‘Serenity’ with the Elephant…

I wanted to share with you some more thoughts on my previous postings called “The Elephant in the Living Room”…

I received a comment today which very accurately described something I couldn’t overcome, the ‘serenity’ that seemed to not match my reason (intellect), and which I desired to have, but couldn’t find, no matter how I prayed and tried…  The author of this comment writes very well, and I thank her for her contribution to this discussion.  My response follows the comment.

“The serenity of the RC ladies is a normal, healthy response, I should think. They are detached from MM, as they should be. They entrust the past to the mercy of God, and the future to Divine Providence, carrying the burden of today only. They will not be crushed by what does not belong to them.

After all, the focus of the ladies is on Christ, reinforced by the cycle of their daily devotions. All answers are in the Gospel, the daily Rosary liberates from any preoccupations. And the Encounter group provides that essential support in living the good Catholic life.

But know that any group made up of human beings is an imperfect one, a sinful one. Only God is God, and we must bear the difficulties imposed upon us by others, the betrayals and disloyalties with courage, fortitude and trust in God. Know also that Christ never takes your freedom, and that if you feel you have ceased to grow in Regnum Christi and that it was only a step in your journey, that that is blessing in itself. God bless you.”

‘sunnyshadow’… I am so glad you wrote.  You have perfectly illustrated what I tried with every fiber of my being to have, this ‘serenity’, the focusing on Christ against all odds, and the ability to believe I can truly be detached from MM and still belong to the order he founded. 

But your message stings, as it did coming from the current general director, and from other RC ladies who told me the same thing.  And the reason it stings is that there is compassion missing from this message… And a glossing over of such an obvious wrong and betrayal that I don’t believe comes from the Gospel or charity.  I am not saying this about you personally, but about this message, which I have heard many times before.  A ‘healthy response’?  This would look something like this: ‘oh my goodness, this is awful to find out we have been betrayed.  I am so sorry you feel hurt.  I myself feel at peace because I believe I can overlook MM’s sins and the secrecy of his protectors… But I totally understand you wanting to leave the group…’. THAT I believe would be a true sister in Christ.  When many of us were met with a cold ‘serene’ explanation for such a grave betrayal (in less fancy words: ‘get over it.’), I think that is what showed us billboard-style that something was terribly wrong and… unhealthy.

You are right, all groups and even the Catholic Church contain sinners.  But as far as I know, founding and leading a huge movement requires near sainthood in order to avoid the enemy’s takeover or infiltration.  Where in history has any religious order that exists today been founded by a professed child molester?  I don’t know of any, and most all ‘founders’ of religious orders I know have been canonized.  The point is, yes, of course, any good Christian endures persecution and betrayal… But to FOLLOW an organization set up by the betrayer is a lack of wisdom.  There is no way to separate MM from LC/RC because he founded it, until the organization is completely changed, name and all.  Tried as I might, I just couldn’t convince myself that I could still call myself a member of RC, focus only on Christ, and not be associated or in some way supporting MM.

The people in RC (perhaps like yourself) for the most part, are good and are seeking holiness just like I am.  The people who were duped are not the problem… It’s the leadership and association with the founder.  Nazis will always be Nazis, even if Hitler is dead and Nazis decided to change their work to good and holy motives.  There is no way to separate the name Nazi from Hitler… People would have to leave and/or change the name.

I want to add also that Jesus was greatly grieved over the betrayer, Judas.  He wasn’t like ‘oh well, what a bummer.’  It was a BIG DEAL and ended in such tragedy that Christ said it would have been better for him not to have been born.  It is healthy to be intensely hurt and anguished (as one commenter to this post wisely put it) by betrayal.  It shows you are real, you are human, you are… healthy.  I have seen the ravages of people not admitting pain.  Look at post abortion syndrom.  Some women go 20 or 30 years before letting it ‘get to them’… and then there was a huge grief process, and then they moved to the world of health, both spiritually and mentally.

I did not need to go through a HUGE and heart-wrenching healing process from leaving RC.  It was definitely difficult and at times painful, but I hadn’t invested myself nearly as much as others, so in a way, that protected me from so much grief (even though I had some) and kept me able to look at things in a more balanced way (I believe).  I used to joke that I was an RC slacker 😉  But for those who invested their whole lives into the movement, we should have serious compassion for them.  I grieve for them, because their pain is or will be greater than mine.  And when we try to gloss over the betrayal to them, we are twisting the knife.  I really believe compassion and understanding is how those in RC can reach out to those who have left, those who feel hurt and angry.

You mentioned that you follow the good and holy cycles of the Church… That is awesome and what we all should be doing… It is all contained within the Catholic Church!  My question is, why do we need RC in order to be good Catholics?  Could it be that we are attached to those relationships or even a job within the movement?  I understand the difficulty of leaving if ones life is completely immersed in RC… It is a scary prospect to leave.  I had difficulty leaving, too, because I didn’t want to lose the friendships I had formed and the intimacy of the Encounters.  But if we CAN’T leave, it means we are attached to something more than Christ.  But I do understand, because I am guilty of subscribing to all sorts of things because of attachment (check out my conversion story 😉

It takes much courage to step away from these attachments.  And grace and healing.  This is evidenced in people’s feeling that they need to remain anonymous when they are leaving RC, or even long after they left… Or even if they are in it!  Why is that?  Where is the fear coming from?  This isn’t healthy either, and a sign of negative fruit that has unfortunately been passed on from MM and still exists today.  For everything else, we tend to use our real name… But for RC?  Very interesting…  Logically (with ones intellect) we would notice that we only hide our identity for serious reasons, either for fear, or wisdom like to protect us from things like identity theft.

