Diary of a Sunflower: 24 August, year 2

I’m quite angry and upset with my companion. Maybe justifiably, maybe not. He asked me (in a roundabout way) how did I know I wasn’t putting words in Jesus’ mouth. It’s not the question itself that upsets me, because I recognise it as a danger – I do, but it’s the implication that that’s what he feels is going on. I feel he already had that question in his mind before we met yesterday. And it raises the question in my mind – is he stepping onto my path to walk with me or am I expected to walk on the one he had laid down for me? Maybe I’m being unfair in putting it as bluntly as that. How do I know the words are not just what I want to hear? Where do they come from? How does God speak to us really? Through the people we meet, the things they say, what happens to us and through scripture – all of these ways. So where does the Jesus in my prayer find these words? Perhaps from all of these sources that I have read, that people have said, and He focuses them all into something that has meaning for me. How do I know it’s from Him? The same way that I know He is there, real, and not some fool who died on a cross two thousand years ago! Faith. Meeting Him up close and personal like this has enriched my prayer life and my faith. It is the difference between describing what it is like to breast feed a baby, for example, and actually experiencing it. Maybe I do need to move away from the well – and I did in the Samuel reading, but here is a place where I can meet and experience being with Jesus, where I can find refuge that is so much more than words. I am angry with my companion because he cast doubt on that. Praying like this makes Jesus real for me. 

I think I also feel that he contradicted, defended against, my viewpoint on Mary and didn’t really acknowledge it. I then become defensive and try to explain and the transaction continues. I recognise on a rational level the faults in my (feelings) ideas about her, but it is my experience of being a woman in the Roman Catholic Church and my companion did not come close to recognising or grasping that. How could he? I am angry with the Catholic church and her traditions. What keeps me there is JC because I find Him there – in the Mass and in some of the people I know. If it were just the institution and structure and traditions, I would not be a Catholic. 

I feel better after the meeting with my companion today. I think. I need to explain myself more clearly to him. He feels I’m giving him intellectual ideas rather than my feelings and what the whole thing means to me. So, we should put it down to a communication block and try to move on from there. Apart from that, I think I have been feeling ill today. My temperature is higher than usual in the last two days and I’ve slept a lot today. I just felt so exhausted. 

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