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Lent Brings Out My Inner Catholic Girl. And Then After A Week of Avoiding the Thing I Gave Up (which is always a food or alcohol product), I Tell Her to Shut the Hell Up and Send Her Back Where She Came From.

LENT.  It's that time of year again and since I usually don't even realize Lent is in progress until it's about two weeks from being over, (only because I notice Easter is fast approaching and I need to buy jelly beans and Peeps and Cadbury Eggs and ham and make deviled eggs), I'm blogging about it because I'm ahead of the game this time around.

I have a confession.
I was born and raised Catholic.
I did the entire sacrament thing all the way up to getting married in the Catholic church and baptizing Bossy Girl and Wee One as Catholic.  For Christ's sake (forgive me Father for taking thy name in vain) I married a friggin Catholic for the love of God. (praise be)  AND?  I spent a lot of time actively involved in my most recent local church, working bake sales and festivals and donating and lecturing during Mass.

It's like I'm a saint.  Saint Sarcasm of Blog. 
I know  you can't see me, but trust me, the resemblance between myself and this pic?  UNCANNY.

Oh, I should probably take this time to mention I am no longer a practicing Catholic.  (forgive me Father) I'll tell about that in a minute.

I come from a long line of very devoted Catholics.  Pretty much, there's a reservation in Heaven just for my family because they've always been so damned Catholic (probably shouldn't put the words damned and Catholic together, huh?  Shit.  Forgive me Father.).  My mom is such a good Catholic, she is kind of the mother of all Catholics.  Which is technically a figure of speech, but when you think about it, it's ironic and weird because her name is Mary. Hmm.....  Anyway, this is why I firmly believe if I break some (or all) of the rules that it'll be okay cuz I'm guaranteed a spot in Heaven anyway cuz Jesus wouldn't wanna listen to my mom bitch for all eternity about me not being there.  So I'm justified in not practicing.  Unless saying so means I'll be struck down by lightening right now.
Now?
Now??
Didn't happen. Whew!

It's a long, complicated story, why I'm not a practicing Catholic.  Every few months or so, I get the urge to go back to church.  I wonder if I at least shouldn't do it for my children.  One of the handfuls of times we've been there, Bossy Girl pointed to Jesus and asked, "Who's that?"  (forgive me Father, yet again) NOT a good sign.  Sometimes I miss the community and safety and comfort and routine of it.  And other times I figure if God really knows me and hears me and loves me, then he knows my true intentions in my heart and I don't need to pass that through archaic tradition and men in robes first.

And then I wonder if Grandma isn't right. That she was completely accurate when she told me as a little girl that if I didn't go to church on Sundays and say my prayers every night then I was going hell.  Heck of a bedtime story teller she was, let me tell you.

So then I worry and wonder if I'm doing the right thing, not going to church anymore.  I worry so much that I consider going to a nondenominational church instead.  But I don't want to put in the effort to take the hours-long classes to join one.  Ugh.

I wonder if I'm doing enough just teaching my girls to believe in God and Jesus and be a good, kind, compassionate person and say prayers and love each other and believe there's somewhere better than this after we die.  Is that enough?  Or do I need a church and scripted prayer to teach them that better than I can?

And I know for a fact I can be a better role model and a better person/Christian.  I can swear and sling insults way less than I do now. Even though both of those are fun for me, especially when some idiot is just asking to be made fun of and there's just those times when the F word is the only one that fits a situation.  (forgive me Lord for I have sinned. A LOT.)

As you can plainly see, the Catholic guilt thing is oh-so-true and embedded at a genetic level in us Catholics. We can't ever get away from it.  We could become Buddhist or atheist or Jewish or whatever, and feel guilty about everything still.

So for Lent this year, I think I'm going to either give up the guilt, or instead of giving something up, take something up instead.  You know, add something good to my life for a bit.  Maybe I won't be tempted to quit not even a week or so into it.  We'll see what I can come up with.

By the way, I'm totally still eating meat on Fridays.  I don't get that rule.  Sorry Jesus.
I'll throw in a McDonald's Filet-o-Fish now and then to appease my guilt.

4 Comment:

♥mily March 7, 2011 at 8:44 PM  

You could always go to a non-denominational church without joining. If the only reason you don't attend a church is because of the annoying steps you have to take to become a memeber, you can still show up. I know that at my church, many people are not technically a "member" of the church, but nobody's about to kick them out. Some of those people have been attending the same church for decades and never became a formal member.

jess March 8, 2011 at 7:42 PM  

i went through all the sacraments too, but mostly because my family made me, even though we hardly EVER went to church. and now? we're practically heathens!
but i still give something up for lent every year. partly because i kinda thinks it's funny (NOW who's going to get struck by lightning?!) and partly out of habit. this year i think i'm giving up french fries... omg. i already don't know if i can do it!!!!

Aimee March 8, 2011 at 11:33 PM  

Ah yes, such is my life. But for some reason, even at 5 years old, I thought it was all bullshit. I remember being in CCD and asking the nun what her wedding ring was for. When she told me, I said (ahem...5 years old)..."Well, that's just stupid. You can't DO IT with god!" So, yeah. And then I told the priest I stabbed my sister with a pencil on my first confession because I didn't have anything else to say. Obviously, it was a lie... but I thought it was funny. Anyway, I could never get the whole religion thing to stick. I went to a Baptist church later because that's where all my friends went. That was pretty much bullshit. And then I went to a Unitarian church, but all I did there was smoke weed and watch A Clockwork Orange. So, you're doing better than me because I've never believed in god or the baby jesus in the manger or hail mary full of grace and blah, blah, blah. But I have released my kids from any of my bias to believe in anything they choose. My oldest son is currently reading Origin of the Species for fun. Oh blessed art thou among women!

E. K. Dunton March 10, 2011 at 7:25 AM  

I've linked this to my blog today. I hope it's okay. If not, let me know and I'll un-link.

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