Tuesday, January 31, 2006 Divine

Ah, here we are, the words between the pictures. Thank you to the few daring souls who peruse my prose amidst my scribblings.

Let's talk about forgiveness.

Joe is going to CCD for classes on reconcilliaton. This, for those of you who are heathens, is a Catholic sacrament whereby you sit in a closet and tell the priest everything you've done wrong. The priest then "absolves" you of your sins, and tells you to go say a bunch of Hail Marys. I think the priests have a sheet they read off of- talking back to your parents is one H.M., Lying is ten, staking a younger sibling naked over a red ant hill and pouring honey on his or her genitals is worth twenty, and so on. The last time I went to confession, about ten years ago, a priest gave me eighty. (No bullshit.) I'm sure they've accumulated interest by now.

As with almost everything, Joe is quite gung-ho about CCD, probably to make my parents proud of him. I was an extremly Catholic child for the same reason. I even thought of being a priest at one stage. We had one in our family- in Sicily no less- whom everyone referred to in hushed tones as "The Uncle." What job could have greater staus than that? But if I were to join up, I think I’d be a monk, and work in the fields in utter silence.

Of course, I realize I would make a lousy Man of the Cloth, because I just don’t believe a word of it anymore. This would put a crimp in things. It is a bit difficult when Joe asks questions, like, "Why do we have to go to confession for God to forgive our sins?" To which I reply that God loves you no matter what, but it makes you feel better to talk about the things you feel bad about.

"Is anger a sin?" was the next question. I told him that no emotions were sins- it's what we DO about them that counts. However, to dwell on an emotion- to re-live anger, sadness, or worries over and over again hurts us inside. (He is a little young for the concept that everything in your brain is electro-chemical, and our bodies become addicted to the chemicals triggered by strong emotions.) That's where forgiveness comes in.

A close friend of mine recently created a shitstorm for his wife, kids, friends, (including myself) & family. I was furious, and considered breaking away from him. (Sorry to be so vague, it's just that it's not my tale to tell.) But then I saw that his family was willing to help him out of the hole he had dug, even though he had hurt them so many times in the past. "Well," I thought, "if they can be so forgiving, maybe I can too." I only hope he finaly realizes that if so many people love and forgive him, then he must be worth loving. Only when he realizes he must earn his own love for himself will things get better.



kg said...

that's an awesome post. i'm one to hold a grudge, and you're absolutely right - i see people forgiving those whom i feel are almost unforgiveable, and it's very humbling. it's something i struggle with all the time. (and creepily cool illo, btw)

String said...

Tony, in the name of Frank Zappa and all the Daleks I am tagging you! That means you get to answer 5 questions that people might want to know but make em good. Then pass on to 5 other "friends". Don't break the chain, the result is extermination!

I don't mean to ignore the seriousness of your above post btw.

french toast girl said...

You know, I think a lot of it has to do with WHO you confess to. I had one priest tell me to not worry about it and that God knows how hard I try and loves me for it. (this was surfer priest who married us.)

I think (a) Joe is so blessed to have you for a dad and (b) you should write a book. I mean it.

Love, me

Anonymous said...

My Dad was x-communicated for marrying a Methodist, so you can guess my background. I don't believe in forgiving multiple offenders - those who think it's ok to ask to be forgiven over and over again - NO, there is a limit! Protecting family and friends from the likes is more important to me.

Anonymous said...

Very cool illo by the way!

Catnapping said...

ditto on kg's words: awesome post.

my dad was catholic, and my mother lutheran. both were disillusioned with religion by the time they got married, so i never saw the inside of a church till i was 10. LOL...too late.

My first husband was a catholic, and by god, he found my birthcontrol pills and flushed them down the toilet. his mother came over and hit him on the head with her oven mitt and called him a biblethumper. God Bless Catholic mothers!

Caroline said...

Wow... your thoughtfulness is wonderful... do you think that is a result of your catholic upbringing or just the way you are?

I've always thought the worst side of Catholicism was the guilt so many carry but it sounds like the way you are guiding your son he'll get the best without the worst. Amazing.

And I confess to being a heathen - unless you count the fact that one of my mother's acquaintances was so horrified at the fact I hadn't been Christened that he took it upon himself to do a street baptism with lick and a spit... so (and I don't tell everyone this...) my Christian name is Harold!

The Tart said...

i hope everything works out for your friend & he is lucky you are still around for him. life...never dull, you know

...I have woven a story including you in my current post. i invite you to stop by and read about yourself!

please leave a comment and let me know if there is more to my story...great post this one!

HARDWAX said...

you have a way with words-and people I suspect-this is one painful illo you have posted-but divine

on a different note-if you see a perfect little pink women-I believe she is known as miss pretty-mums the word

LDahl said...

Amen Tony, Amen!
Very much worth reading.