My "request/theme/focus/asking" was for FACE OF GRACE at this last Novena, Way of The Rose. It resulted in my watching ways that I was trapped in:
TURNING MY FACE( AND NECK)
HIDING MY FACE
TWISTING MY FACE AWAY
MAKING A "BALOON" FACE, (MY HINDU ADOPTED MOTHER'S WORD FOR BEING NEGATIVE)
NOT FACING UP
HIDING WRINKLE-AGING FACE
REFUSING TO SHARE FACE-TIME
BEING RED-FACED, EMBARASSED
So weeks and weeks of the Novena allowed me to observe how much I had going on with my life around not facing up to issues that are current and those festering, rotting and maggotted that I carry from many centuries ago.
And occasionally "giving face" without caring about my wrinkle-skin, my sins, my traumas, my shame; without caring about the loss and betrayal of my once supposed beauty, has been interesting and I thought my only miracle. Big enough, not greedily wanting more, it sufficed for this novena because I knew that I had made sufficient spiritual progress in face show and tell.
But there is more. This weekend I attended a Catholic Women Priest event an hour away and expected to learn and decide if I was to go that route (NO, i'm not!!!) Actually I was not there to see if I was to become a Catholic woman priest because Mother Mary the Face-Maker had her own secret mission for me. Not my will but hers!!!! Here is how it happened. But first, more about these Spiritual Amazons, these brave, still calling themselves CATHOLIC WOMEN but alas, calling themselves PRISTS!!! But the clincher is they are not just playing at it, they are ORDAINED CATHOLIC WOMEN PRIESTS!!! It takes a Joan of Arc hutzpah to weather being called/titled a heretic or to put up with being literally excommunicated from the institutional Catholic Church. So here I was in this group of about 80 once/still Catholics wanting to learn about how to be holy in a NEW WAY...wanting to have a new-God/new-Prayer/new-Liturgy. And in this sacred circle already ripe for miracles I noticed a MIRACLE-MAN taking the form of a lover/person/once-partner/my ex-husband in re-incarnated form. There he was, sitting ahead of me, joining our table when we broke up into small groups...there he was, he forgetting that we were divorced, not remembering that he was murdered in 1977....there he was smiling the way he used to, looking exactly like he would if he had lived....there he was giving me loving-face like dear M used to give and when he said he was born in Kansas and I said near Shawnee Mission and he said, "Yes, near there, just 20 minutes away," and smiled, the miracle happened because: I GAVE MY "FACE" to him. Feeling safe to woo-woo him with the information that he was a "walk-in" but not using those terms and saying instead, "John you remind me of someone I once loved very much. Can I give you a hug?" He said, " Oh this happens to me all the time. People think I'm someone they know."
And for the first time in 41 years, I gave someone my face.