Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lenten Loser

So, I'm Catholic.

It's not something I talk about often (or ever?) on this blog, but it's true.  I was baptized as an infant and grew up going to mass every single Sunday without fail.

I went to Catholic grade school where I went to mass every Monday and Friday (I think?  I'm having a hard time remembering) morning. 

I went to a Catholic college where I promptly proceeded to mass only 20 times the whole time I was there.  Which is actually a real shame because not only are there a million different amazing chapels and churches around the Notre Dame area, but there are also dozens of very good priests there.

Anyway, present day.  I'm, in my own mind, a terrible Catholic.

I skip mass frequently.  When I'm able to go with my dad, I go.  But when I have to work (I work 90% of the time when he goes to mass), I can only go to one obscure service.  So, instead I often grab Panera and go into work to get caught up on paperwork.  Or sneak into Mr. RH's apartment while he is sleeping and crawl into bed.

When I was in college, I rationalized skipping church with the fact that the dozens of "bonus masses" in Catholic elementary school were enough to sustain me.

I told Mr. RH on one of our first dates that it was important to me to raise my kids Catholic.  But I really can't understand why I would say that, seeing as I can't even drag my own butt there now.

Mr. RH wasn't raised in a church at all, which really kind of blows my mind.  I think that, in some ways, we can't even relate to one another because we're on such different planets about the whole thing.

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Anyway, the purpose of this post was to confess that I suck at giving things up for Lent.  That "giving" something up literally makes me want it so much more I will eat candy in a closet at midnight to pretend it didn't happen.

Instead, it turned into Bad Catholic Confessions.

I don't think there's any way to really wrap this up neatly.

So, anybody giving up anything fun for Lent?  I might actually try and give up Coke.  It just struck me that maybe I should try. 

Happy Ash Wednesday, friends.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with faith.


13 Classy Comments:

Megan Schmidt said...

Man-oh-man do I love this post! It is so easy to feel like a 'bad Catholic' (Catholic guilt is no myth!!) and I find myself falling into that trap very easily.

As a kid, I always gave things up...chocolate milk at school lunch was my 'thing'. After a while though, I just got annoyed with giving things up and felt like there was no reason so I'd have that piece of chocolate, give myself the bad Catholic label and call it a wash.

I have a completely different view on it now and it is not only much more do-able but much more in line with the idea of sacrificing something for Lent. We all say, "what are you giving up" when it should be about strengthening your faith. Giving up chocolate does not strengthen my faith, but committing to attending mass every Sunday in Lent does. So does reading a verse a day or writing in a journal or setting aside 5 minutes each day to have a little chat with the Big Guy. If you are going to give something up, make it a habit to say a quick prayer each time you deprive yourself from that thing.

This year I'm committing to Mass each Sunday during Lent (its SO easy to become busy on Sunday mornings when brunch with friends is much more hilarious than Mass) and no shopping (I'll make a donation of the money I'll save instead). They are things I feel will improve my faith a little step at a time without making me resent the next 40 days.

Sorry 'bout the novel...I get kind of excited about my (not even close to being) brand new view on Lent.

-Lauren said...

You don't necessarily have to give something up, add something positive to your life. I was thinking about saying a certain prayer everyday... but then, I decided to give up facebook and twitter...and now I kind of hate myself for it!

CT Cupcake said...

oh I totally get where you're coming from. I was raised Catholic but somewhere along the line, my family stopped going to church. Over the last few months, I've considered going to church many times(only made it 2x) but would like to committ myself to giving it a go, to remind myself that there is something bigger than me out there.
Am giving up online shopping for lent too!

Andie said...

like Megan Schmidt, I try to do more positive things and "give" rather than "give up" because the true spirit of Lent is repentance and it's a lot more meaningful to me to give back in some way. I also hope and will try to go to mass more during Lent (which is hard with the baby and all)but I have plans!

and as time as gone on, I have become a lapsed Catholic as well. I think part of it is because my husband is NOT a Catholic (he's not really into any form of church) so I don't want to go by myself. LOL

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

Giving things up for Lent has always been difficult for me, but I guess that's the point!

I'm going to give up all soda, as is my husband. We'll see how that goes!

Royar said...

Love this post! I'm an Episcopalian but we just converted a few years ago from the Catholic church, so my family still follows some Catholic rules/traditions. I'm giving up Diet Coke, but I'm also going to go to the gym more and journal every night and hopefully start reading the bible for the first time. You're not alone! Faith and religion is such a huge struggle for me, but something about Lent gives me hope and a fresh slate. XO

how i met your father blog said...

i'm giving up soda. and then i'm drinking more water.

it took me a while to come to terms with my own personal faith - and i'm still working on it. be a good person. do good works. the formalities come secondary. :)

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ty said...

Honestly, I think (IMHO, duh) that it's better not to give anything up if you don't really want to or aren't into it. It'll just lead to resentment instead of the original purpose. Granted, I'm not Catholic, so I may not know chicken salad from chicken shit.

The Pink Growl said...

I was raised Baptist, but since college I too have struggled some with maintaining the pace at which I was raised going to church. I think it's a natural thing to struggle at some point in your life with your faith and being a "good" Catholic/Christian whatever.

Typically, I don't give up anything for Lent, but if I was going to it would NOT be Coke. haha I wouldn't make it!

MaryBeth said...

I too went to 12 years of catholic school and church every Sunday. Then nothing...there are obvious reasons I don't believe in the church telling me what I need to do and then doing horrible things themselves. I won't even get started on how I feel they treat women. For some unknown reason I still won't eat meat on Fridays during lent. It is one crazy thing to hold onto but I do.

Cheerful Homemaker said...

I grew up going to church with my grandparents. No one else in my immediate family went. M and I would like to find a church. I was raised as a baptist and he was Lutheran. We will see where we end up.

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