Sunday, March 6, 2011


Since I began this blog in late 2009—and actually even before that—I have been pretty much allowing the Spirit to guide what I study, read, or write (or not write) on any given day. The blog entries reflect this practice, I think.

In the past few months I have been moved to read and study more widely outside of Roman Catholicism. Books that I have on the go include the one by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi quoted from in an earlier blog; a new book by Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly entitled All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age; a book on general science, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy; and the ubiquitous Joseph Campbell, to whom I always seem to keep returning. I am also writing an article about a very interesting friend who has lived in Japan for the past thirty years. And I will soon finish watching the lectures in the Yale course “Introduction to New Testament History and Literature.”

At the same time, it seems that I no longer wish to attend Mass. I am at present more inspired to spend Sunday in my office with my books and my various projects. I have no feelings of guilt or regret about this inclination to “lapse,” and will therefore not force myself to go to church just because Sunday is a day of obligatory attendance for those who call themselves Catholics.

I now have a clearer idea of where all this “drifting” may be leading although I do not wish to in any way project my thoughts into the future or to begin to hang on to something I may have been subconsciously searching for over the past few years, and especially in the fifteen months since I began blogging. I now realize that this practice of allowing the Spirit to guide my work has been leading me to gradually let go of habits, ideas, and beliefs that I once thought were terribly important and thus clung stubbornly and desperately to. I am becoming more and more conscious of the fact that I have truly begun to “follow my bliss,” which Campbell defines as “that deep sense of being present, of doing what you absolutely must do to be yourself.”

"If you can hang on to that, you are on the edge of the transcendent already. You may not have any money, but it doesn’t matter. When I came back from my student years in Germany and Paris, it was three weeks before the Wall Street crash in 1929, and I didn’t have a job for five years. And, fortunately for me, there was no welfare. I had nothing to do but sit in Woodstock and read and figure out where my bliss lay. There I was on the edge of excitement all the time."

At this moment I also feel on the edge of excitement much of the time. I am very interested in this idea of following one’s bliss and I am moved to explore it further. I have no idea of what this means in terms of my Catholicism, but I somehow feel that I will sooner or later return to it because it is “the myth that I was brought up with.” I am always inspired by Karen Armstrong, whose life and whose person are true reflections of bliss: Armstrong entered the convent seeking God but only found God when she discovered her bliss, long after leaving the convent and only after several “failed” attempts at establishing a career.

As for Confessions of a Liturgy Queen, I am not sure if I will keep it going because I think of myself less and less as a “liturgy queen” as this term was defined in the earliest blog postings. This may be because I have not been able to find a church that consistently moves me closer to God through the overall conduct of the liturgy. I do not blame any church for my own disappointment; the problem—if it is a problem—lies with me. I am apparently being called to experience God on my own.

I am profoundly grateful to all those who have followed this journey, who have endured with kindness and patience all the ramblings and rages that have appeared on these “pages,” and who have supported and encouraged me along the way.

Blessings and peace to all of you.


  1. Perhaps you need another title for your blog. After I read this, a song came into my mind, a song by Patti LaBelle on a Christmas album, "Jesus is the reason for the season." I think you need to realize that when you go to Mass that you aren't going for the priest or the bishop or the Pope. You are going to worship God and join yourself to Christ. You say that you will not force yourself to go to Mass. Why must you see it as a chore? In our busy world there are so many distractions and people just can't or don't want to find the time for Mass. Has Christ been reduced to an old friend that you are tired of visiting? Our priest once said in a sermon that every time we go to Mass we witness a miracle. In the act of consecration, the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Perhaps you do need some time off but when Holy Week comes perhaps it would do you well to attend Mass on Holy Thursday and Easter Sunday and think about what happened. I realize that it can be discouraging sometimes. The Church is filled with sinners. We are imperfect and sadly the Church is imperfect too but we are on a journey together. Perhaps you can look beyond the imperfections of all the people in the pews and on the altar and think of Christ. Peace be with you, my friend. Mark

  2. Mark:

    Thank you for your thoughtful and charitable comments. I am in fact not disenchanted or dissatisfied with my present church; I am just not moved to attend Sunday Mass. This feeling is not laziness; it is that at this time I feel myself called to another form of communion with God.