I have just recently signed the older penis person up to attend 1st grade catechism.  I am pretty proud of the fact that I will be bringing good old Catholic guilt and overwhelming remorse to yet one more generation in our family.  The penis person says that “church is boring”.  I agreed whole-heartedly……… but explained that if church were FUN, we wouldn’t be getting the full “church-going” experience.  We would be so focused on the pure entertainment value of it all that the message itself might get lost entirely.

When the head penis who created the other penises asked me why I felt it was so important for Nicklas to attend catechism, I responded as honestly as I knew how……because I WENT!  There was a sense of tradition there and eternal dues must be paid.  Plus, in my most sincerest of moments, there were questions that the older penis person was asking to which I, sadly, had no answers.  Who goes gets to go to heaven???  Is God real????  Is the Devil???  Are God and Mother Nature and Old Man Winter all friends???

Clearly, I could be that parent who spins wonderful and happy stories for my young tot.  I could tell him all the things that I was told growing up.  But….there are a great number of moments, despite my Catholic upbringing, I’m not even sure what I believe.  Do I believe in Heaven?  I would LOVE to.  But in my images of Heaven there would be no one permitted who killed children but had enough forethought to beg forgiveness of the Priest who was administering last rites before he took the dirt nap.  In my images of Heaven, there would be no missing people who were so distraught with a life that was so unbearable that they saw no other solace than t0 take their own life and were thereby sentenced to damnation in hell (hell, by the way, is where I imagine the killers go, regardless of their requests for absolution).

As a Catholic, I take issues with a church who, in what can only be considered an apparent attempt to protect its good name and potential income, ignored the misdeeds of hundreds of its Priests and helped hide the evidence.  Not only hide the evidence, but hide the offender.  Shuffling him off from one traumatized parish to another, KNOWINGLY creating a whole new batch of victims. I, technically, felt that the entire sanctity of the Catholic Church should have been held on trial right along with their priests.

As a person who believes in SOME kind of higher power and a feeling of being spiritually connected to SOMETHING, I sometimes struggle with the notion that God takes young children, either by a horrific accident or an equally horrific disease, but leaves crackheads happily smoking their lives away.  Where is the righteous reasoning in that??   I know that many say that there is a reason for everything……and that sometimes the reason won’t always be revealed for us to understand.  That we should just accept God’s will, without question, and be unwavering in our faith.  But I waver often.  I leave the church for long stretches of time, unclear if I’m worthy of admission.  Based on my constant questions and, often, lack of faith, I have to wonder if I’m putting the entire congregation at risk from the lightning strike that I’m sure is bound to find me eventually.

To be clear, I believe there is SOMETHING at work in the world.  Anyone who has witnessed the amazingness of a newborn baby would foolish to think there isn’t something positively divine in that.  But I have a hard time working strictly on blind faith alone.  I know its considered positively sinful to ask for proof FROM God that there IS a God…..and I know we’ve been given a whole book of “proof” of His existence.

But, if I’m being candid here, if I were telling stories about myself and later, knew they were going to be memorialized for all the world to see in a book, I would make myself sound pretty damn miraculous too.  Its my own story….I can spin it any way I want.  Never mind the fact that over the thousands of years that these stories have been told….someone HAD to have embellished a little…..had to have changed the facts just a bit.   If I tell you a story and you tell it to five people and those five people tell it to five more……there will be some things that will be erroneously added and removed….things that might have been pretty key to the initial story.  Facts that could have swayed people one way or another and depending on what side of the line you fall on, you might likely tell the story to fit those needs.

I have issues sometimes with the whole notion that “God is all-knowing and is everywhere”.  Then, in what would appear to be a direct correlation to disprove this, God looks away for a moment too long and some mother of three small children is killed by a drunk driver……or some Police Officer is gunned down by a raving maniac.  I often wonder why God doesn’t intervene in those billions of situations that simply just didn’t HAVE to happen.  I understand free will.  I get that God can only give the tools and that it’s up to the individual to use them wisely.  But can’t He maybe give a heads up to those who might be directly effected by someone’s warped ideas of free will??  Maybe whisper in their ear “on such and such date and time….stay home”.

I grew up, as most Catholics do, with the notion that God was kind of an old curmudgeon…..to be both feared immensely as well as respected immensely.  He was kind of a vengeful God in the notion that, if you pissed Him off, you would pay for it dearly.  I remember, as a child, feeling kind of sorry for Jesus…..cause He was saddled with a Father who was without reasoning and let Him die horribly.  As Catholics, we pray a rosary that depicts Jesus still nailed to a cross, in perpetual agony and pain.  We are never permitted to forget that He suffered and died for our sins.  However, some non-denominational churches transcribe to the belief that there is no need to wear the cross bearing Jesus on it.  He’s not up there, suffering, any longer.  While Catholics mourn the death of Jesus on the cross, other religions rejoice in His absence from the cross and instead rejoice in His return back to His Heavenly Father.  All fall under the same notion of what occured…..but view it on entirely different spectrums.

And so, I thought it was important for Nicklas to learn the ritualistic rites of the faith of my own upbringing.  Its more based on tradition than it is anything else.  And while I often think I really do want for him to KNOW God, I also wonder if he will one day have the same questions.  I try very hard to not impart my wavering on him.  I want him to make up his own mind, when his mind is old enough to be made for itself.

But in the meantime, he will attend Catechism……and like me, I’m guessing he won’t entirely enjoy it.