My Roots Are Showing

images-7Yesterday I went to confession.  Don’t know what possessed me, but there I was face to face with a priest I don’t particularly like.

The new thing is, no confessional.  You sit opposite one another in folding chairs I suppose so you can cringe better.

This is the man I’ll call Father Grim since he has no sense of humor, who welcomed me back into the church in the early 90s.  I had left because another priest at St. Patrick’s, the Taj Mahal of New York churches, told me I was a sinner and couldn’t return till I moved out of my boyfriend’s house.  I was in my mid-twenties and so devastated I wrote to the pope, receiving no response of course.  I remember weeping on the church steps feeling I had no place to go if God’s door was shut to me.

Catholics can be so damned dramatic.

One of the reasons I’m not fond of Father Grim is he took sides in a dispute between me and another parishioner – a married man I was canoodling with.  He blamed it all on me as if I had led this lech down the wrong path with my feminine wiles.  Truth be told, he chased me like a fox at a hunt.  I never claimed to be innocent jumping headfirst into the trap, but it takes two to pray, as they say.

I hesitated going to him to unload my guilt, but so wanted to get the whole thing over with, and this is someone who doesn’t even consider herself Catholic anymore.  A believer yes, but not with all the legislated bells and whistles.

My first blurt was how I blame God for everything because where the hell is he most of the time.  Kids dying, people starving, planes crashing.  The environment having the shit knocked out of it with a government who doesn’t care.  What could he be thinking, that God.

How’s that for an opening?

He said, none of this is God’s fault.  Things happen.  How typical.  It’s a pity someone else couldn’t hear confessions like your dry cleaner or dentist.  Someone more democratic where religion is concerned.  Instead of 6 Our Fathers you get a little plaque removed.

My next charming remark was, “Yeah, that’s what you think – look what he did to his own son.  Does he just hate kids, is that it?”

How obnoxious was I?

He told me about a book I should read he’d lend me, taking out a small notebook to remind himself to leave it at the Parish House.  It might help change my views, he said.

Hmm, I said.

“Life is full of unwanted events, and we just need to deal with them with grace and dignity.”

After saying I hated several people listing them by first name, he blessed me and that was that.

As I got up to leave he said, “My memory’s going so I’m sorry to ask, what’s your first name again?”

This stunned me since we’ve known one other for over twenty years.

“Susannah,” I said quietly.

“Like I said Susannah, life is filled with unwanted events, like old age.”

He said this with a great deal of grace and dignity, so I cut him some slack, then went straight to a bar.   I mean, let’s face it, wine is the best part of being Catholic, even if you’re not all that Catholic anymore.     6a00d8341bf67c53ef017c3165db32970b-pi There there….it’s okay. Bark a coupla Hail Marys and we’ll call it even.

SB

 

 

 

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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31 Responses to My Roots Are Showing

  1. I could swear Susannah (I know I shouldn’t) sometimes I think you’re channeling me. :O)

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  2. micklively says:

    You may have noticed we (i.e. the Brits) are in the throes of an election at present. We have the same problem with our Tory government as you do with God’s representative on Earth. Everything good that’s happened is absolutely their handy-work and all the shit is nothing to do with them (in fact it was probably a plot hatched by those who would get elected in their place). It would all be so much more convincing if they (Christians and Tories) were ever able to say in advance what they would enact, rather than the elaborate game of serendipity they normally play. Thieves and liars!
    Good post Susannah.

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  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    No more confessionals? Say it ain’t so, Susannah! I haven’t been to confession in many decades, but like the anonymity of the darkness and screen. No way would I sit knee to knee while I unload my sins.

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  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Having been raised catholic myself I understand completely where you are coming from Susannah. What is it with this face-to-face encounter? Isn’t it excruciating enough to list your downfalls and sins to another without having to look them in the eye? I wonder if the higher-ups all sit in a circle and discuss how to change things. The church was working just find the way it was and now it seems every time you walk through the door there is something different which really is a blow if you don’t frquent enough to get in on the ground floor. You look around wondering if you are in the right place. ~Elle

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  5. Rubenstein, Hal says:

    You know, I never really got why anyone would confess to a priest who knows nothing about life, other than what he’s taught in church school and makes up whatever comes to his mind about your digressions. You live your life and do what you do, why people think they have to spill their guts out is crazy. I don’t care what religion you are, you make your choices and live with them, the rabbi or priest or whomever is not going to put you on the path to heaven, by confessing or cleansing your soul.
    After hearing about all these confessions from friends, and the reputation of people of the cloth, it just makes my stomach turn.
    I know it’s ingrained in your CT soul, but you’re a smart get up and go gal who knows what she wants, enjoys and what she’s done, and I think can live with it all, without confessing and being hasseled.
    Love ya
    Hal

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    • How much coffee have you had Halski….you go towards what you know even if deep down you think it’s bogus. My friend Ed just asked if it made me feel better. No, it didn’t. I actually felt worse since it kicked up a lot of dust.

      I saw Carmela the same day. We had a fight over a tennis ball that wasn’t hers. “Thou Shall Not Steal,” I said to her ….and she looked at me and said, “Screw the 10 commandments okay Susannah?”

      Happy Passover Hal

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  6. There isn’t enough wine to get me to sit in a chair and tell someone all the nasties I’ve done. Some things should be between you and God and maybe your therapist….maybe. Ok, I confess to my cats. Absolution always involves Friskies. Hope you feel cleansed.

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  7. Pingback: DOUBLE DUTY SHOULD COUNT FOR EXTRA POINTS | Finding Myself Through Writing

  8. Lynn says:

    I was chatised this morning for saying the word fuck on such a holy day. By a Catholic. I am not religious so doesn’t affect me much but I then continued with a slew of consecutive fucks just to get a rise out of her. Must be something in the air. Perhaps the Easter Bunny is not shitting out enough chocolate eggs.

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  9. AF says:

    you’re so brilliant.

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  10. I’ve never been to confession (not being Catholic) but when I was a kid I thought confession meant you had to go up in front of church and announce all your sins to everyone. Luckily that’s not the case. 🙂 Still, I think I’d like the confessional better than sitting face to face.

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    • Confession is ridiculous when you think about it. My roots were definitely showing by going. All the rules and regulations of the Catholic church brand you like cattle. Even lapsed they sneak up on you.

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  11. This is a phenomenal post. I felt like I was right there with you all the way.
    I always disliked the face to face confessionals. Who came up with that idea?
    A new way to torture the Catholics to come back to the fold. lol
    I think wine should be served upon entering the church. It would help make everything –
    including kneeling – feel so much better.
    WELL DONE …!!! 😎

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