Saturday, February 25, 2012

Catholic Guilt

Yes. I am a recovering Catholic. I say that with as much lightheartedness as one can muster. I believe in God, and Jesus, and for the most part I try to be a decent Christian. (Yes, for the most part, because sometimes I'm a hateful bitch, and it's the furthest from Christian you will see.)

What I can't wrap my head around is religion. Religion upsets me. Catholicism especially. It is so rigid, and based on so many traditions that make little sense to me.

See I was raised Catholic. Catholics raised in the 'old' generation were raised on good old fashion guilt. If you're Catholic, you know exactly what I mean.

After years of private Catholic school, and the nuns... yes the nuns, I'm a bit traumatized. (All Catholics who went to Catholic school just did a collective shudder. The nuns still scare us!) After years of religiosity, I can't seem to be able to practice my faith. I can't get past the punishing God idea. As a child I don't remember being aware of the merciful side of God. Of course now as an adult, I KNOW there is mercy because I have been at the receiving end of that mercy.

The worst part is the Catholic guilt I feel.

I feel guilty for not raising my children in the Catholic faith, especially when someone makes a Biblical reference and my children are clueless. My son isn't even baptized. *deep sigh*

I feel guilty that I don't go to church. I don't even do the special church days like Christmas and Easter.

I feel guilty that I try to give something up for Lent, and always fail miserably. I console myself by saying: "It's not like you are a practicing Catholic anyways!"

I feel guilty that I love visiting churches and collecting rosaries, but haven't said a rosary in over 20 years.

I feel guilty that my analytical History teacher mind questions the veracity of the Bible and of the religious practices created by the Catholic Church.

I feel guilty that I question my religion and faith, and that is why I don't practice it.

I feel guilty when I try to "test drive" other churches. I feel more guilt when I have enjoyed attending a service at someplace other than a Catholic mass.

I feel guilty when I get angry at those people that post long Biblical verses or prayers on their FB. I feel like they are showing off their faith, and it makes me mad which in turn fuels my guilt.

Then I feel guilty for feeling guilty and the cycle begins again.

I want my faith to bring me peace. I want to practice a religion that brings me closer to God, not closer to rituals and symbology. I want to my children to understand what it means to be a good Christian and what it means to live a life in Faith. I also want them to understand the history of the Catholic Church and what it has meant through the ages. I just can't seem to find that balance between faith and religion.

Do you have problems with your faith? Do you find it harder to practice the older you get? How have you raised your children in faith? Do you experience guilt over your faith and/or religion?

*I like it when you read....LOVE it when you comment!*


  1. I am a born and raised Catholic girl, too. I understand completely what you are feeling. As a family, we don't go to Mass. My husband is not Catholic. Both of my boys are baptized, but nothing more. I felt guilty for a long time, too. Then, I figured out that God is not religion. I have a strong faith in Christ because of the sacrifice He made for us. We found a church that is a Bible teaching church. As a Catholic, I think that the sermons are a perfect complement to Mass. Faith is only as strong as you want it to be. It has nothing to do with whether you are going to Mass.

  2. I understand where you are coming from. I was brought up in a Lutheran church, went every Sunday, did youth group, church camp every summer. I inturn took my girls and did basically the same for them. But now I am trying to get through my anger at all things religion. It seems everyone has to say theirs is better or your going to heaven for sure if you stay with them vs any other. The wars that have been and are being fought over religion well it all turns me off the older I get. So I pray alot to the man upstairs and ask for help and mention quite often how thankful I am for all the blessing I have. Hopefully I can learn to be a better person by staying close to him without all the middle men!!! Sorry if this is a bit controversial, but it's how I feel.