough of understanding recently facilitated by my mentor Dr Claire Zammit of Feminine Power during a visualisation exercise, I realised that the whole purpose of mystical gifts like mine is to contribute to fixing the problem created by the Christian and Catholic Church. The job is to restore Christ’s mystical message of Love to the centre of a New Christianity and to find a New Way forward. Recognising this was profoundly liberating for me. I realised that I was not responsible for past the sins or the spiritual limits of the Church, but if I wanted to, I could become responsible for contributing to the future of Christianity. I could contribute to a New Way forward in Christ. I realised I was standing between two Ages. Between the old damaged and corrupt Church of the past that was in need of radical reform and the not-yet-clear Church of the future that would be built on a mystical foundation of love, honouring women and men equally as disciples of Christ. The New Church must return to the true message of Jesus which is Love.
I realised the reason I could not find a place to fit in with my story was because that place did not yet exist. In a moment of profound clarity I understood that stories like mine and work like mine is laying the foundation for the New Church that is to be birthed. It was up to me to create a space for my story to be received, and that sacred space is the mystical ground on which the New Christianity will be built. I did not need permission from scared or patronising priests and nuns to make a stand for Jesus. I am standing between Ages as a messenger for the New Christianity. The old, outdated Church is dying and the New Church of Love is seeking to be born. An enormous weight lifted from my shoulders. My story was not meant to be a part of the old patriarchal Church that is crumbling before our eyes in this Kali-time of destruction. The Church may die but God would not die, and Jesus’s eternal message of love and humble service would hardly be lost with the disintegration of a corrupt and outdated Church.
Continued in next Blog entry.
Copyright Aedamar Kirrane 2019