Lucie’s Version of Faith (as a 6 yr. old and now)

A number of months ago, a member of our church’s worship committee approached me and asked if I would write something on “faith” and read it during the Sunday service in November.

 

The following is an excerpt from what I wrote:

 

I was baptized and confirmed a Roman Catholic and from the “get go” tried very hard to be faithful to my religion and Italian heritage.

 

However, like the true Unitarian that I am now (and unknowingly was then), I never could quite grasp the Catholic version of perpetual guilt, sin, and not eating hotdogs (meat) on Fridays.

 

I constantly questioned my Mom on why I had to wear a frilly lookin’ hat to church every Sunday that inevitable either choked me or squashed my brains (depending on whether or not it was one of those under-the-chin “tie hats” or one of those lovely tie-less “spring action sweet hearts” that was meant to stay on your head by means of some spring loaded do-hicky that supposedly put “gentle pressure” on your left and right temples!)

 

Her perfunctory and all-wise response to my pleas for mercy: “Lucie, you don’t have to wear either one of these hats” and she nimbly placed a snot rag on my head with one of her chewed-up bobby pins that she always seemed to have on her that just magically appeared out of nowhere from that bottom-less pit of a pocket book that she dragged around with her.

 

“And,” she continued while adeptly arranging the tissue on my head and raising that dam left eyebrow of hers while eyeballing me, “Eat all the hot dogs you want on Fridays. I’ll miss seeing you in heaven.”

 

And if that wasn’t enough guilt for an impressionable, trusting 6 year old, my oldest brother, Anthony, convinced me that I was going straight to hell because I had eaten the body and blood of Jesus Christ and now had to be punished!

 

Punished.

 

Yep.

 

A 6 year old who didn’t want to stay back in her church pew, innocently follows her big brother up to the alter to get something to eat and drink like everyone else and I’m going to hell because: (a.) I went up to the alter before my first communion and (b.) I chewed the wafer (a.k.a. the body and blood of JC, himself)!

 

Yes-siree-Bob!

 

That’s me: wafer-chewing Lucie. Going straight to hell in a hand basket. Ate baby Jesus before I even had my first communion and now at the ripe old age of six was “going straight to hell!”

 

Anthony (who was all of 9, at the time) told me this, so it must be true.

 

After church that Sunday, I ran sobbing all the way to Nonie’s house, totally guilt-ridden and ashamed.

 

(Forget about passing “Go”and collecting my two hundred dollars! About the only reward I was going to get out of this whole deal was a one-way ticket to the fiery gates of hell! And I had my own sorry six-year-old ass to thank for it!)

 

I stumbled up her front porch steps, threw open the door and cried, “Nonie! Nonie! I ate baby Jesus and I’m going to hell.”

 

“Anthony told me to wait in the pew and I didn’t. I went up to the alter and ate baby Jesus and now I’m going to hell.”

 

Now my Nonie (who was never quick to react to anything), grabbed ahold of me, hugged me into her safe, warm bosoms and quietly assured me, “Lucie, non jah you worry. Your Nonie keepa you safe.”

 

“Here,” she continued, stabbing one of the meatballs simmering in her sauce. “Eatta meatball and stoppa you crying. I gonna talka to your brother and we gonna talk about who’s a going to hell, first!”

 

Nonie was great.

 

So you see, People, from the moment I had that Kleenex put on my head with a bobby pin to the moment I ran to my Nonie’s house screaming, “I ate Baby Jesus”,  to the time I declared to my Mother (as a 16 year old) that I thought Catholicism was hypocritical, and I wasn’t going to step foot into another Catholic church again, to the moment I signed the membership book at my local church – I’ve been questioning my definition of “faith”.

 

And I continue to grapple with the definition because “faith,” like me, is ever changing and ever illusive; and just when I think I know what it is, I read something, hear something or see something that changes my perspective, changes my definition.

 

Rest assured, People. Of this I am certain: I have faith in me; faith that I will get up every day and put one foot in front of the other and with God’s help (and a little help from my friends) will get through the day, no matter what he or she or the universe has in store for me.

 

I wish you well, People. I wish you peace. And above all, I wish you an understanding of “life” standing in someone else’s shoes.

