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Next stop- Judaism

It’s Sunday morning.

I’m watching CBS Sunday Morning- turned up full blast so I can hear it over the kids’  fighting and screaming while I sip on my coffee and pretend they aren’t here.

This is my Sunday morning ritual.

A Sunday morning ritual that probably has my dad’s mom rolling in her grave.

My grandma was a devout, Church goin’ Catholic who bore 13 children and drank Stagg beer from frosty mugs and toked from unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes through each pregnancy. The woman that explained to my naive, knocked-up 16 year old mother that the child she was carrying WOULD be raised Catholic. Only 4ft 11 inches- my grandma was short in stature, but not on opinions or ideals. She was strong- she had to be- her husband (my grandpa) died suddenly from a heart attack while coaching one of his sons’ baseball games- leaving her to raise a brood.  I imagine her faith helped her through those tough times. 

My mom, on the other hand, was raised Christian. No name. No label. Non-denominational, if you will. Her mom, my grandma, also had a strong faith that got her through her husband’s untimely death when my mom was only 3.  My grandma was amazingly selfless and loving. She was a Sunday School teacher- The. Best. Sunday. School. Teacher. Ever. Everyone wanted to be in her class. The best crafts. The best snacks. The best games.  She was simply- the best!   

My mom  is very spiritual and has always longed for the feeling of belonging in a church community like both of my grandmas and, for whatever reason, finding that right fit has eluded her.  And, in effect, me.

I’m not exactly sure how my mom escaped baptising me until I was in second grade, but under my strong-armed Catholic grandma’s watchful eye, it was then that I was finally blessed with the Catholic waters, shuttled to Catholic school, and thus the washing over with Catholic guilt began.

My mom went through Catechism in her early 20′s, but she wasn’t much for keeping up with the Catholic rules.  The only time I went to mass was during school or when I would spend a Saturday night at a friend’s house.   Mom taught me to be kind to others and that God didn’t care if I was praying in Church or in my bed.  She taught me that our spirituality was our own, from within, and we didn’t have to put on a dress to share it.  I’m 95% sure that she decided on this so she could sleep in on Sundays,  good call.

I do remember occasionally  ”going to Catholic Church with my Aunts” (that was code for sneaking in the foyer and grabbing a bulletin as proof for my grandma that we had been.)

When I was 10, my parents divorced.   My mom’s limited knowledge of the Catholic faith, led her to believe that she, a divorcee, was unwelcome from that point on.  Catholicism never fit her and it was easy to leave.  She was at a spiritual crossroads and in search of a Church home.   She yearned for that perfect, non- judgemental, place of acceptance.  

Throughout my early teen years,  I was dragged from church to church, an accomplice on her journey of faith. I witnessed alleged speaking in tongues and healings.  My Wednesday nights were filled with people crying, “Alleluia”, waving their hands in the air and dropping to the ground with tears flowing down their face.   I had many a youth minister tell me, a 12 year old Catholic school girl with a religiously ambiguous and lost mother, to “let the spirit come out of me” and that  a different language would flow from my lips.  I’m not going to lie.  They freaked me the fuck out.  I’m truly still scarred from this.   

My mom has never found that languishing Divine comfort place.  I’m sad to say, either have I.   Her devotion to living her life as a good person and her belief in God has never waned.   Nor has mine.  

I believe in God. 

I’m just really hoping that he doesn’t keep a Chrurch attendance record at the pearly gates, though.


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14 comments to Next stop- Judaism

  • Kimmad

    I truly, truly believe that you don’t need that church attendance to feel or be spiritual. I am a “recovering” Catholic myself - even did the Catholic (all girls!) high school. And we’ve been looking for a place to worship. But, it’s not my top priority. But, sometimes it will fall into your lap and you have to try: My son’s best friend’s parents (and neighbors) moved here to open a satellite campus of a church — non-denominational, Christian. I’m taking it as a sign and checking it out. :)

  • Em

    With “bible” churches showing up in every retail strip mall around here, I too have found myself listening to God on my own, versus enjoying the ritual of religion.

    I’d like to think that I may speak to my Maker, and visa versa, whenever we both find the need and/or the desire.

    P.S. I totally dig CBS Sunday Morning too, trumpets and all. It reminds me of my childhood and preparing for church - my father would always polish his shoes in front of the t.v. I always find it uplifting and positive - not things normally found through “news.”

  • Jen

    If they do check church attendance records in Heaven I’m totally screwed. Glad to hear that I’ll know someone in Hell. :)

  • Tara R.

    I’ll be right there with you hoping there’s not a score card. I was raised a lot like you were. I consider myself spiritual, but not overly religious.

    I would have rather spent my youthful Sunday mornings watching Rocky and Bullwinkle. At the time, little did I realize, I would have gotten more out of them than some of the sermons I was forced to sit through.

  • Kat

    I was not raised in any church, all the ones I attended were because I asked my mom if I could go with my friends. I never felt like I fit in any of them. When I had my first son, I decided he should have some kind of base religion to go off of, so I semi-looked around. One night a work a nice young couple mentioned that they were Baha’is. The word stuck in my head and when I finally, a month later, got around to looking it up, I found that it was for me! It was almost everything I’d believed in on my own, in a religion. That was five years ago and I’m just now starting to actually start practicing the Faith. Not attending something that doesn’t feel right to you, probably won’t piss God off. Hope not anyway. :)

  • Mary Jo

    I understand where you are coming from, I was raised by God fearing parents who never attended church. At 18 I found a church with my sister and we attended, but never quite fit in. It’s been about 9 years since I’ve attended a church and like you, I hope there is no attendance record. Although if God is a forgiving, loving God like he’s supposed to be… I’m sure we are fine.

  • Jo

    I am totally with you on this one!

  • domestic extraordinaire

    I think its enough just to believe.

  • AmyAmyBoBamey

    I hope it’s enough to just believe because that’s all I got! We don’t go to church every Sunday but we do check in several times a year.

    I was not raised going to church ever and neither was my Hubby so we don’t make a big effort to go. My kids went to Christian preschools and they believe and we believe and we talk about it but that is about as far as it goes.

  • Annie

    I want my kids to attend, I just don’t want to go with them! :) I usually daydream the entire sermon. Maybe if there was more wine at commmunion I’d be more in tune………

  • Mrs4444

    OMG-My sister and I “went to church with our aunts,” too! So funny~!

  • [...] for religion, I was a mutt of sorts. Just be a good person. Live your life the best you can and be kind to [...]

  • Chance Coldivar

    judaism is also a nice religion just like christianity. my grand dad is also a jewish.”

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  • Kelvin Herschaft

    judaism is also a nice religion just like christianity. my grand dad is also a jewish.*

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