I suppose I'm a bad partner and mother because I didn't go to the multicultural festival this weekend. Met some of the prayer group later at the church and no one asked: "Are you OK?" No. It was: "You weren't there and there was no one to take pictures of our kids." "The Herald was there," I answered lamely, for want of anything better.
But, as it turns out, they were right. Our kids are not in the Herald. Our food, our culture, even our priests aren't there. Just a couple of our servidores dressed in their orange T-shirts -- a reliable immigrant workforce. Is this really how the Renovación should be used?
So after this opening salvo of guilt-tripping, I stood through a "spontaneous" lecture on the wonders of the church's preconciliar architecture while struggling to take the requisite "large group" photos under lights designed to shine only on the ordained while leaving most of the Body of Christ in a penumbra.
I thought of going up to the balcony to escape the claustrophobia of the overcrowded sanctuary and maybe get a better camera angle. I asked one of the servidores. "Oh no," she said. "Es sólo para los americanos." The balcony is only for Americans?? "I'm American," I said. "So am I," she replied and we settled back into an uneasy silence.
Taking communion was out of the question and I retreated further to the margins. In the end, I made sure I had the dozen photos I needed to complete my assignment and took the next bus home.
By Sunday, the physical pain and depression got the upper hand. I woke up feeling completely dead inside without the slightest desire to set foot in any church, Catholic or otherwise. Put the photos on the Web. Cried. Filed a backlog of mother's financial papers before they toppled over onto the bedroom altarcito. Cried some more. Went back to sleep. Awoke to go out and get some Chinese food. Went back to sleep again.
Where is God in all this? I don't feel renewed, just tired and used.