10 Things For Which I Refuse to Carry a Cross

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I’m a recovering Catholic.  This is Holy Week.  Here are the 10 things I refuse to feel guilty about, even as Jesus prepares for His torturous walk toward Golgotha.
1. Eating Meat on Fridays During Lent – Catholics are called to fast every Friday during the season of Lent which has taken on the form of abstaining from meat. . . which has turned into millions of Catholics convening each Friday in their parish halls for a total pig out on fried fish.  Pigging out is not fasting.  I will eat meat on Fridays and enjoy the gastric consequences knowing I am not a hypocrite.
2. Sloth – Sloth is one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  Technically this refers to spiritual laziness, but I can remember sleeping in on Saturdays as kid and being reminded that laziness was a sin.  I spent years thinking I was going to Hell if I overslept or engaged in the luxury of taking a nap.  I’m here to tell you, I’m making up for that guilt and sleeping in regularly.  I nap, too.


Image: Praziquantel via Flickr


3. Lust – Another deadly sin.  I passionately lust after eating peanut butter from the jar.  I will not be attending Confession on Saturday for this one.  I think Jesus loves peanut butter, too.
4. Taking the Lord’s Name in Vain – “OMG! That stupid idiot on his phone just cut me off. Jesus!”  I’m not trying to offend.  But my road rage is extensive and I have completely edited my outbursts due to the ages of my precious passengers.   I do sometimes feel guilty for crying out to the Lord in anger instead of gratefulness and will follow up with an evil glance toward the idiot driver and say, “Godspeed, loser!”
5. Missing Mass – I haven’t been in years.  I know for certain I am not going to Hell…for that at least.
6. Premarital Sex – I am not married.  I have a significant other who lives with me.  We have sex and I like it.  I am not going to Hell for that either.
7. Being Divorced – My final adieu to the Church was after my divorce.  My priest told me I could not receive Holy Communion because I broke the Sacrament of Marriage.  Holy Communion is believed to be the actual Body of Christ.  If anybody actually needed to be fed the Body of Christ in order to receive spiritual grace and enlightenment, I did after my marriage ended.  That’s when I realized Catholic Doctrine was ridiculous and no longer felt guilty for choosing divorce--a choice that has enabled me to live in authenticity.
8. Not Honoring thy Mother and Father – Many years in therapy helped me get over this one.  If people hurt children they deserve no honor.  Jesus is OK with that.  He told me last night.
9. Teaching Contraception Instead of Abstinence – Haven’t delved too deeply into this one with my tween and teen.  But here’s how I see it:  If I teach abstinence, my girls will feel guilty about their physiological, physical, and emotional responses to those of the opposite sex.  Causing people to feel guilty about something that naturally happens to humans is sinful.  For this, the Church is going to Hell.

10. Engaging in Wrath – Yet another deadly sin.  I used say, "Oh, but I feel so guilty being angry.  I mean, that isn't good, it makes me an evil murderer."  No it doesn't.  Anger is a normal emotion.  Murderers are psychopaths.  My anger isn't going to get me a one way ticket to Hell.  Neither is yours.  Anger is a powerful emotion.  It causes revolution. Go forth and be empowered.


 Kimberly at Sperk*


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