Sunday, January 6, 2008

May I have the courage to send it; may she have the courage to listen.

This letter has been coming for quite some time.

Dear Kathleen,

Honesty reigns today; this letter contains only truth. To me, a real friendship requires absolute honesty between two people. We have split because I was dishonest, and the state of our relationship has given me an interesting roller coaster. I have been angry, cried over it, dreamed about it, and declared myself done with it, but today, I face it. You were right that day in class. I was critical of your church. Although I denied it then, I admit it now. I hope that counts for something.

In continuation of my honesty, I must also admit that I see reason in the actions of your church. Sacraments are sacred, and are to be protected from those who would defile them. However, you and your church continue to cling to the millenia-old belief that you have the One Way, the only source of Truth, and that all other Christian faiths are merely imposters who have wandered and will someday return to the bosom of The Church. It is a logical fallacy, though, that old notions are wisest and that tradition keeps things as they should be; this idea killed thousands – millions – of people during the Inquisition, remember?

Wake up. Martin Luther was right, whether you like it or not, but your church would not listen to the voice of reason. Now other churches exist. They, too, believe in Him. They, too, share in His Sacraments. They, too, have the Light, though I think you would deny this if you told what was really on your mind. People outside of The Church now have relationships with Christ. People outside of The Church take part in the Eucharist. Without being Catholics. Without being confirmed Catholic. Without being baptized Catholic. Without being baptized at all. Does your god hate this, frown upon it, turn them away? Mine doesn’t. Mine loves. Mine accepts. Mine pulls His children to His bosom, just as He embraces Catholics.

But you really prefer others to be kept below your level, don’t you? You would rather be left to think that you have the Way, the Path, the Truth, inside yourself. If you hold yourself so high, others cannot criticize you, nor can they themselves measure up; they could never be as pious as you are, nor as chaste, nor as wise. You have the answer to everything; you know what everyone should and will do. How is that working for you? Do your friends fancy sticking around while you judge them and everything that they do, or do they prefer to listen to your criticisms from their answering machines? The fact is that you are insecure about who you are, what you have done, and what your place is in life. That’s okay, Kathleen. I think that we all are, really. What’s not okay is pretending that you are above reproach; by doing so, you hurt others. The duct tape job on your pedestal is unraveling. Was the Carpenter out when you made it? Did he refuse to make you a throne? Perhaps it’s because the Carpenter made one throne alone, and refuses to make another. You shouldn’t try.

There it is. I hope that I have not hurt you too much by being honest, and that you can grow from this, but if you are hurt, know that I, too, was hurt by you once, and that from that pain I have learned. I think that you are a good person, and I would like to be your friend, but I cannot face you without my mind being known. I wish you all the best, no matter the outcome.

In all sincerity,
Caitlin Carroll

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