Bridging the Worlds

For the past couple of months, I’ve had a deep interest in Catholicism. This involved me going to Mass several times a week and even having a deep heart-to-heart talk with a priest acquaintance (who had no idea that I was a Pagan or even what a modern Pagan was). 

I’ve been doing a great deal of soul-searching on the subject and a lot of prayer.

Ultimately, I’ve reached the same conclusion that I have previously. I am not Catholic. I love some aspects of Catholicism. I am envious of Catholicism. I love that they are a religion that brings devotion and prayer into our modern world. Here in the very Catholic Northeast, I can find several Catholic chapels to pray in. I have several options for Mass ranging from Traditional Latin Masses to LGBTIQ-friendly/social justice oriented Catholicism.

Where I’m at lately has been trying to find something that felt like Catholicism in its emphasis on social works, a sense of morality and a push to become a better, more caring person. Something that inspires me to make the world a better place for everyone, but especially the “lesser of the brethren” but yet wasn’t at odds with my belief in gender equality (i.e., feminism) or my queerness and LGBTIQ rights.

While deep in prayer, it occurred to me that I have been yearning for Brighid, who goes between the two worlds of ancient polytheism as well as Catholicism/Christianity.  I’ve worshiped Her before. Something about this just feels right for me for right now. 

Last time (around last year), when I felt called to worship Brighid, I tried to focus on ancient Gaelic polytheism. I took a course in the Irish language. I focused on what Gaelic polytheistic reconstructionists wrote. But I’ve been finding that reconstructionism isn’t for me.

Instead, I find myself more interested in Paganizing elements of Catholicism or studying modern polytheistic expressions of religion such as Hinduism as they are already part of our modern world.

 

I don’t want to slight reconstructionists. I have a deep respect for them, their relationships to the gods, and to the research and work they do. However, it’s not my way.

And so I seek to worship Brighid in a modern context, connecting the worlds of Catholicism and Paganism…yet with a foot in the modern world.

I’m enjoying the work of Clann Bhride, a Brigidine group that publishes a Book of Hours, as well as the flame-tending practices of Ord Brighideach. But also, I am using Catholicism as a resource.

Some polytheists and Pagans will no doubt find offense in this. I understand their concerns but I do not have them myself.

If Brighid is real (which I believe She is), She has found Herself revered as a Saint for the past 1500 years or so. She has been given offerings, love, and prayers by devout Christians/Catholics for 1500 years. For 1500 years, she has been known as the Foster-Mother of Christ or Mary of the Gaels. Now Her religion is continuing in the form of modern Pagans. Would She have a problem with either of these? I don’t believe so.

She accepts either and acts as a bridge between them.

Still, I pray that I walk the path that She wants me to. I pray that my offerings, love, and prayers pleases Her.

~ by R.M. McGrath on 01/01/2018.

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