I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools through my second year in University, experiencing very conservative and very liberal teachings: pre-Vatican II Latin, ritual and Baltimore Catechism #3 in grade school; Vatican II and the social justice movement in high school; an introduction to Ignatian spirituality in university. However, I came to view organized religion as not just superfluous and superficial but also largely evil. Not until my 40s, when I accidentally discovered C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, and — one late night at a 7-11 store — an admittedly second rate novel by Andrew Greeley (Patience of a Saint), did I begin to acknowledge God’s presence in my life and universe (or, in Greeley’s terms, did God swing Her cosmic baseball bat and clobber me up the side of the head). Now I worship occasionally in a Catholic church, an Episcopal church and an ELCA church, but I won’t join any church. My spirituality is greatly influenced by C.S. Lewis, John Stott, James Martin, Richard Rohr, Kathleen Norris, Anne Lamott, Joan Chittister, Elizabeth Johnson and Jennifer Reek (to name a few), but also by Wangari Maathai, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, my long practice of yoga, and a wonderful group of fearless Catholic women, #CatholicWomenSpeak. I definitely do not believe in the American version of inerrancy and sometimes I do not even believe in God, but I always find comfort and hope in the psalms.
As I update this description in Fall 2018, I am a 70 year old divorced, widowed and newly married retired academic living with my husband and my 94 year old mother. I have fractured and some completely broken relationships with my far-flung children and step-children and twelve grandchildren. I have incredible, life-renewing, faith-affirming friends. And I am deeply, wondrously, incredulously – miraculously, even – in love with my husband, Woody.
Oh, one more thing: I have a name that, I think, is beautiful and serious-sounding, Adrienne Elizabeth. Alas, ’twas not to be. Since infancy I have been “Butsy” to all my family; since 1989 I have lived in Virginia. Hence my blog site name, vabutsy.