Catholic Guilt

Mafia Funeral

Bruce Gilden – Mafia Funeral

dievca had a family member pass away a couple of months ago.  The family member lived close to their sibling (2 doors down), but they never really got along.  A strange and uncomfortable situation for most of dievca’s life, but there was still a symbiotic relationship between the siblings. They leaned on each other as they got older, to get through – but never happily.

At the funeral, a Catholic Mass, dievca sat close to her living Aunt holding her hand and just being there.  They commented on the color of the casket (navy), the beauty of the flowers, how nice it was to have a live choir and they followed the Mass (stand up, sit down).

DolceGabbanaSS2011StevenKlein

Dolce Gabbana SS2011 StevenKlein

When it came time for Communion, dievca stood up to aid her Aunt to the altar — her Aunt shoved dievca past with a comment “I can’t go to communion, I haven’t been to confession.”

And dievca has gone to confession?

dievca received Reconciliation in 4th Grade at Catholic School.  Reconciliation took over for Confession when she was a child. In case you need a short description:

Confession: Behind drapes in a confessional, you do not see the priest as you confess your sins.
Reconciliation: Telling your sins Face to Face with a priest.

dievca hasn’t gone to reconciliation since she was 10 years old.  Do you know how many sins you can commit in the Catholic Faith in 35+ years?  If God was going to strike dievca down, he has had the chance on multiple occasions.
But, after her Aunt’s comment, dievca felt guilty.

Catholic Guilt.

Typical.

Same stuff, different year.

No logic.

Church Sign...

(If dievca offended anyone…she is sorry. This is her own personal relationship with growing up Catholic – the good and the bad. she finds her behavior and the behavior of others to be ridiculous sometimes, especially in regards towards Religion. But, dievca would be pleased to know and happy for you if you find peace within your own Religion.)

 


27 Comments on “Catholic Guilt”

  1. Heartafire says:

    Interesting and ( no offense Dievca) a rather amusing message on the church sign. so sorry for your loss . I’m not involved in organized religion and know very little about Catholic rituals . I enjoyed this post

  2. She didn’t have to be rude about it, D — and ‘the sin of pride’ would seem to be worse in her case. Sorry to hear that.

  3. I don’t like the concept of guilt the Catholic Church tries to push on people. Makes me mad. If anything, church should make life easier imo

    • dievca says:

      I think there are many Religions that have a “guilt” factor – the Jewish Faith comes to mind. (Hello, Woody Allen movies). It’s also a piece of our Human framework. People just have to find the space of good living which works for them. Religion-wise or no~

      • I’ve never witnessed that in a woody allen movie but there are a lot of sitcoms that make fun of it.
        Of course every human is responsible for their own well being but still it would be easier if religious concepts wouldn’t make feeling good about oneself so hard

  4. Pelelotus says:

    Sorry for your loss. Though I would never judge a Catholic on face value (knows several who are actually good, kind and non-bigoted). I have little respect for the Church itself; their hypocrisy and terrible treatment of homosexuals and survivors of sexual abuse.

    • dievca says:

      Thanks, Pelelotus. I have to take the Church – Parish by Parish, Priest by Priest and Person by Person. I was surprised the other day talking to a Gay acquaintance with children who is a practicing Catholic with his Husband. They have found an open, welcoming Church and I am happy for them.

  5. cpmandara says:

    Sorry for your loss 😦 xox

  6. MyWantonSelf says:

    I too understand the Catholic guilt. I really enjoyed this, thank you. For me it was 25 years since confession until I was confirmed a few years ago and I remember every sin committed too, it’s a very heavy feeling.

    • dievca says:

      My Goodness!!!! You remember? I have conveniently forgotten my sins. I’m just trying to live in a manner which does not hurt others and is positive for myself, my family and my friends. My Parents have forgiven me for not attending Mass, though I stop in Church once in a while to sit in peace and say, “Hello” to God.

  7. outoftheashesofmylife says:

    Plenty of Catholic guilt in my family…. I get it.
    I enjoyed this post. 🙂

    • dievca says:

      Living in NYC – I see Catholic Guilt, Jewish Guilt, Mother-driven Guilt, Career-driven Guilt, etc. Most of us have some form of Guilt appearing, somewhere. I’m just not in a place where my past Religion affects me too much, nor am I living close to elderly Family — they are usually the ones entrenched in the trappings of Faith.

      I find saying a prayer when needed or appreciating the beauty of the World my current Religion. I guess I’ll find out if I am right or wrong when I go~

  8. I had to smile at this post. It has been too many years for me as well and for that exact reason. The privacy of the confessional lent itself to complete confession and absolution. Confessing my sins now takes one route, privately in prayer. I would rather be sincere in my faith, be a good and honest person who treats others well, albeit one who does not go to confession, and take my chances.

    • dievca says:

      I’m with you — I have my chats with God (or the Higher Being) on my own. A very forgiving entity who just tries to guide me in a “Be A Good Person – Do No Harm” way. Now, when it’s time to see St. Peter at the pearly-gates….I might have chosen the wrong path. Hope not. 😉

  9. You were raised well in your Catholic faith…as I was…and we KNOW it when we find ourselves still contemplating our sins FOUR days after not taking Communion!

    Just experienced this with Easter service -not catholic but one that allows anyone to partake in the name of remembrance and in the name of communing with the rest of the congregation. I could not walk up either, whether my sins mattered there or not!

    I think you captured it very well in sharing that you had broken many rules of the Catholic church…or…have you just broken many rules of an old tradition that cannot allow itself to adapt to todays truths? Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone….the Catholic church has sinned, far more than I, so the church no longer has the power to grant absolution or judgement over me.

    I do not miss the church..I miss, the music though. And there is some meditative power in the up-down-up-down, true. I can also go to yoga. But not for a funeral.

    You live a kind, loving life. I believe that is the key…God is love. S/He requires no building, no schedule of adoration, no shame. I send you to find and read some meditations of Muir…There’s a beautiful piece about worship and where it takes place… “No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord.”

    And so it must also be that the more shame and rules the patriarchal system imposes, the farther away we are from simple Love. God forgives because S/He loves us more than we love ourselves…and in that way, I believe there is no need for formal confession, and no need for identifying as a sinner by remaining in your seat during communion to accept the shame of the congregation either. Peace- Ret

    • dievca says:

      Oh Ret, that piece from Muir is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing it. Even in the City – I try to stop and see the “Higher Being/Beauty” in the little things; chalk on a sidewalk, blossoms on the tree, humor in the 20-somethings trying to own the City.

      A side story about Catholic Mass music — a good friend came to visit me in Europe and we ended up at the Easter High Mass (2 hours long – whoops). The music was lovely and the choir broke into an English version of “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera. Mid-Mass and well done. We both started laughing — aren’t there “rules” for a Mass’ playlist. 😉

  10. zaychishka says:

    Sorry for your loss Dievca
    I believe the Catholic Church is trying to give us a workout in the process with the up, down and kneeling.
    It’s odd how family can be close while being..Not actually close at all
    ( I lost my grandfather March 1st, and still remember the two funeral masses we had on separate nights.. Lots of up down .. And just like you I don’t do confession.. But will happily accept communion lol.. I like to believe our acts of kindness in everyday life is worth more in weight than normal everyday sins.. Like dictating diets according to the time of year..like no meats, but fish is acceptable on Fridays )
    Again sorry for your loss and for the awkward situations ❤

    • dievca says:

      Thank you Zaychiska. Family is funny, huh? What is that saying?

      “You can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.” Harper Lee – To Kill A Mocking Bird

      XO

  11. Well, what more can I say Dievca? I guess the Adventist church knows best 🙂


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