 

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published by

Lucie

After much encouragement and prodding by family, friends and professionals, I (a former Special ed. teacher and consultant from Northern Ca.) decided to take my FACEBOOK postings on my silly life with my life partner and 2 wacky cats and share them with a broader audience. I've brought laughter and joy to a number of people now for quite a few months and sincerely hope that I can bring a chuckle or two to all who read my bi- weekly entries on my blog. (Now let's hope that I can muster enough competence to figure out how to use this site in a reasonably competent fashion, so that I still have fun writing and others can actually "find me"!!!!) I wish all who enter "Lucie's World" much joy and laughter and ask that if I've touch your life in any way and made you giggle or smile, that you "pay it forward" for the week and share a moment or two of laughter with someone that you care about....

19 thoughts on “Lucie’s Version of Faith (as a 6 yr. old and now)”

  1. Believe me, as a reformed Missouri Synod Lutheran, I understand your guilt exactly. I’ve always claimed the LC-MS is the Protestant branch of the Catholic Church – “My way, or the highway”. We were taught to fear God, not to love Him. I am delighted to be where I am now – a loyal daughter of the Church of England, where God loves everybody, not JUST me, but ESPECIALLY me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Believe me, as a reformed Missouri Synod Lutheran, I understand EXACTLY the guilt you felt. (I’ve always said LCMS is the Protestant equivalent of Catholicism.) We weren’t taught to love God, but only to fear him. I’m quite happy now as an Episcopalian, where God loves everybody, not just even me, but ESPECIALLY me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is really entertaining! That must have been awful when your brother told you that you were going to go straight to Hell. I’ve never thought I was going to go to Hell, luckily 🙂 But I did used to take everything about God literally. I felt really bad that I didn’t ever want to have kids, because I thought that women were created to have children.

    And this is sort of unrelated, but I used to pray to God for my own chocolate river, and I also asked “Him” to grant me another river made out of Ribena.

    Jamila x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It WAS awful, J! But my brother was just repeating what HE was taught as an obedient Catholic. As an “old lady”, the God that I choose to love today is a kind, loving God that doesn’t send 6 year olds straight to HELL for making mistakes…. 🙂 Your “chocolate river” is funny. I always prayed for “tuna fish and cheese puffs”…..guess I was always “craving them”, as a youngster… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I see. I wondered whether he had said it on purpose to make you scared, or whether he’d believed it – but now I understand. Haha, that is really cute that you prayed for tuna fish and cheese puffs.

        Like

  4. this is wonderful, lucie. when i was 7, i was waited to confess my ‘sins’ and decided i would leave the church as soon as i was allowed to. i reasoned out the irony of making up a sin (lying) in order to be forgiven and then receive communion. kids don’t really commit sins, and isn’t lying one of them anyway? i couldn’t agree with any of it, and wanted nuns to be in charge not just the men and thought they should all be allowed to have partners, and my parents didn’t really practice what they preached so none of it made sense to me. i also had the handkerchief and even kleenex in a pinch, placed on my head as i made my way into church. since i’ve been able to decide i can’t really find any one doctrine that i can adhere to, most rely on guilt and sin and hellfire and negativity and fear. the closest i can come is the buddhist way of thinking all about kindness and compassion – that is all i need and i do my best to live that way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG! I just spent the last 10 minutes responding to your lovely comment and LOST my reply!!! Who the hell knows where it went?! Maybe in one of those darn “clouds” that are out there! Well, anyways, what I SAID was that I could so relate to what you said. I actually made up a whole slew of lies just to have stuff to tell the priest! I never really had anything to “confess” (back in those days, you didn’t dare “be bad”!), so I just created one whopper after another! (Actually, I think they’d make for a good blog! What do you think???) 🙂 Nice to know someone else had to walk down the aisle with a dam Kleenex pinned on her head. Ya wanna tell me why the BOYS didn’t hafta wear some dorky hat?! Seriously! In our culture “the boys” were miniature GODS!!! Is it a wonder I’m gay?! (Just joking!!) :)p Anyway, you, my Princess and many of my friends would get along very well. We, too, like the teachings and doctines of Buddism…..how can you “diss” a religion that believes in patience, love, kindness and compassion? Thanks, again, Beth for taking the time to read me and respond. I am so humbled when people take the time to read me ( I KNOW I’m a tad “wordy”, at times!) Now you’ve got me thinkin’ about some “future postings”…..Have a good one, Kiddo! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your stories. Whether they are serious, funny or a little of both. They are truly straight from your heart and soul. That’s what makes them a “great read”. Love U

    Liked by 1 person

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