Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Step Five: 1. Is it hardest to admit wrongs to God, yourself or another human being?/aamuses

Even though I'm here to support my wife in maintaining her sobriety, I'm finding that those very same tools in place to help her, are forcing me to look at myself in ways I never have. I'm a Catholic, I was raised in a country where the majority of those living there are Catholic as well, so, from the time I was old enough to understand what was being said, I was taken to church. My mother was very devout, she often went to Mass twice a day, and while she never demanded it of us, either my brother or I would often go with her. As was the case when we would ride the train with our father, this was our time alone with her, and even as young as we were, we understood it meant as much to her as it did to us. I don't think either of us realized how much those times with her meant though until we lost her and suddenly it was just Mass again.

When I met Danijela, I again found a woman who's greatest strength could be found in her faith, and when the time came for us to have children, it went without being said that they too would be raised as we had been. Looking back on it now, I am almost certain that it was Danijela's faith that enabled her to face all of the hardships that we confronted during the war. Looking back on it now, I realize how much time she was left alone while I was at the hospital. Not only was she left to spend all those hours essentially imprisoned in our small apartment with our two young children, but she did so much of the time without electricity, and running water, and with only the most meager of supplies.

So, why now, do I feel it important to talk about this, especially as it seems it has nothing at all to do with what I've been asked to talk about?

Even though I had turned my back on my faith when Danijela and our children died, I think I always felt an emptiness without it. It wasn't until I met Bishop Stewart, until I acknowledged those feelings, that I began to admit the truth to myself. It took several more years and my near death in the Congo to fully find my way back. When I did return to the Church I realized how much comfort I found there, but, where once my faith was something to be shared with those I was close to, this time it was almost a secret. My return to the Church, my participation in Mass and communion were things I did alone and it took the birth of my son for me to finally speak openly about it.

When Abby gave birth to Joe, we weren't sure he would survive, and I knew I needed my faith more in those days then I had at any time since the day I lost my family. I remember not just praying to God for my son's life, but asking him to see Abby safely through all she was facing, and I realized how important it was to me that Joe be baptized, just in case. I didn't want to think the worst, but, he was so small, and there was only so much the doctor's could do. I just couldn't take the chance that something might happen, and despite her own feelings Abby finally agreed.

Which brings me back to where we started, or where I meant to start. I have always believed that we know when we do wrong, as a Catholic, we're taught to admit those to ourselves and to God so he can forgive us and we can forgive ourselves. It isn't always easy, but, it's the way things are, however, admitting wrong-doing to someone else, that's something completely different, and that is by far the hardest of the three. It's one thing to know your own weaknesses and flaws, but, quite another to admit them to others, and I suppose that's what causes us to fail in the long-run, especially if we have no one or nothing to turn to once it's known.

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