Friday, February 27, 2009


I've moved away from Catholicism.  I believe I'm the only one of us who intentionally has.  My mom sees the Advengineer at Mass sometimes, I think Ninja is an occasional church goer, and AMDG, well I guess the answer is in the name.  Funny, since I, the youth ministry leader and church lector (the person who stands in front of the congregation and reads the day's reading) was probably the most involved and fervently devoted of us all.

I still go to Mass with my mom and my lita when I'm home in OC.  They like having me come, and I like singing.  I don't say the prayers out loud - even though they run through my mind - years of training, it never goes away.  When the time for communion comes I walk up to the front, cross my arms on my chest and lower my head, then I'm given the non-communion blessing.  That's generally as far as my Catholicism goes these days.

I continued to attend weekly Mass during my first year and a half of college.  After that point I found myself unable to reconcile the way the Church - through the Vatican, chooses to approach homosexuality.  I could no longer be a good faith member of a church that, at its core, is unable to fully accept me and my lifestyle.  I may be wrong in that decision, and maybe I'll reevaluate at some point, but for now, this is where I am.

The other day one of my many Catholic students (I'm an after-school teacher at a public school) pointed out to me that it was Ash Wednesday, I wouldn't have even realized if she hadn't said anything.  I loved Ash Wednesday and the lenten season when I was a kid.  When I had bangs I used to sculpt then specially - a side wave, so that you could still see the ashes beneath.  Then I would be really careful to make sure that I didn't disturb them so the mark would stay as long as possible.  I also liked giving something up, it was a challenge, the temptation to cheat always there but the desire to make it always a little stronger.  Then to end it all is Palm Sunday - you get a palm and weave it into a cross - fun, you think about how next year these will be the ashes on your forehead - cool.  I always made sure to wear sandals to Palm Sunday Mass.  That was when the priest would go around the church and wash a select few peoples' feet, the way Jesus had washed the feet of the apostles.  I always wanted to be chosen - I never was. 

There is something about the lenten season that still appeals to me.  I know the whole idea of "giving something up" during lent is to help you reflect on the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and bring you closer to God.  That's not really the part that I am interested in.  I like the idea of looking at your life and evaluating where something needs to or should be changed - something you indulge in too much, something you don't do enough, and then dedicating to making that change for 40 days.  It's like New Year's Resolution Plus, because you make a commitment to change but you make the commitment to God, so you have more motivation to see it through.  I think I'll "sacrifice" something this year, my first time since Lent 2001.  I'll let you know when I decide what.

So ladies, how about you?  What's your lenten sacrifice?


  1. Hello. Considering I can't remember the last time I went to mass (my mom stopped asking me if I wanted to go to mass with her when I was home because she knows I will say no), I will not be giving up anything for Lent this year. I think probably the last time I went to mass reguarly was first year of undergrad, and then I started only going when I was in OC, then I started only going on Christmas and Easter, and now I don't go at all.

    I think the kicker for me was when the Pope said Harry Potter was bad because it taught children about sorcery. Also, during the sermon of one of the last masses I went to, the priest said we were justified in invading Iraq because it was our mission to convert all of the Iraqis to Christians. The only thing that kept me from walking out was my mom sitting next to me.

    So no, Krusader, you're not the only one who has intentionally moved away from Catholicism.

  2. Ah, you were the one I wasn't sure about. So you are even less involved than me. Good to know. And by the way, I would have totally walked out, mom or not, and I think she would have agreed with me - she's pretty liberal about her Catholicism.

  3. 1. Shopping
    2. To go and help at a soup kitchen at least twice this lenten season.

    I like tradition...I still go to mass on major holidays, but after the whole priest and little boys mess a couple of years ago I have totally stopped going to mass regularly. Sad.

  4. Loved the excellent refection about Ash Wednesday! Bravo! It doesn't matter what you call yourself - Catholic- Christian- whatever - Lent is a time of reflection - the idea is one of dying to self - and raising to a better version of you - not your friends - not your parents - not even the cool person you admire - but the best version of yourself! God doesn't care if your Catholic - He only cares that you feed the hungry- cloth the naked - welcome the stranger - visit the sick & imprisoned and bury the dead - He is very clear in Matthew 25(?)He tells us what ever you did for the least of these you did for me -and he follows up by saying if you did not - then you have something to worry about.The only sadness about not being Catholic is depriving yourself of the incomparable opportunity to receive the Body & Blood of Christ – but this is something you will not realize until the day when you do.
    btw - yes I would have walked out.