Browsing All posts tagged under »Catholicism«

Afterthoughts (Part 4)

October 2, 2013

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Time, I eventually figured out, was a critical factor. Centuries could pass, and you might sit there in Purgatory, shuffling from one depressing room to another, and watching as your great-great-grandchildren are born, grow up, die, and through some fluke of good luck, go straight to Heaven. By then, of course, no one would be […]

Afterthoughts (Part 2)

September 16, 2013

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If Hell was the bottom of existence, a fiery chasm where the despicable and the disobedient sank and settled and stayed forever, then Heaven was the top. Floating above the loftiest peaks and even the highest clouds, it was a place infused with yellow sunlight and immeasurable goodness. All interactions there were calm and devoid […]

Ringing in My Ears

October 31, 2012

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The year was 1964, and the day had begun like most other days at my Catholic school. But the next thing I knew, we were all standing and filing out the door, row by row. I’m sure I had no idea where we were going, but it was the fourth grade and I had learned […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 4)

October 12, 2012

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The Mormons came to the door again last night, and I didn’t handle it well. The last time they showed up – several months ago – I invited them in. Maybe I was in a better mood then, or felt sorry for them because it was raining so hard, or because it was late and […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 3)

October 4, 2012

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“I knew I was finished with religion.” Well, not quite. Actually, not even close. I went through a period of resentment and anger toward my early education, feelings that dissipated over time, day by day, as I drifted into my twenties. But when necessary or convenient, it was always easy to blame the Catholic Church […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 2)

September 25, 2012

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My grandmother died on March 3rd, 1966. The event struck the family like a cue ball smacking hard against the pack, scattering everyone to distant parts of New York State, and then to the far reaches of the country. Heading northwest out of the Bronx, my immediate family began to adjust to the exotic landscape […]

Wondering What to Believe (Part 1)

September 16, 2012

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I am like a lot of people. In the beginning, long before I knew what was happening, religion was planted inside of me. Grafted, really. Nourished by holy water and incense, its vines spread everywhere, like ivy growing up around the trunk and along the branches of an evergreen. Soon it was impossible to tell […]

Confection and Crucifixion

April 4, 2012

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Easter approaches once again, and as usual, it arrives at the far edge of a forty-six day cloud of confusion. At least for me. Thinking back on it now, I’m not surprised that I found the entire season incomprehensible. I was baffled by far simpler things — carbon paper, reversible shirts, and those tiny cereal […]

Minor Indiscretions (Part 2)

June 21, 2011

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Both second-grade classes were lined up along the side wall in the back of the church. Several nuns stood nearby, watching over us and offering whispered suggestions and reassuring looks. It was our First Confession, and we were all nervous. Each time the line lurched forward, I realized another soul had been bleached clean, but […]

Does God Exist? Yes, and No.

July 27, 2010

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Is there a God? As a child, I never heard anyone ask this question. We skipped over it, at home and in my Catholic school. The questions we jumped to were from the Baltimore Catechism: Who made us? (God made us.) Who is God? (God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things […]