Monday, May 19, 2008


I have decided that you would not mind if I brought my dog (my fictional one at the moment) over to your house to do his business on your lawn. I am ever so happy about this. I used to carry around a baggie but that was disgusting and ever so much work. Now, my doggie can do his dodo and it doesn’t matter!

Now, your reaction to this might be, “That’s all find and dandy that you have decided I don’t mind, but you should ask me. I may have a different idea about your doggie’s dodo than you do.” But believing this makes me feel better about myself, releases me of responsibility, and saves me from having to dispose of the stuff.

This scenario makes me wonder if this is how God feels when someone says, “Oh, God forgives me for that,” or “God doesn’t care about that.” Perhaps it is the case that they are not so much saying God is forgiving them but rather that they are forgiving themselves and relinquishing themselves of responsibility. A dangerous game to play.

Sometimes this is countered with, “Well, my God would not care about that.” As Catholics we believe we only have one God and He has told us exactly that about which He cares and exactly what to do about it if we should trample on it.

There is a similar case of when a person announces thier beloved dead ones are in heaven. “We know God was waiting for her! She strolled right into heaven!” That is a very complimentary and beautiful thing to say but it may lead to a person being denied the prayerful support they need in order to make it quickly there.

These seemingly trite sayings if taken too seriously could have consequences with which we would not be comfortable if we truly knew what was going on. I cannot think of a situation in which I would be comfortable saying them without some sort of theological basis on which to base them.

One other line that always perks my ears up comes at the end of a confession. “That is what I want to work on for now.” Or “That is all I want to confess.” Is there more? Is something being willingly retained? Should I probe? Or is this just a way of saying, “I’m finished”?

Perhaps it would be best if all three of these sayings would be wiped off the Catholic paying field as too dangerous to play around with.


Anonymous said...

Great analogy!

But I'm worried about one thing...where is the "paying field"? How much do I have to shell out? I've never been directed there....


Anonymous said...

Judging by my own usual way of confessional wrap-up (a hesitation... and then, "For these sins and all my sins.."), I'd say go ahead and probe; it's now or (perhaps) never that it'll reach the Light.

What?? Are you telling me my sweet and devout Mere Mere may not have strolled right into Heaven, after all her suffering and sorrows, sacrificing and love? Fella (uh, Fr. Fella) we are talking about someone who sang to kittens while she rocked them to sleep!

Well, you know, she herself would've been the last to think she would simply stroll into Heaven. And by God, that reminds me.. I have not had a Mass offered for anyone in the family for years. It's time.


Marcus Aurelius said...

To me catholicism always has a concrete, perceivable link with reality. My sense is that my conscience informs me when something is super wrong (like murder) or not so wrong (like masturbation). So I don't persume to dictate to the church what is right and wrong but I do follow my conscience on where to place my emphasis.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Carol...ask if you think there's more. And maybe you might want to consider posting a good examination of conscience with regard to sins that MUST be confessed, and maybe some suggestions in how to confess some of the more difficult ones?

Anonymous said...

I always end my confession with, "I'm sure there's more but that's all I could think of." I try to make a good examination of conscience before going in, so I know that even if I forgot a sin, I didn't do it on purpose.

Anonymous said...

And please know that a hiding spot (screen, large paper bag, a pull-out dolly for our easier sliding under the lovely upholstered chair) is an utterly crucial option for those of us who are so nervous or shy, we invariably develop some sort of Cosmo Kramer syndrome the moment we have to sit down and confess face to face.