02 May 2009

sunday scribblings --- # 161 - confession

mea culpa – mea culpa – mea maxima culpa

--- “they” say that confession is good for the soul --- it strikes me that for some people that cliché philosophy might be a gimmick or a hook of sorts, and i’m not altogether sure i buy into it lock, stock, and barrel at this stage of my life ---

under the tutelage of “old school” strict nuns and priests from the first to the thirteenth grade – and beyond that throughout my post-secondary education - it became pretty firmly established in my mind that i was such a sinner and so in need of the confessional that i was quite nearly a waste of skin ---

in elementary school we were taken in a brood to mass every morning before classes began and part of the ritual was to receive communion --- hence, every afternoon before school got out we had to “order” our breakfast for the next morning – the breakfast order consisted of a chocolate dipped doughnut and/or a cinnamon swirl with white and/or chocolate milk – the way of things all those years ago required that one be fasting as a prerequisite to communion --- on a few occasions i’d thought i’d like not to have “breakfast” at school or i was caught out daydreaming --- WELL!!! – weren’t we (there were always others) in the soup then??? – the good sisters could fathom no reason for not going to communion except that we were in a state of sin – not acceptable, kids!!! --- so we were promptly trotted over to the church adjacent to go to confession ---

the confessional was hot and dark and scary and it smelled YUNKY! and you tried your level best not to hear another’s list of bad things confided just beyond the priest in the middle cuz you for sure didn’t want your stuff overheard - especially cuz half the time you were owning up to things as serious as talking in class or not doing your homework --- dastardly deeds at eight or nine years of age to be sure!!! --- somewhere along the line the sins grew along with my age and became more truly things to be acknowledged but certainly not the makings of a heaven or hell disposition ---

in my post secondary years in training to be a registered nurse it got a little dicier and very tricky to handle my transgressions because the good sisters had quite a different outlook on life than did i – you could be called from working in the hospital at any given moment and summoned to residence to meet with Sister H. and those calls struck terror in every one of our hearts --- you just knew the seat was going to be a real hot one – maybe you had folded your cap a stitch higher than regulation and one of three late leaves for that month would be cancelled – you were otherwise allowed two 10 o’clocks and one 11 o’clock leave each month, and all the other nights found you safe and sound in residence by 8 o’clock ---

in one instance when i got one of these sudden and unexpected calls i had no idea what awaited me and i sweated bullets all the way back to residence and my hands were shaking so badly that i could barely get the buttons fastened on a clean uniform – another requisite before you went to the office ---

so now front and centre in the office i stand in perfectly clean linens and shoelaces to be told the following by Sister H. – “miss p------! – you are crude, common, cheap, easy and vulgar!!!” --- clearly i was at a disadvantage in that she knew what she was about and i had no clue --- so like a sheep to slaughter i swallowed the boulder in my throat and chest and bravely and quietly said – “yes, sister” --- had to play it cool and collected here since i’d no idea what had brought this on and i was damned if i was about to tell on myself for something she didn’t even know – at least as yet --- the bottom line of all my degenerate and reprobate behaviour this time around turned out to be the fact that another nun had seen me eating breakfast that morning with the top button of my uniform undone --- can you imagine??!!!???!

so now when i respond to the prompt “confession” it is from a place where i believe that being honest and candid in my daily life is not only its own form of confession, but also not a bad way to go if i am able to keep it all balanced with some empathy and tact --- morality is as good for the soul as is confession, me thinks!!!


anthonynorth said...

Some things can just go too far, I think.

AD said...

very deep and dark confessional post!

Have a good Sunday!


Dee Martin said...

This just makes me sad...and mad..sheesh. Instead of making me religious I have this urge to go back in time and beat up those nuns. (Sorry - no disrespect to people's beliefs intended)

Tumblewords: said...

Amazing what damage can be done in the guise of perpetuating 'goodness'. Excellent post!

alister said...

Thank God I was brought up a small-time Protestant! LOL!
My best friend was Catholic and—although our small town had no Catholic school so she had to be tossed into the public school system with the likes of me and worse—she was all wrapped up in CYO and the other rules and regulations. It’s a real brainwashing! And on that, if you haven’t already checked out Paschal’s SS#161 offering, I recommend it.
Anyway, I’m glad you managed to survive the emotional trauma. And even so to the point of emerging with that gem of truth, your last paragraph. Amen, Sister!
Miss A