Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday. Good Grief

Happy Good Friday. Or not, depending on your faith. Although I classify myself as a liberal Christian, accepting of all faiths and the concept of universal salvation, I still have enough Catholic in me to render me guilt-plagued, worried, and trying to cover all of my bases - so to speak.

Although I went through the Catholic confirmation process, I have never been to confession. I'm not exactly sure where this leaves me in the eyes of Catholics, but when I went through the process I was very open about my pro-choice beliefs and my distrust of confessing sins to some guy who couldn't possibly relate to me...the thought of confessing sins related to my marriage and motherhood to a man who wasn't even allowed to have sex? Well...I am certain that they let me finish the program only because they figured I was a lost cause. And I happen to have belonged to a fairly liberal Catholic church at the time.

After a lengthy discussion on faith and religion, my best friend and I discussed the concept of confession. The Catholic Church has come out with a new list of deadly sins, and I have already (albeit unintentionally) committed one of them (polluting the earth). This means that if I don't confess my sins and absolve them, I will go to hell. 99.9% of me believes this to be man-made hogwash. Come on. But of course, it got me thinking - can I confess online? Check the box for confession without enduring the smarmy presence of my current church's priest? A man who annoys me so much I used to imagine kicking him in the neck - just for fun - when I had to attend Mass with the kids for school. Sorry, God. I need to add this to my list of sins.

Hey, guess what? You can. Just go to http://www.absolution-online.com/confession and you can add sins to your shopping cart. After you've reviewed your order, you proceed directly to checkout and you're given your penance.

I decided to confess online to every sin I could recall committing over the course of my life. It took me *ahem* a while to do this. You don't type your sins in, rather you find a category (venial/physical/10 Commandments) and sort through the list, selecting your transgressions as you scroll through the sins. My shopping cart was enormous, and I'm sure I missed a sin or two - 36 years of living and it all adds up. Not to mention that you had to classify to severity of your sin - Class A-D....I usually rounded up and made mine severe (As and Bs) to cover my bases.

How long do you think it will take me to complete 1,666 Hail Marys and 60 Our Fathers? Oh, and I have to fast for five weeks. I'm pretty sure those last few pounds will slide right off.

Of course, there is just enough superstitious freak in me to believe that maybe I really should do all of this, just in case (and I can break up the fast, according to the site.)

How about you? If you've never confessed a sin before, what would your penance be? Do you believe in confession as a path to absolution? Are you on the fence?

So much to think about before gorging on Cadbury Creme Eggs. Oh crap, I need to add another gluttony. And cursing. Christ.

18 comments:

Jessica said...

Too funny! I have never 'confessed' before having grown up Nazarene & now I'm Wesleyan. But I'm having a hard time so maybe filling a shopping cart of sin will help me purge it...

I found your blog w/ a google search:God's help for tired moms

jakelliesmom said...

I think the act of confessional checkout has got to count for something. In the end, regardless of how you get there, isn't it all about being a good person and contributing to the betterment of the world?

Annie said...

I haven't been to confession in over 10 years (eh, make that nearly 15 - it was 1994).

I struggle with this - for some of the reasons you do - but mostly because the act of sitting down in front of a Priest and having that conversation - ugh - it's just so off putting - to feel like he's sitting there judging me - which I know he's not supposed to, but how do we know?

I like this online idea ;)

ekb said...

Hey! I'm eating a Cadbury Creme Egg right now! You have pretty good taste!

I do think confessing you sins is an important step in the process, but I've never understood confessing to a priest. Why can't I just confess to God?

Marie said...

I'm not a Catholic, but confession is actually what has always appealed to my most about Catholocism. I think it would be very cathartic to spill my guts to someone like that on a regular basis.

andi said...

Confessing online? Is there anything you can't do on the internet?

Happy Easter from your not-so-Catholic (or even Christian, for that matter)bloggy friend :)

Magpie said...

I'm not Catholic, or even Christian, but I'd like to confess here the evil bad thing that I just said to my husband, namely "I can't quit drinking until my mother's dead". If there's a hell, I'm going there.

Magpie said...

Did I really just do that? Hell in a handbasket...

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Reconciliation (as it is called these days) can be a very freeing experience (my kids are raised Catholic and I have many Catholic friends) - it gives you a clean slate each week, as it were, and allows you to get on with your life. Pope John Paul II defined hell as distance from God, not necessarily a particular place. Our unreconciled (or undealt with) sins place a distance between us and God. It's hard to argue with that!

At the same time, I think this is why there are so many religions, so many paths to God - people are different and require different ways of relating to God.

Jen M. said...

The definition of hell as distance from God makes perfect sense to me - I don't think I have heard that before.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm not much a churchgoer but I will say Amen to a Cadbury Creme Egg!

liv said...

yes, Catholic. yes to fairly recent confession. i may be the odd ball who loves the sacrament--it's so freeing to me.

KathyLikesPink said...

I considered myself Catholic for 20+ years and only went to confession once. It was off-putting.

Pass the chocolate bunnies..

painted maypole said...

so glad I'm Lutheran....

Biddy said...

bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahhaa

i'm church of christ,but i am SO doing that. it will be interestingly hilarious (and scary) to see what my penance would be if i were actually catholic...

you don't EVEN want to get me started on the questions i have about catholicism...

spj said...

I'm with (what appears to be) the majority--take it to J.C. In my religion, we only take our sins to our ecclesiastical leader if they're major and we need advice and/or assistance in the "process" I think it's personal for everyone and your sins are between you and God! I'm going to go online and confess to gluttony myself--I think that I magically ate an entire package of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs all.by.myself.
Gads.

Jen @ The Cubicle's Backporch said...

I was raised Catholic also and still am, I suppose, even though I don't go to church.

I remember going to confessional once we hit that rite of passage and I remember saying things like "I made fun of someone at school". I was only like 8!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

I got caught shoplifting at Bradlee's in 8th grade (Lee press-on nails) and my mom made me go to confession b/c I had broken one of the 10 Commandments.
That was the only time I ever heard my mother say the F-word.