Friday, March 29, 2013

i am such a fallen catholic


yes, I actually did google the words: "did jesus say don't eat meat on fridays?"

oh yeah. catholic guilt dies hard. very hard. 

after all these years, you'd think i would have shaken the guilt out of my system. 

guilt is sticky. 

i think back to a good friday from my high school days, my best friend and i meeting up with two guys from our class at a local fast food joint. halfway into lunch, up to elbows in grease, we look at each other and suddenly realize:

crap. it's good friday. all four of us are catholic. and here we are, feasting on burgers and fries. 

having already lost a scapula at age 6 (all you good catholics out there know what a scapula is), i had long since decided my chance at heaven was long gone ---- but i might still have a shot at purgatory. if i was lucky. but no matter - even with beating my chest countless times after confession, saying endless hail mary's and our fathers, i knew i sucked at being catholic. 
me at left, pissed off at something. and wearing my red shoes, dammit.
even after all this time, how is it possible to feel those vestiges of guilt, insistently hammering away at my psyche like chinese water torture?

so i had egg salad for lunch. 

but for dinner? the struggle between the dogma of my childhood domestication and a desire for a sense of spiritual balance continues. 

and as one would ask themselves - what would jesus do? one can also ask: 

what would goddess suggest?

24 comments:

  1. Those were Church commandements, not the ten ones. In Québec, and Canada in general, the bishops, after Vatican two, dispensed the Catholics from those obligations.
    But then, the U.S. Church has remained rather conservative.

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    1. i didn't know the canadian catholic church followed different rules - sounds like it's a bit more progressive!

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  2. Dear Amanda, the ban on meat is something the church came up with and I think it had to do with the excesses of the very rich of past generations. I do not eat meat on Good Friday but, you know what? I am not much of a meat eater so actually eating meat might be more of a personal sacrifice. I think the ban on meat is meant to make us give up something that we love and reflect on why we are doing it :) I wouln't trouble myself about it if I were you.

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    1. that explanation makes sense to me. i ate at a vietnamese restaurant that night for what it's worth and yes, i did end up ordering dishes with meat in them.

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  3. Ah yes! We do carry with us those childhood standards, those precepts of faith that guaranteed us a place in heaven! Well, each year you re-think those standards, re-assess your priorities, each year you gain more acceptance with the person you have become, the person left after all the baggage was sorted, shed, confined to what all baggage is confined to do, remind us of the voyages we took.

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    1. i like this, rosaria - re-thinking the standards we were given as children and reassessing our priorities. i think we were meant to continually learn about ourselves and this is how we evolve.

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  4. Jesus/Goddess/Buddha or Ms. Tao...
    We all have within us such a voice, one that holds the answers, but the difficulty I face is simply remembering that that clarity is so readily available. And, as I write this in what is a rather rough time for me, I'm already feeling some peace as I begin to remember. Perhaps that's why church or meditating or drumming -- or digging -- need to be an integral part of out lives.
    Guess I kind of got off on a tangent there, eh Amanda? ah ha...
    I was also raised in the church, but for me it was the Baptist one, and yeah, guilt seems to reign more supreme than Jesus for me.

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    1. you've hit on something very intriguing to me, rubye, with your reference to drumming. many cultures use it to bring on a shamanistic altered state that helps us deepen spiritually. there are so many ways in this world to be close to god and goddess.

      i'm sorry to hear you are going through a rough period, and i pray for better times ahead. xo

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  5. join the club. I had little sausages and potato chips. doomed

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    1. sounds like my kind of meal. love little sausages, especially the kind with cheese inside. i know...totally a guilty pleasure. (and what a catholic thing to say.....why must so many pleasures be laced with guilt?!)

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  6. Sorry, I cannot identify with anything here, nor can I offer any suggestion. My Protestant upbringing was not full of rules, other than a commitment to being kind. So, I suppose not so much of a voice at all.

    Missed worship this morning (Good Friday). I led worship last Sunday, and will attend day after tomorrow (Easter).

    I hope you can find some wonderful spiritual practice(s) which will liberate you from whatever unhappiness you feel. But since I'm not a goddess, I won't say anything else.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    Bears Noting

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    1. no rules to protestantism but being kind? we could always use more of that in this world.

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    1. good to know, mim :)) my jewish husband dodged the matzoh this week so we are both being bad!

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  8. I did not grow up Catholic, but was really in the minority during my youth. I didn't have those type of rules and as an adult they seem very confining to me. We are all imperfect in life.

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    1. confining is one word for it - sometimes it felt downright stifling. but as you say, we are all imperfect, and i think the more we accept our imperfections and just move on, the better off we will all be.

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  9. I love the photos, and your thoughts on this inner conflict. I even love your angry face. I have a grumpy childhood picture too, taken right after church.

    I have Baptist guilt. It's so strong, emblazoned in us as developing human beings in your infancy, childhood, youth. The negative adheres better too. It took me years and years to shun the voices in my head and move away from the untruths. But it also took more time after that for dear friends to show me how rich my heritage was, even though my perspective had changed.

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    1. great point, ruth. I look at my catholic upbringing as a mixed bag - ultimately working with the negative messages turns into a positive if we can see beyond it where it becomes a tool to learn more about ourselves. i treasure the theatrical and mystical aspects of the church - the imagery is enough to last a lifetime.

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  10. I've been sitting in front of this comment box with my insides swirling, trying to think of something worthwhile to type in response to this post. First of all, I love the image of you and your buds eating burgers and fries. I imagine you young with long blond hair, smiling, all of you laughing a little bit anxiously when you realize what day it is. I love those red shoes.

    I guess more than anything what I want to do right in this moment is just celebrate Amanda. I hope that makes sense.

    You are a good person.

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    1. thank you dear suze♡ believe me, it makes sense in a big way, and i'm definitely working on that one, girl.

      oh how i loved those shoes.......what is it about red shoes? (but of course - the symbolism is just endless isn't it...??)

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  11. but didn't the church at some point say it;s okay to eat meat on fridays? :^)

    my strongest memory from my catholic childhood faith is a huge shaking finger breaking right in front of me through the ceiling. thank god i could clean myself up in the confession box. but the truth is probably that by the time i had real sins to report, i had stopped going to confession (bless me father, i had sex. bless me father, i skipped mass)

    we are every age we have ever been. i keep thinking about that, amanda. that's alot of dimensions, right there.

    i loved this post and all these great comments

    love
    kj

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    1. wow - we are every age we have ever been......

      i have never thought about it that way, kj, but how right you are. how would we be different if we embraced all those ages? just yesterday my sister and i were talking about what would happen if we asked our 5 year old selves what she wanted out of life. it completely changes your perspective.

      love this idea - thank you for sharing it ♡ and totally related to your confessional moments and huge, accusatory finger - think about how much time we spent feeling badly about ourselves!

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  12. oh and your header. gorgeous.

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  13. And I just realized that I ate a McDonald's burger on Good Friday as well. Oops! Should have ordered the Filet o'Fish ;)

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