"Bless you, what’s your confession?"
I started out easy.
"Bless me father it has been one week since my last confession. I have
sinned. I disobeyed my mother by not helping with the dishes. I teased my
younger brothers. I argued with my father."
Knowing I needed more, I added.
"I cheated on a test"
The latter an offering gasp to offset my failure to mention my impure act of self-abuse. As I said it I knew it was another sin.
I just lied to a priest!
"Is there anything else?"
As usual my penance was three Hail Marys and Our Fathers with a little lecture on studying more to avoid cheating, normal venial sins punishment.
Instead of feeling clean as I pushed the curtain aside and exited to do my
penance before the altar worse guilt assailed me than prior to entering. I was
among the damned, in mortal sin, doomed to eternal hell if suddenly killed in
an atomic attack or hit by a car.
I considered doing a bigger penance to correct for my mortal sins but knew
only a priest could wipe away my transgressions. I was damned unless I fessed
up to it all which I couldn't.
Sunday Mom insisted I attend Mass and go to Holy
Communion as usual. I tried to eat something first to provide an excuse not to
as the Catholic Church required not only a soul cleansed of mortal sins but
also a fast from midnight before communion back then.
She, however, watched to
ensure I didn’t eat. At Mass I genuflected and crossed myself as we entered the
pew while my mind raced for an excuse to skip communion. Kneeling during the
service my quandary found no resolution and I switched to obdurate sinner. With
no excuse when she rose in the pew and motioned me; I morosely followed her to
the altar railing, knelt, stuck out my tongue, and took communion and walked
back to our pew with God the Trinity in my mouth and my soul in unrepentant mortal
God’s in my impure body, there’s no salvation for me now.
I tried to behave in the shower but soon sinned again. With mortal sins
piling up and unable to wipe the slate clean I repudiated my parochial
orthodoxy, stopped carrying Saint Teresa's holy picture in my purse and stopped
wearing my Saint Christopher medal knowing I would never be a nun.
Accepting my soul was damned; committing other sins no longer mattered. I created an elaborate disingenuous secret puppet who abetted soapy showers and eventually led to a life of adultery.