Tuesday, October 27, 2009
A Lazy Sunday?
When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me to church on Sunday mornings. It was not unusual for me to have a sleepover with my grandparents on Saturday nights. I loved it. Her house, a sprawling ranch style home, decorated in 1970's Vegas chic and located in the illustrious, sidwalkless, "I have arrived"suburbs, was always full of sparking trinkets and glorious food. She used to make me jello and whipped cream parfaits that seemed impossible to create, but my grandmother was even able to add different flavors for the layers. That woman was no joke when it came to luxuries.
My grandmother is Catholic. So was everyone else she ever truly loved. I mean really Catholic. Everyday mass Catholic. Babies not baptized go to hell Catholic. Homosexuality is disgusting Catholic. Really. Shut UP, right? When I speak of church here, you can go ahead and visualize all the Catholic stuff that goes along with the concept. The incense, the statues, the bells, the beautiful edifices, the stained glass, the altar, the choral loft in the back, the ritual. Catholics have it all. It is a great religion, as religion goes. For the most part, Catholics leave each other alone. Put your money in the basket every week, preferably with you parish envelope that has your parish number on it, and they just mark you "present." It is relatively easy to pick and choose what parts of the dogma to buy into. But not for my gram, she bought the whole store.
Attending church with my grandmother was a sacred event. A mystery. A treasure. I would snuggle next to her mink coat, searching for mints or gum in her shiny pocket book. She loved me. She loved being with me. Having me with her, in that place where she was so at peace, was icing on her cake. She stroked my hair, pulled me in tight, whispered explanations of what was happening, what the priest was saying, and how important faith was. I would listen quietly and not fidget (too much) because her breath on my face smelled like peppermint and perfume, and her hair was always short and perfectly coiffed, and it tended to brush against my cheek as she spoke to me. The fact that she would chance upsetting the 'do' moved my heart. It still does.
Now that I am grown, and have children, I try to go to church as often as I can. The rules dictate attending mass once a month and make a confession once a year. I tend to break those rules by making confession as often as possible(free therapy), and getting to church a few times a month.
I like to hold my children close and smell the tops of their heads. I like to hush them and let them rummage around in my big bag looking for something to eat or play with. I like the time it gives us to just sit still and be close to one another. It has very little to do with faith.
Sometimes I get lazy. I want to spend my Sunday in my house on my couch reading the paper or watching my favorite show, CBS Sunday Morning, on TV.
And so what of faith? Where does it fit in? The peace that the hour in mass gives me is important, and the sense of community and stability and even history that it gives my children is priceless. But do I believe in God? Am I a follower of Jesus? Honestly, I don't know. I like to think so. I like to think there is a God looking over us. And I love the idea of a prophet.
Yesterday I didn't go to church. I planted flowers in my garden and I wrote a little more on my new novel. I played with my kids and I brought my grandmother over for a grilled hot dog. I would like to think that if it is all true...God, Jesus, etc... that my choice to put my hands in the earth and nurture my girls, as well as the woman who nurtured me, would be a choice that would please them, those Gods of mine.
* Another Dreaded Repost. I wrote one today about Catholicism, but pulled it down. I'm still getting to know this blogging world. Is it like regular society... where we get to talk about everything EXCEPT religion, politics and money?*