Hello, this is my introductory post and it's a little awkward for me because I'm not quite sure yet what I hope to achieve from this blog. Also, I have some kind of floating anxiety that, somewhere down the road, it might lead me into trouble of some kind but I'm going to go with anyway. My intentions are good!
I've titled this blog 'Confessions of An Ageing Priest' because, well, I am an ageing priest [63 and in denial … my sweet little heart thinks it's no older than 42!] and I do have much to confess [and will do so over time as this blog develops]. Why I'm choosing to confess it here, in this virtual space, to anybody who wants to listen….well, I want to present myself in all my humanity and perhaps give some insight into the interior journey of a priest's life. So much lies behind the collar, so much humanity, that is kept secret and buried for the sake of maintaining the ideal of 'priesthood'. I have fallen in love, twice! I have struggled to remain celibate during some intense moments. I've had drinking problems. I've been raped. I've masturbated. I have been loved by a woman 25 years younger than me and this is ongoing. But I have also reached out to many many people, have seen and helped individuals through enormous crises, have felt uplifted by my faith, have cried at hundreds of funerals, have married dozens of couples, have baptised many babies, have remained celibate. At best I hope to present the man in the priest that is me and hope that you won't reject me for this… maybe this is part of my fear. But maybe too there are others like me, each with their own variation of struggles and their won secret dreams to wander through at night.
Another thing I hope to achieve with this blog…. I've lived for 63 years, 57 of those in one form of institution or another. I haven't ever had a physical space of my own and have found myself over these past few years, dreaming a dream that all Irish people over the age of 55 seem to have … of a cottage near sea and woodland, with an open fire and a small light room to paint in ... Right now I live in box, with a lifetime of gathered possessions surrounding me … simple things like books and photos and small gifts that I've received. I lie in my bed at night and I see everything that I own within 6 feet of me, and my black box beneath my bed with everything that is most private stored in it. I worry about this box and what will become of it when I'm gone.
I paint in this small room in the evenings, while others sleep around me. And I suppose I am guilty of wanting something a little more for myself. I have some notion that this blog will help me achieve this over the next two years, in time for my 65 th birthday and the state pension! … I believe in the goodness of people and my own faith in them and if I can achieve enough donations through this weblog over the next few years, I will buy a cottage somewhere in Ireland and establish a trust for it. It will be my borrowed home, a taste of a life I haven't yet known!. I also have a notion that the home will have a book with it … containing a message from all those who have made a donation and made it possible … perhaps I'm being too idealistic and naïve here .. perhaps nobody will donate … the ideas is still young. Maybe there will be advice from some folks reading this on the legalities and so on or additional ideas … we'll see how it goes! I do like the idea of the book, though! I can see myself glancing through it on a winters evening.
Anyhow, enough for now. I'm sure some people will be angry with me or will have issues about what I write. Or will consider me selfish. I can only say my intentions are good and my motives sincere. I hope there are some too who will see this. Looking forward to sharing with you all!
Until next time ….