So you may have noticed that I recently became affianced. Soon after, I realized that meant I was going to get married? I am trying to process this life event and here’s what’s going on in my brain… “Whoa. This is kind of a big deal. There are so many things to panic about. I should probably focus all of my emotional energy on the most significant element… The thing that’s really at the core of my impending marriage.” So obviously I have decided to fixate on the fact that I will be required to complete the sacrament of reconciliation.
Let’s back up. I’m not a super religious person. I was raised Catholic… Or raised by people who were raised Catholic… So when I tell people I’m Catholic, what I really mean is that my parents made me go to Sunday school until I was done with my first communion. I have maybe gone to church once a year since then and only to convince my devout grandmother that I am not Satan.
My partner is slightly more Catholic, because his family is slightly more Catholic, meaning they went to church slightly more often, and there was a lot more private Catholic schooling. He is not super religious either but his devout grandmother is still living. So my partner wants to “give her a traditional Catholic wedding” in what I assume is an effort to prove to her that he is not Satan. I am fine with this. I had a similar upbringing and Catholic churches are, in my opinion, gorgeous. Plus each baby baptized in the Catholic church is ingrained with the distinct fear that straying too far from Catholic tradition may cause them to burst into flames.
Then you learn that there are so many things the church needs you to do. You can’t just pay your obligatory ‘donation’ and move on with the ceremony. There are classes and all kinds of expectations. One of the things I need to do is get confirmed because I did not do that when I was supposed to. I also have to go in for reconciliation AKA confession. I am not looking forward to this because I don’t necessarily love the idea that, in order to atone for my wrongdoings, I need to share them with a religious figure I don’t know. I also lack remorse for a number of my apparent sins because my sense of right and wrong differs slightly from Catholic ideals. To be fair, I have never done it so who knows, maybe I’d find it thrilling. But for now I am stuck with my lame assumption that this will be lame.
In an attempt to grapple with this incredibly important fixation, I’ve written a terribly sarcastic confession, on behalf of an obviously fictional character, intended as a monologue or performative piece. Because that is my mature adult response when I am under stress and forced to interact with authority figures, spiritual or otherwise. It’s rather offensive and demonstrates a lack of respect for a religious institution I am, in reality, rather ambivalent towards. Sorry Grandma… I may very well be possessed by Satan after all. I hope you enjoy this as much as my extraordinarily blasphemous and impure roommates did. Despite the fact that it’s not actually a real story because I probably should never actually read this to a priest for any reason ever.
I have never been to confession before so I don’t really know where to start. I’m sure it’s impossible to remember every sin I’ve committed in my entire life. Also I feel like I’ve personally atoned for most of them, not by confessing them to a priest, but by feeling guilty on my own and taking steps to make things right. I don’t feel like I am carting around a lifetime of shame and regret anyway.
Well I guess I could start with the never having been to confession thing. Clearly that demonstrates a spiritual laziness, or sloth. I’ve certainly been lazy in other ways. Like when I send all my work calls to voicemail and spend most of the day abusing my internet privileges. But what I mean is that, despite my catholic roots, I rarely go to church and I’m a genuinely terrible catholic. I’ve doubted the existence of a higher power all together and, even more often, I have doubted the teachings of the Catholic Church. To be fair that’s because priests have always been really terrible at answering my very legitimate questions in a satisfying way. Also the Catholic Church is just genuinely wrong about a great number of things. And they cling to those things too, like nobody admitted that Galileo was right until 1992… so naturally the church lacks credibility to an educated person today.
When I’m not being spiritually lazy I’ve been known to dabble in paganism, you know, lots of witchcraft and animal sacrifice. I don’t even feel bad about that cuz a lot of Catholic traditions were stolen from the pagans in the first place. I look at it as going back to the basics. Catholic Mystics would tell you the same thing. But I guess I feel bad about my brief stint with Satanism. I’ve also blasphemed a lot. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve taken the lord’s name in vain. Or poked fun at the lord.. and all of his followers.. including priests. I watch a lot of South Park. I have probably watched one episode of South Park for each little boy a Catholic Priest has molested. See what I mean? I’ve also referred to the lord as a ‘SHE’ frequently… and as a hermaphrodite. But that just makes sense to me. Like, don’t women create a lot more life than men do and isn’t God meant to have created ALL life? I don’t see why a mystical being would have a human gender in the first place. Seems weird to me. But I’m a feminist. Is that a sin? No, right? Well clearly I just blasphemed all over the place so…
I guess I should skip the small things and go for the big daddy sins right off the bat?
Cuz of course I’ve exhibited lust, gluttony, greed, wrath, envy… and pride the likes of which Oedipus himself couldn’t imagine. I’ve lied and cheated and stolen. I’ve been ungrateful. In fact I have no idea how to say grace or most of the prayers I was supposed to memorize in Sunday school. I’ve been uncharitable cuz I’ve been intentionally ignoring the poor on the streets at least 4 times a day for like several years. I’ve said some really mean things to people, just for fun. I’ve watched porn but it wasn’t my fault. Hmmm let’s see…. Something bad….
Well you know how in the Catholic Church you’re not really supposed to have sex before marriage? Because it’s like cheating on your future spouse or something right? Well I cheated on my future spouse with like 14 dudes and a lady. Before I met my fiance mostly, and not all at the same time, so that’s good. It was spread out over the course of like 3 years of just… a really shameless amount of using my god given sexual organs for sin. And I was using many forms of birth control the entire time, so I guess that was bad too. Oh and the lady. I hear homosexuality is like the mac daddy of all sins these days? But don’t worry I’m not actually gay I just laid with one. There were also some people of color and a number of non-Christians in there. Is that a sin? Cuz if it is I have to tell you my fiancé is half Jewish so…
Speaking of my future spouse, I’ve also committed all the sexy kinds of sins with him. But since he is my future spouse it’s not quite as bad, right? I hope that’s the case anyway, because otherwise, I have to confess that I want to do it again. So… I definitely have impure thoughts and birth control swirling around in my system as we speak. Also I probably will sex up my future spouse again like right after we finish up here. But if not then, definitely later.
ummm I’ve gotten naked onstage for money. I’ve laughed at a funeral. I’ve definitely mocked the institution of marriage. I’ve broken laws, hurt people, done drugs, destroyed the innocence of children. I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced hate and acted on it. And it’s been a really long time since I’ve ‘honored thy father.’ But other than that…. I’ve never killed anyone or had an abortion. So I feel like I’m in the, would have gone to purgatory but since purgatory is no longer a thing you kind of slip into the back of the heaven line category.