Sunday, March 31, 2013

God is Good (the church is not)

When I became pregnant I started praying regularly each night before bed, and occasionally before big doctor's appointments and significant events (like labor). What is it about carrying another human being and subsequently bringing him into the world that forces one to find God again? In my case, fear and worry.

I was raised a Catholic. Loosely. I went to Catholic school (until 5th grade), I had all my sacraments (except marriage in a church), and went to mass (occasionally). My parents didn't really instill a strong sense of religion or God in me, although I often heard "so help me God", "Goddamn it, Courtney" and "oh my God" around my house.

The only other time I can recall praying this consistently and formally was in my late teen years, when my father gave me a Prayer to Mary imploring her for help. He would be horrified to know that I used it to pray for boys to like me, and that I didn't get AIDS or pregnant. And so you understand why I am elated that I had a boy.

That aside, now that I'm a Mommy, I find myself saying his prayers and mine each night. And having him baptized is of the utmost importance despite my loose faith. I believe in God, maybe not like the Catholic church says I should, but you'd be crazy not to think there isn't some sort of higher power. I mean, how else do you explain conception? Or bacon? I've done a lot of bargaining with God in my day, and he/she/heshe has always been a source of comfort.

So I decided to have my child baptized in Pennsylvania because his Godparents are there, and it's significantly easier for us to get to them than vice-versa. In order to have your baby baptized in a visiting parish, you need a letter from your parish allowing the baby to be baptized somewhere else. I take issue with that in itself, but it isn't the worst of it. My parish apparently didn't think I contributed enough money to write me a letter allowing the baptism. No, I'm not kidding.

They had listed me as an "inactive member".  They've seen too few offertory envelopes in my name come through. Now it's true, I don't go to church as often as I should. Ok, almost never. But it's where I would go if I did go, and I've thrown them some dough out of guilt over the years. And I don't need to go to church to believe, be grateful, or worship in my own way.

$50 and a preparation class later, we'll be having our baptism.

Damn Catholics.

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