I'm Eirene and I'm on a journey...
Perhaps you are too?
If, like me you have felt on the fringes of faith, looking in with more questions than answers, I hope you find something here. I have been journeying for years, and am now discovering a different God.
And that is mostly what this blog is about.
It's about the difficulties I've had with my early fundamentalist Christian background. It's about the impossibility I felt of ever having a relationship with God. It's about always feeling as though I was never off the starting blocks, never mind about running the race.
My new God is a God of love and humility and joy. She looks a lot like St Francis, but I don’t think she minds. These writings are for others also on the borderlands, looking in, needing to find a home.
‘I am all the ages I have ever been,’ says my faithful writing mentor, Anne Lamott.
That's so true.
I am eleven years old, standing outside my new grammar school, drowning in my oversize blue blazer. I am a newly widowed young mother with two tiny infants. I am a single parent. I am a second wife with a blended family of six children and seven grandchildren.
I am a novice in the Third Order of the Society of St Francis learning about community and living out a faith that feels real.
I am a backstreet pilgrim.
What I write
I write articles on aspects of Christian faith, particularly the struggles many experience with their negative, damaging and painful images of God.
Through years of wandering I am now encountering a God who I experience as loving and kind and who wants the very best for me. A lifetime of knocking around all sorts of churches has taught me one thing – that many people base their images of God on untruths.
My writing, stemming from over five years of regular conversations with a priest consists of personal reflections on this dichotomy I experience between the messages of God I was fed as a child and the realities of loving mystery I am discovering as an adult.
I also write about Franciscanism and about the Daily Principles which we base our life of faith around. You can't fall out with them really. They make sense.
Why I write
I write both for myself to exorcise the fundamentalist demons of my childhood, and for others to offer an alternative perspective, hope maybe, for all those alienated by a damaging theology of certainty.
My mantra is ‘Religion is for those who are afraid of going to hell, spirituality is for those who have already been there’. (Deloria Jnr)
What I am discovering
I am discovering another God. An expansive God. A God who throws her head back and laughs.
A reliable God.
One who will put her arms around me and give me a big hug, just when I need it.