beyondpanic's diary

beyondpanic's Diaryland Diary

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Sunday Mass


Iím Catholic Ė Roman Catholic to be exact.

My mother and the Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns taught me that I had to attend Mass every Sunday. If I purposefully didnít, then that would be a MORTAL SIN - (a black spot on my milk-bottle soul per the Baltimore Catechism).

I was jealous of my friends who were Publics (when I was growing up, you were either Catholic or Public, depending upon which school you went to). The Publics only went to church occasionally and they got to go to sleep-over Bible camps in the summer! Catholics didnít have camps, we just had CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) basketball games on the hot and dusty church parking lots.

When my sisters and I were kids, my mom would completely ruin our summer Sundays by insisting that we go to the 12:45 Mass at the church pictured above. I would watch my friends jump into their backyard pools while my mother ushered my siblings and I into the non-air conditioned family station wagon. We would then march into the non-air conditioned church, genuflect, slide into the pews and pray for a breeze.

I continued to go to Mass every Sunday for many years at the same church, but in the last two years, I have gone sporadically. I donít receive communion when I do go, because Iím afraid that my accumulated missed Masses have now added up to a huge black Rorschach inkblot that is totally obliterating my milk bottle soul. When I do attend, I find my mind wandering - I look at young happy couples with beautiful babies and I start to worry about my son and granddaughter. I see happy middle age couples and I can't help but wonder why my friend's beloved husband just died of Non Ė Hodgkinís lymphoma at the age of 60. I look at the Baptismal font and remember that my Swee'Pea was suposed to be baptized there - before the ugly blow up. I'm not finding peace at Mass, I'm finding sadness.

The one thought that has always pushed me to go to Mass is this: How can I ask God to keep my family and friends safe all week if I canít even devote one hour to Him during that week?

Even this thought is not pushing me back to church. My mother says that Iím just lazy Ė my gut tells me Iím just weary.

- 2008-02-26
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