Gal wrote a wonderful piece here.
The High Holy Days are just behind us and, as always, she writes eloquently about motherhood, faith, disjunction, and loss. You should read her piece in its entirety. But here, this, from the prayerbook at her Yom Kippur services, I have to repeat:
This is the vision of a great and noble life:
To endure ambiguity and to make light shine through it;
To stand fast in uncertainty;
To prove capable of unlimited love and hope.
And as long as we are looking at faith and loss, Karen Gerstenberger also has a terrific post, here, in which numerous parallels between her experience and mine are apparent, particularly our difficulties in returning to home churches with their memories and our finding refuge in Catholic masses.
I can't say that the Catholics have a more developed theology of suffering than do the Presbyterians, but they certainly have, at least in my admittedly limited experience, a more developed daily expression of the continuum from catastrophe to restoration.
I am fascinated by how many of us find our faith homes disconcerting at best after such shattering losses, and how easily we now move into the ambiguities between distinct religious spaces.
Jewish. Protestant. Catholic. The longing for language to reflect the realities of dislocation, suffering, hope, and renewal ~ the same. The desire to mark our experiences as holy and locate them within a sacred tradition ~ the same. The losses ~ the same.