Monday, March 22, 2010

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned

Why I Never Became A Soldier For Christ

I was raised Catholic.  I don't have many memories of going to Mass with my mother.  I don't really remember her ever going to Mass on a regular basis. But she insisted on me having a Catholic upbringing.I was baptized at one month of age. I had my First Holy Communion when I was in 2nd grade.

When it was time for me to start my training for my Confirmation, my mom was a wild, drinking, twice-divorced woman.  She still insisted that I go to Catechism every week and work toward my Confirmation.

For those of you not familiar with it, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:

In the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, Confirmation, known also as Chrismation,[1] is one of the seven sacraments instituted by Christ for the conferral of sanctifying grace and the strengthening of the union between individual souls and God.

I started a little late; most people start their training around 14 or 15 years old.  I was almost 17 when I started. I considered myself quite the rebel by then and thought that organized religion was a bunch of crap and that to participate in it was diving into "the slag heap of gutless conformity". But then my mom bribed me... she said that if I got confirmed, she would buy me the 1963, powder blue, rag top,  Karman Ghia I had been saving my money for. I caved. I reluctantly went to Catechism once a week.

It wasn't that bad and the church had a new priest who was really cool. We also had interaction with some of the kids who had already been confirmed and were acting as peer councilors. I had a big crush on of them. My crush on this dude made no sense to me. He was an athlete, on the Honor Roll and active in student government. I hung out with the punks, skaters, drama club members and other assorted "freaks". He and I started hanging out together when we were at church. When he found out I was failing Algebra for the THIRD time, he offered to tutor me. It was great. I believe I finally passed that stupid fucking class because of him.

I saw him after school at least three days a week.  We were about to have a break from school and Catechism and I was sad about not seeing him. I was hoping he would find some excuse to see me during the break and he did! He said his parents were going to away during the break and his older brother was having a party. He asked me to come.

I showed up at the party and felt instantly uncomfortable. Aside from the girl friend I brought with me, I didn't really "know" anyone there. Someone handed me a wine cooler and I drank it down pretty quickly. It tasted so good; I had another, and another, and another I am not sure how many I had. Somehow, I ended up on a couch making out with him. When he suggested we go into another room, the wine coolers told me "Go!" The only empty room was his parent's bedroom. We sat and talked for a little bit and started making out again.  And then it happened... we lost our virginity.

The next day he called me to make sure I was okay with what happened. I really didn't know what to say. I was glad that I had "got it over with", but I had wished it had been a little more romantic, a lot less painful and a little bit more pleasurable. I reassured him that I was cool. He apologized and said that he had not planned on doing that, that what we had done was a SIN. I rolled my eyes as I listened to him talk about sin, penance and repentance. I had never realized how devout he was. I thought to myself, "Holy Hell, I just screwed someone who thinks he might want to be a priest someday!" To get him off the phone, I assured him that I would confess and repent next time I went to church. I had NO plans to confess it, but it made him feel better. I usually made crap up before I went into confession:

Bless me Father for I have sinned. It has been "x amount of time" since my last confession. I lied to my mom, I used the Lord's name in vain, and I had impure thoughts, yada yada yada...

I hardly ever actually confessed my REAL sins and when I did...I didn't name names. Unfortunately, he had no such practice.

The next time I went to Catechism, he was there. Since he was an Altar Boy, he knew I had not been to Mass since our "Sin". Since I had not been to Mass, I had not received Communion. Since I had not received Communion, I had not been to confession. He was worried that I would die before I confessed and end up in PURGATORY, or where ever the hell you go. I assured him I would go to confession that night.

When I got into the confessional, I got a huge shock. It wasn't the cool priest, but the scary one.  We did the whole confession deal and I said my "usual" sins. Before giving me my penance, Father Scary asked me if I had anything else to confess.  I felt my stomach drop, but kept my cool and said no. That is when I found out that my co-sinner had named names the last time he went to confession. Father Scary knew about our "Sin". I was pissed. I went off on a tirade about the sanctity of the confessional and how he had broke it by letting me know that my co-conspirator had fessed up. I stormed out of the confessional, without my penance and never stepped foot in my Catechism class again.

I didn't get confirmed and become a "Soldier of Christ". I didn't get my Karman Ghia.  I never spent any alone time with that boy again. Each year at Christmas, I would get a Christmas card from him and he would apologize. He continued to send me the cards when he went away to college. He always said he was still praying for me. When I moved away, we lost touch. I have not seen or heard from him in 20 years. I am pretty sure he still prays for me.

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