My name is Shalimar, and I am a Roman Catholic wife and mother.  I left RC.  I am not afraid to share with you who I am, and secrecy is rarely a good thing.  It devastates families, kills people’s faith, kills marriages, and damages the entire Church.  I believe in honesty and transparency, and that, my friend, I believe is healthy 😉

This is not meant to hurt you or anyone… We are both sheep on an equal path of complete dependency on Christ, our Shepherd.  We can all be misled.  We all HAVE been misled at various times in our lives. 

I thank you for you courage in writing and defending what you hold dear.  I pray that you are blessed, and open to the Holy Spirit, and I pray this for myself as well!!!

Many blessings…

Shalimamma

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12 thoughts on “‘Serenity’ with the Elephant…

  1. “They will not be crushed by what does not belong to them.”

    I find this frightening, inhuman and unChristian. I’ll bet they look the same way at the Somalian famine victims, the children in the sex-slave trade, the families of the dead West Virginia miners and the babies dug out the trash at abortion mills.

    I don’t want them “crushed” (Jesus was already crushed for our sins) but it does belong to them. All suffering does. All tears should affect us. Every tragedy is our tragedy because of the Mystical Body of Christ.

    To say it doesn’t belong to them means they have cut themselves off from Christ, no matter what they claim. This is a cult masquerading as faith, and even the faith is corrupt.

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  2. Also, remember Jesus’s response to the moneychangers– He wasn’t serene– He went berzerk! But EVERYTHING Jesus did was just, loving, and merciful– because He’s God…

    SO…..how does that square with serenity? You’ve just found out that you weren’t working for the high priest, but for the moneychanger!

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  3. rc
    The very fact that you are here reading tells me you are not a peace. Go ahead swallow the red pill………..you won’t regret it.

    Peace and Good,
    Maggie 🙂

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  4. I wasn’t comparing myself to Jesus– just pointing out that ‘Serenity’ is not really part of Christ’s example.

    He gave us the Agony in the garden. The cleansing of the temple. He was prone to yell things like “Get behind me, Satan!”

    Christ felt intense pain when confronted by our sinfullness. And Saints weren’t ‘serene’ in the face of sin and betrayal either! It’s one thing to be serene as you face martyrdom. It’s wonderful to yell “Long Live Christ the King!” as the Firing Squad approaches (though, of course, it was a Jesuit who did that….)

    But what is happening to RC/LC is NOT A MARTYRDOM. You are NOT suffering because you follow Christ. You are suffering because you have built your kingdom following the directions of Maciel, who painted a veneer of Christianity over his own wicked schemes! Serenity is NOT a healthy human response here!

    If you had a friend who was married to a psychopath who’d abused her and the children and was abusing others, would you counsel her to be SERENE? Nope. You’d be telling her to get the heck out of the situation and protect her children. You’d be driving her and the kiddies to the shelter and helping out and praying like mad, right?

    Would it make a difference if her psycho husband also was a Eucharistic Minister, gave lots of money to the parish, and was a ‘pillar of the community?’ It shouldn’t……

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    1. I’ve gotta say, ‘mouse’, that you echo my sentiments exactly… What you are saying is rational and anyone, even outside the Catholic Church would be able to comprehend it… About ‘drug free’… I have my conversion testimony on this website, and I can tell you, I have experience with numbing my intellect (and then my faith) with some very nice serene drugs. Over only a period of two years, I went from desiring to be a saint, to rejecting God completely and living a life of mortal sin… But it all started when I allowed someone to make me feel good enough about myself (kind of like the important woman of the kingdom) who then introduced me to mind numbing drugs. Not hallucinagens or wacko stuff… Just enough to numb me and make me feel comfortable. And then I became addicted … It took God Himself to break those chains because I was powerless on my own. Brainwashing is in my opinion like mind altering or mind numbing drugs… You slowly go down a path that you may not even be aware you are travelling. It is a slippery slope but can be so gradual that you don’t notice until either something dramatic happens, or you realize you want to break away and can’t. I think The ‘red pill blue pill’ example is excellent. This is probably because I have struggled with real pills. Giselle has struggled with real cults… Once you have been down a road and are rescued and healed, you gain wisdom, compassion, and a fire to help others avoid the same pitfalls. ‘rc’, the people and myself are writing because we love you and have experienced where the rc road leads. We are out of it, so I believe it is because we are looking from the outside in that we can have a balanced perspective. We are NOT outside the Catholic Church and are living a life of grace. So what I am saying doesn’t come from a temptation to attack you or from raw resentment toward some guy MM who committed grave sins. It comes from passion for the Truth, as seen from a faithful (though imperfect) Catholic. And, once you have tasted freedom, you want so badly for others to also experience this freedom and joy… Out of love! Not out of ‘beans’! 😉

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      1. Shalimama, I will exercise my freedom as I please, and leave it up to God to judge me,. And no, I will not accept the facile judgments of either Mouse or Giselle, who are not listening to what I am really saying. And I am not going to accept their hideous accusations either.

        I prefer my own analysis to those that are pre-cooked and pre-digested for me. The red pill or the blue pill? Neither, for me, thank you very much. I am not going to subscribe to group-think, or to a clique, whatever side it is on!

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  5. The people who walk away from a cult are exercising “group think?” That’s a new one on me.

    I think the hideous accusation is that we suggest that sin binds us all in a fallen world, or that our neighbour’s suffering should cause us grief.

    RC, I love you and mean no harm. If my words insulted you, I apologise, but I grieve over your inability to grieve.

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  6. No, Giselle. You are sugar-coating your horrible accusation. Your apology is not sincere, but another little twist of the knife.

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