I went to Catholic grammar school and Catholic high school. I am baptized, confirmed and married by the Catholic church. I am also very liberal and over time, have come to disagree with many (most?) Catholic traditions and how the church has evolved (or not evolved?).
And yet, when it comes to my darkest hours and most stressful days, I still turn to God and ask for his help. I don't go to church, I don't even belong to a church, but I do things my own way and believe that at the end of a day, a year, even my life, I did the best I could.
But today, I went to church. Its Ash Wednesday. My colleague at work, an Irish Catholic (who also adopted her son) mentioned she was getting her ashes today and I thought "What the hell? I haven't been to church in a while and I could use an extra blessing." And so I got my ashes.
As I sat in a packed church, half listening, I thought about my father, who has been dealing with health issues. I thought of Marat and wondered what he was doing at that moment. I even thought of those suffering in Haiti, and wondered why things like that happen in this world. And then I got my ashes and went back to work.
And when I got back to work, and checked my cell phone, I saw that the adoption agency had left me a message.
We have a court date.
We are going to Russia in three weeks to adopt our boy and bring him home.
And what was the irony? That message had been left as I was sitting in church, for the first time in a long time, getting my ashes.
I may consider going to church a little more often now.