multiple spirituality

So, when MaryClare dies and goes to heaven or wherever it is that she’s going to be with God, do we all get to go with her, or is just her as the host that owns the body who gets to go? Sasha asked a friend of ours. If someone is going to ask a question like that, it’s Sasha. She wants to be sure that her relationship with God is hers alone, and not just because I, MaryClare, am Christian. Sasha was the same one who asked if God loved everyone individually or just the one who owns the body (me).

These are the kinds of spiritual questions Sasha is concerned with, and she needs to know. Spiritual life with multiplicity is interesting to say the least, as we all have our own spirituality. Sasha was assured that God loves each of us individually. I had told her that I’m sure she would be with God because she had spent so much time taking care of me that God would honor her for it.

Melania is a very spiritual person also, she’s the one who messed around with witchcraft and the occult, and she grew to regret it. She has done some major things to make sure she keeps walking in the light of Christ. She’s had to renounce evil over and over again, she’s had to take care to live into the baptismal covenant. The Holy Eucharist is absolutely essential in keeping Melania walking with Jesus, as it is for me. Of course, the things that Melania did, I did too, and so we work together to make sure that we are hanging out with Jesus. Sasha, Melania, and I are the ones who make use of sacramental confession because it’s important to our spiritual lives.

Hildegard popped to the front a few weeks ago in church, to check things out. She held a rosary in her hand, and was comforted. She’s a little girl who went through great trauma. She doesn’t yet know how to pray the rosary, she doesn’t even really talk, but holding the rosary is enough for now. One day, she will learn how to pray it and hopefully it will be something as life-changing for her as it has been for me.

A little girl who shifts ages between about four and eight, Matilda, loves to read picture books about Jesus, and sing Sunday School songs such as Jesus Loves Me. She often reads to the other littles, who, apart from Hope, are all comforted by it. Matilda also takes care of baby Evie, and reads the picture books to her.

Hope is too angry to be comforted, and Hope doesn’t want to know about sacrifices because Hope was supposed to be a sacrifice, that’s why she’s here. She kept me from dying in the fire they had made when I was five. They had tried to cleanse me with water, and apparently I was still just evil, and so next was to be purified by fire, to be sacrificed as an offering, just like the story of Isaac in the Old Testament. Hope needs the freedom to be as angry as she needs to be for as long as she needs to be, but we do keep trying to offer her things of comfort to her. The Old Testament was used to terrorize us, so none of us have a great relationship with it.

Valerie either can’t remember what prayer she just prayed, what the words are to the ones she’s praying, or she’s seeing visions of the mysteries of the rosary or something similar. With Valerie there is no in-between. She’s either entirely dissociative or she’s vividly involved spiritually. In both cases, she cares very much, and often cries in grief when she can’t remember the prayers. Valerie has been assured that even not being able to remember the prayers is still praying, and that God hears her and honors her.

Seeing as there is no relationship with the mother in the outside world who gave birth to the body, in other words, my mother, we have all developed a relationship with Mother Mary. Even those who are still a little unsure of Jesus love his mother. The Hail Mary comforts every single one of us. The Memorare is another prayer we love, especially the line I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother. We have someone to call mother, we never had that before.

We have a shrine to Mary in my bedroom. It contains a picture of a painting of Mary by El Greco that Melania chose out, another picture of Mary that isn’t usually the kind of thing most of us would like but it has Jesus a child of probably about seven or eight in the picture, and that appealed to the littles. We have a gold colored statue of her, a statue of St. Gabriel the Archangel who was sent to ask Mary if she would accept her calling as the mother of God. St. Michael the Archangel is on that shrine also.

We have an antique rosary, a cross, rose, and skull that one of my children in the outside world made for the shrine, two battery operated candles because we have a cat so real candles are not an option, and a bowl full of rose petals. Rose is glad to have the name Rose because roses are Mother Mary’s flower. Most of us love The Angelus as well as any other Marian prayer.

Many of us have at least one saint that we connect with, and when I asked God to give me a new name, something I could connect deeply with since the name of my birth wasn’t something I wanted to be associated or connected with, God named me after the saints that have meant the most to me personally. The lives of the saints have been inspiring and have given us all good examples of Christian spirituality.

Water is traumatic to many of us, and so baptism is both significant and troubling, and that’s something we work through together. We know that baptism was essential and we are thankful for baptism, but with the relationship most of us have with water, it’s both terrifying and comforting at the same time. The body has been baptized five times now, but only the last one, did us any good. We were finally baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The waters of baptism brought us to Jesus and gave us a place in God’s Kingdom. Baptism brought us into the community of Christians, it gave us new birth and forgiveness of sins. Baptism is something that happened, then, to all of us, which is why Sasha and everyone else will be in God’s presence also when the body dies. When I receive communion, we all receive it. Jesus is present in the lives of all of us.

Published by MaryClare StFrancis

MaryClare StFrancis is a writer who sounds as boring as hell but who is intimately acquainted with the horrific and the sacred. For a long time, darkness has been her friend, but she now walks in the light of Christ. As a committed Episcopalian, her main contribution to the church is her ability to make the priests facepalm or swear, depending on the day and context. MaryClare has a Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing and lives in Mississippi with her four children.

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