I joined the youth group in my parish, Church of The Risen Christ and made many friends. I was confirmed and enthusiastically joined the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. God was a large part of my life. I believed in the confession of sins, transubstantiation and papal infallibility in matters concerning faith and morals. I thought I heard the call to religious life, but was married at 18 to another Catholic, insisting that a wedding mass was necessary instead of the usual service.
We had 2 children and were as pro-life as they came. I was distraught that a molar growth necessitated the early termination of my second pregnancy. I would have put up with the 3-5 time daily retching if I knew it meant my child would be born alive. We used no contraception and joined a catholic couples group that promotes and celebrates heteronormative family life. In short, I was probably as Catholic as it was possible to be in little Singapore.
Imagine my chagrin when I had to inform my soon-to-be ex-husband that I wanted a divorce, and also when I found myself undeniably in love and in a relationship with a woman. Both wrong and patently un-Catholic. But there was no helping it, for I had to live honestly or die trying, as living a lie was killing me slowly but surely inside.
From a life of feeling the sweetness of the constant indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I went to radio silence. I told God that if he judged what was the most natural and pure love I ever knew to be wrong and unacceptable, he was not the loving God I knew him to be and he could stuff it. And I stopped talking to God for 6 months.
God being God, let me be. He probably knew I'd come around, given the right timing and information. Eventually, I found out that God didn’t likely have an issue with my loving a person of the same sex. In fact I think he planned it that way.
I can't bring myself to go back to a Catholic Church now. I attend a non-denominational church, an inclusive church in which I do not feel any less of the presence of God, and in which the love of God in my fellow Christians is far greater than in the church of my birth.
What about the issues of abortion, transubstantiation, infant baptism and divorce then?
I don't know which of these is right or wrong, or if I will ever find out.
What I do know is that loving and caring for others is far more helpful than judging and condemning them.