Friday five: Ways I have failed God*

It is the Holy Week and it is time to count the many ways in which I have failed as a Catholic.

1. The only thing I know about Good Friday is that when I was a kid, you could go to church and have your feet washed. This probably wasn’t just when I was a kid – this is probably going on in a church near me right now – but it is all I know of the GF. Right now I’m contemplating guessing at what transpired on Good Friday, but I’m reeeeeally concerned about embarrassing myself. All right. The crucifixion. I checked my work on Wikipedia to be sure. I’m not totally dumb.

2. When I was in college, while walking past one of the myriad Catholic schools named Assumption Something-or-other, I asked my friend Jenny about the assumption. Jenny went to Catholic school and knows these things. I said, “What was the Assumption anyway. What was Assumed?” Jenny, in her most patient Jenny voice explained that “Mary was assumpted to heaven.” Ah, I thought. It’s like one of those words in Webster’s that has two definitions. Got it.

3. I think Catholicism is much like Alcoholism. It is deeply entrenched in your being, and even though you abstain from its practices, you will never be free. Hence, the term “Recovering Catholic.” I am a Recovering Catholic, married to a Recovering Catholic, therefore by request there was zero mention of God in our wedding ceremony.

4. Transubstantiation? Pshaw! The only place I believe bread comes to life is the back of my cupboard. (In fact, this happens quite regularly.) And red wine can transform itself into one of two things: vinegar or a pounding headache. Not blood though…not blood.

5. I feel very VERY guilty right now (See? Entrenched!), and I’d DIE if my grandmother or mother-in-law ever read any of this. Ooh, add to that my brother-in-law. Seriously, I’m having trouble hitting publish. Which reminds me, recently my mother called me over to her house to go through some boxes so she could organize the basement. She watched as I went through my boxes of college notebooks (she was very impressed by the pages upon pages of History of the Far East notes that I had written completely backward – hindsight was 20/20 on that one studying for finals in the bathroom so I could hold my notes up to the mirror). Somewhere in the middle of box 4 or so, I found a framed picture of Jesus from a Confirmation retreat I had gone on in high school. “I know I’m not religious or anything anymore,” I said, “but I don’t feel right throwing Jesus away.” My mother laughed, “That’s exactly what your sister said!” So now we have these random framed pictures of Jesus hanging out in various drawers and cabinets in my parents’ house that make you jump about a mile when you accidentally stumble upon them.

[I just combed Google Images for that particular picture of Jesus, because he was kinda hot. I’m sure he’ll pop up on me sometime soon, and maybe I’ll add him in.]

* Luckily, if there is a god, I strongly believe he or she or it has a fantastic sense of humor. See how summoning religion can be useful? When all else fails, God thinks I’m funny….



  1. Laura said

    HA! “I just combed Google Images for that particular picture of Jesus, because he was kinda hot.” Do you remember which of our dear friends, after beers, famously said: “Jesus Christ is hot. I’d ride him.”??

    I think about it all the time.

    • ifyoubelievethenclap said

      I’m seriously considering going to my mom’s and looking for Jesus. Maybe I’ll put him up on Easter Sunday!

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