Beatification: At the National Shrine of the Infant Jesus in Prague

In my forty-plus years of having an Oklahoma connection—and many more years, spiritually, having an even tighter Catholic connection—I’ve never pulled the car over to see the religious ecstasy that this holy infant can supposedly inspire; I like to say it was out of consecrated fear, which sounds better than the truth, which, honestly, is apostolic laziness.

However, looking for the most monotheistic-inspired altered states of human vulnerability as of late, a friend and I took a pilgrimage to the shrine last weekend, just to bask in the statuesque toddler’s divine greatness, behind the heavy red doors of the supposedly protective dwelling of the Lord.

I’ve come to realize I have distinct issues with the Catholic Church—the same issues where I decidedly gave myself over to that Plaza District-inspired cult for five long years of profane healing. And while that’s a story for another time, I’ll admit that I started going back to Catholicism a few months ago, specifically to the church within walking distance of me, wholehearted at first.

Over the next few weeks, however, I came to the knowledge that the Priest and his minions weren’t interested in saving souls—in saving my soul—as much as saving the roof of the place, or very earthly things that his homily was often dedicated to. That, and the recent findings of numerous murdered Indigenous children in Canada and beyond, has me drowning in absolute doubt as to mankind’s connection to the supreme being…

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