I met a closet Catholic today. I was visiting a close friend of mine, and she was giving me a tour of all the updates she did to her home. She is so industrious, and I so admire that. I love the painting she did in the two bedrooms and the bathroom; great color choices and very carefully done. She even took all the molding off, painted the walls, and put them all back on after finishing the painting. I am talking baseboard molding, chair-rail molding, and molding at the top of the wall adjacent to the ceiling. That is a lot of work. Amazing.
Then, as she was presenting her well-organized walk-in closet, there it was. A crucifix, hung on the back wall of the closet. My eyes immediately went to this unexpected sight. It was a dark walnut brown, and maybe it had a shiny gold Jesus hanging on it. I actually don’t know for sure, because I only looked very quickly, and then looked away. I felt like it wasn’t meant for me to see it. I quickly turn to humor, and tell my friend that I didn’t know she was a closet Catholic. I did ask why she hung the cross in that spot. She said she didn’t know where else to hang it.
I am not sure where to hang my catholicism. But, I do have a confession to make. I carry a set of rosary beads in my purse. They are a piece of art, what looks to be jade or glass beads strung on a weighty metal chain with a metal crucifix. But, before this set were the plastic ones, strung together on basic white string, with a white plastic cross, with no Jesus on the cross. I imagine it increases the cost to add the elevated relief image of His tattered and tortured body. I knew I wanted to upgrade this set. And I eventually did. But, they stayed in my purse until the upgrade happened. And, my scapula, that is in the top compartment of my jewelry armoire. And, the two crucifixes, those are under my bed, at the bottom, on my side.
I am not a practicing Catholic. I was raised Catholic, and went to catholic junior high and high schools, 7 years of my young life. The closest I get to formal religion now is at funerals, and in the remote past, weddings. My current age group has no weddings to speak of; in fact, there have been a few divorce parties.
So, I see now that I in fact am, at best, an under the bed in the jewelry armoire in the purse Catholic, which I imagine is a type of closet Catholic, or perhaps a next step for me may be the closet Catholic. I cannot help but wonder if that is what kept me from looking very long at my friend’s crucifix hung in the back of her closet; I didn’t want to really see it, to think about my own closet Catholicism. And, as I write this, I feel there is some space for moving out of the closet with this.