Why I am a Terrible Catholic: A Lenten Self-Analysis

Don’t get me wrong- I don’t feel that I’m a bad person per se. I do my best to be an honest, compassionate, kind, generous, and caring person every day. It just seems to be specifically living my faith where I fall short time and time again. It being the middle of Lent now, I feel it’s high time to call myself out on a few things:

1. I don’t go to Church, at least, not nearly as often as I should. I make plans to go, almost every week- but something always seems to get in the way. I accidentally sleep through my alarm for Saturday night Mass (I work nights,so daytime sleeping is my thing). Or I just couldn’t stay up long enough Sunday morning for Mass. Or I just make the choice to be lazy.

“Oh, I’ll go next week,” is a consistent thing for me. There is no excuse for it, and I need to buckle down and go. Especially since the D is so supportive of me going, pursuing my faith, and more than happy to do it alongside me. He actually wants to go to RCIA classes when they start back up in September. He has a bit more conviction than I do, and I should be learning from that. (For those of you who don’t know: RCIA is the Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults.)

To curb this, I’m going to make this public announcement: “I will stay up for morning Mass tomorrow morning, which the D and I will attend together.”

Now, if I don’t go, I have to come back here and tell you all how lazy I was.

2. I have little to no willpower. To me, “giving up” something has always been more like “cutting down drastically”. Kids who decide to give up their favorite candy or snack probably do a hell of a lot better at sticking to it than I do. Of course, it isn’t intentional- but that’s no excuse. I am an adult, and should be capable of exhibiting a certain amount of self control.

3. I do not pay attention. I’m the sort of introverted person who will be off in her own little world, not paying attention, and then suddenly realize that I just cut someone off in traffic. Or was unintentionally rude. When I notice that I’ve done something like that, I do my best to apologize when possible, but I know there are probably dozens more times when I don’t catch it.

I’ve come to see myself as the derpy sheep in Jesus’ flock…

The one where every time he turns around, has unwittingly gotten itself into some sort of trouble. Without fail, He always comes to my rescue, because I am sincerely trying. I just seem to have more shortcomings than most of the other sheep.

For a long time, I had abandoned my faith. Mostly, because with failure after failure, I started to feel a sense of total defeat and despair. More recently, especially with Pope Francis’ words condoning forgiveness, patience and acceptance, I’ve begun to feel significantly more worthy of trying.

It’s helped me see past the failures, and see them as new opportunities to learn and improve myself. It’s comforting, and makes me feel as though even when I don’t succeed, I’m still worthy of God’s love, and the love and acceptance of the congregation- as are all people regardless of creed, gender, political stance, race, and sexual identity. We are all God’s children.

Even the derpiest members of the flock.

The derpiest sheep

The derpiest sheep

What are some ways that you could better live your faith, whatever religion you follow?

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