On The Tensions of the Sacred and Secular

I stumbled upon Heather King's blog late last year.  I'm halfway through her 2nd memoir REDEEMED.  I was so happy to have found her presence online because I hungered for words that were incarnations of thoughts traveling the lines between the secular and the sacred.  This has always been a real struggle for me.  I never really quite know the right calibration.  I end up quite a mess when I'm swamped with work.  I also end up so lonely when I'm not doing anything.  

Heather King writes about her journey towards authentic faith with so much realism and mysticism at the same time.  I think she's found the right balance and the right approach to the Catholic faith journey.  I hope I can be like her someday.

This is a quote from her latest post.  It's an excerpt from an interview she had with a Christian magazine.  I like this quote because it expresses so much of what we go through.  

I’m still struggling myself, for one thing, and always will be. And I can’t imagine any group of people who could bring me closer to Christ, reveal Christ, than my fellow alcoholics and addicts.They suffer, they’re very aware of their brokenness, defects, and limitations, they live by a kind of constant examination of conscience (though they probably wouldn’t use that phrase), and they continually astonish and humble me with their humor, their plain-spoken common sense, and their deep and authentic spirituality.
There’s never a sense of: “Ha ha ha, I have conquered alcoholism!” There’s a sense of: “I’ll be darned, I can’t believe the likes of me is no longer drinking 24/7, or pawning the baby’s baptismal ring, or ripping off my sick mother’s meds.” They have a sense of wearing the world like a loose garment, and also of the freedom to make discoveries about themselves and the world and to figure out what they love. They are
doing the hardest work there is: holding the tension between the way the world really is and the way we wish it were. They show me the Resurrection, in other words, in constant action…

This is in a way the real authentic faith journey we aspire to have.  Not dismissing  the clutter, but embracing it with the heart of Christ and find that in all of the mess, there is a beauty that rises from the ashes.


  1. While on retreat with an order of religious sisters last year, a nun introduced me to Heather King. I love her authenticity.


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