I remember the early Catechism they taught us at St. Bridget’s Grade School. They taught us, starting in first grade, all about God as the Catholics knew Him. Did you notice I capitalized the Him? Any reference to God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost (then it became the Holy Spirit) is a capital letter as respect to the entity of God. Lots of memorization about things we really don’t understand when we’re the ripe old age of six.
When we can memorize the answers to the questions, we were praised. At about seven, we learned about the two kinds of sin – venial and mortal. And our souls were pictured as milk bottles. Venial sins tainted the milk just a little. Mortal sins blackened the whole thing. You had to go tell a priest about those in what was called The Sacrament of Confession. They issued a little guide book to “examining your conscience.” What a big job for a little kid!
Many priests had a very little voice confessions adultery, disobeying their parents, and the big one – murdering another’s character. Wow. What guilt. We hadn’t a clue what adultery was. Same for what an Immaculate Conception was. The thinking was the Blessed Virgin Mary was not “sullied” by engaging in a sexual act and becoming pregnant. I always felt sorry for Joseph. He was told about Mary’s “condition” and he never wavered. Could anyone have that much faith?
True or not, it’s sometimes all we have to hold on to. The hope and trust there is a better place than this world can be. There is evil. Some evil people may live by us. They grew up with us. They may even live with us. Hard as it is to forgive, we need to do it for us, not for them. It’s taken me a lot of years to figure that out. We are all sinners, we all make mistakes. God has to be a forgiving, loving Spirit. Why would he keep letting us exist if he gave up on us? He left 99 to gather one lost one.
My vision of God is much kinder and gentler than it was sixty years ago. I no longer belong to a Catholic Church. God is in my life, my home, and in my sweet husband. We returned to Church together. It’s a settling thing in my life. Some summer days, I recall being a little child, walking into the dimly lit Church, with the dark cool air hitting my face. We were not allowed to talk in Church, and we didn’t. The nuns were constantly “shushing” someone. They’d tell your parents, too. Fear made us behave. We learned the reverence later.
Wherever we go in our lives, God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit is with us. We carry them in us. Sometimes we all make terrible mistakes. The Holy Trinity loves us anyway. As we recover from the sins and bad things in our lives, God is there, cheering us on. He shows his mercy every day to us. How I ever met and remained with the Babe is a mystery to me. It’s a miracle. What I sought in a relationship and marriage actually existed! I had many failure during the fourteen years I was divorced. I made many mistakes. I know I wasn’t perfect. I know God loves me anyway.
Study about the “Higher Power” referred to in AA. Hang your future on something bigger than yourselves. It’s only then you can have a good future. It’s all in your hands. You cannot place blame, or claim you were born under a bad sign. Just do it! Begin. Every single day. You will get where you’re going. Thank you for reading today. I am going to study more about mistakes made in children’s books. More on that tomorrow. Have a beautiful day! It’s super here in Gretna. Enjoy! See you tomorrow!