Sunday, 26 August 2012

BLESS ME FATHER, FOR I HAVE SINNED

YOU GUYS GO AHEAD, I'LL CATCH THE LATER MASS. I'VE GOT SOME ... ER ... CLEANING TO DO

So here I sit, cradling my cup of coffee (with a splash of Bailey's) and watching the parade of smartly dressed neighbours get in their cars and go off to church. As I do every Sunday morning. And, as I do every Sunday morning, I experience a brief pang of I'm not sure what. Longing? Guilt? Regret?
Anyway, it passes as soon as I take a sip of  my coffee (with a splash of Bailey's. A fairly generous splash. In fact, it might be more accurate to say Bailey's with a splash of coffee).

You know that saying "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic"? You don't? That's because you're not Catholic. Anyway, trust me, it's true.
I was raised Catholic, did the whole first communion, confirmation, weekly mass and confession thing. (Although at the time, I didn't have much to confess: "I hate my friend because she has boobs and I don't." "I spent my milk money on chocolate bars." Fer feck's sake.)
Ironically, now that I'm old enough that my confessions would melt Father Angostura's ears off, I don't go anymore.
What happened was I turned 18, started researching my church ... and realized I disagreed with almost everything it stood for.

I haven't darkened the door of a Catholic church for many years now. I hear they're very happy about that. Apparently having someone heckling in the back pew just ruins the mood.
Still, it left its mark: Every time I get into a car, I make the sign of the cross. Every night at bedtime I say a prayer for my loved ones. Every time I get on a plane . . . well we don't have enough space here to describe the neurotic rituals that sets off. 
And there are certain things I miss about church: the sense of purpose, the sacred rituals. Particularly Sunday brunch. I was a big fan of the brunch.

Am I worried about blowing my shot at heaven? Well I  sank that boat a long time ago, but who wants to spend eternity with Vic Toews and Bill O'Reilly anyway? No, I've found that you can be an agnostic and still be a fairly spiritual and decent person. 
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go and warm up my Bailey's with a little coffee. Have a wonderful Sunday, enjoy your church . . . and what the hell: if you're there anyway, you might as well say a prayer for me.