So....De Pope commented on my blog post yesterday, wondering when was the last time I went to confession.
De Pope! Here! In my country AND on my blog. Itsa miracle!
So, in answer, becuase when The Papa asks you a question, you'd darn well better answer, I shall say that I hate to disappoint you, Your Popeliness, but I'm not Catholic. We heathens don't DO confession. It'd be kinda sweet if we did, because being able to offload the guilt trips, say a few Hail Marys, and walk out with a soul and conscience as clear as a Proactiv patent's skin would be a terrific thing.
Nope, we Pro-test-ants like to take our guilt right to da man himself, throwing prayer into the great Out There, hoping through faith that he hears us and will answer us on the God Phone if he so chooses. Oddly enough, if he doesn't answer, that's an answer too. I know it's confusing, and it's that kind of thing that kept me out of church for a long time, because why bother praying if you don't know if no answer is the only answer you're going to get? What really would the POINT be?
So, yeah, confession would be good, but I'm not Catholic.
Which reminds me of a story.
Back in high school my best friend for a period of time was J. There were four kids in their family - all had names that began with a J. Cute, no? Anyhow, J and her family were Catholic. Their Catholicism was as fascinating to me as by friend B's Judaism - so much to explore from both angles, the why's of what they believed as interesting as the twistings of a mandelbrot set.
One night J was sleeping over at my house, and in the morning we were all going to go to church, as was the habit of my family. Happened every week, no big deal, let's go get a dose of God before the ball game comes on. So J calls her Mom in the morning and asks if she can go to church with us. Her Mom said "sure, as long as you know you'll have to go to 5 o'clock Mass this afternoon."
Why? asks J.
"Because you need to go to church, and Mass is church."
I believe there might have been some undertone of disparagement in that statement, don't you? I recall being flabbergasted that MY church wasn't REAL church, and wondered what the heck it was about Mass that was so very special that God couldn't see J at MY church and know she'd done her weekly duty. Really now! How....rude.
A few years later, J converted to Mormonism, which seems to me like an even MORE exclusive 'nearer my God to thee' kind of club. She's happy with it, and that's a good thing, but I'm not too keen on the idea that they're the only folks who think they're going to heaven when the call from above comes down that the Four Horsemen should saddle up.
Of course, I'm completely bereft of hope for eternal life if you ask a Muslim. I guess Allah can't see me, much that same way as the Catholic God couldn't see J. I'm sorry about that, really, because I was kind of looking forward to the hereafter. Ah well.
BTW - I'm convinced that there is life after death. Just thought you should know.
There's no other explanation for it, because once you've heard your dead uncle's voice in your ear, telling you he's fine, once you've seen your father in your dream as a young man working in a celestial library, once you've experienced those kinds of things you simply HAVE to believe.
Some might accuse me of being delusional, of course, and that it's my wishful thinking that created these phenomena, but when I tell you that my cousin also heard our mutual Uncle's voice, at the SAME TIME, on the SAME day as me, with the same message; and that there's no way I could ever have known that my Dad had wanted to be a librarian, then maybe you'll see why my conviction stands on more firm ground than a shaky 'want to believe it's true.'
Some things you just have to believe, without more proof than a dream and a disembodied voice. Oh yeah, there's that whole Bible thing too...
You know what? I did not start this post thinking I'd wind up here, but there you go. Sometime the paths we follow to get to an end are circuitous at best. Sometimes the end is nowhere in sight, and then BOOM! There you are. At the end.
Have a great day people - whatever you believe.