I have had friends of the catholic persuasion tell me passionately that they hold the gold medal in guilt. That its built into the system, this having to go and apologise all the time for every little misdemeanour. I still contend that they have not a patch on us protestants.
I mean, they get to go to a priest, get a bit weepy as they confess, and a few hail mary’s and a bit of bead rubbing later and poof, its all forgiven. We don’t get that, our guilt has to stay with us until the end of time. No forgiveness hear, sure, we can have that private dialogue with god the catholic’s don’t have, but there’s no physical person in front of you saying “There there, its all right now”.
Take my recent confession of public schooling my children (and I appreciated all the comments). I know I’m doing the right thing by my kids. The system is skewed such that if you have, your human natures leads you to take. Yet that doesn’t stop the guilt. I was raised redder than red, it knaws at me to know by doing as I do I may not be harming other people, but I’m certainly not helping.
I’ve got guilt all around me. Doing the job I do I have made the decisions and done the deeds that have ended or altered the employment of a whole lot of people. I do what I do for a whole host of reasons that are valid in the context of our society, but its still harsh work.
There’s the women I’ve not treated as well as I should have, the rows with the wife, being hard on my kids, ignoring the beggar last night, dejected at the side of the road, the list goes on and on. It’s a whole lot of guilt.
But life goes on. I’m not a haunted personality, and you have to live the life you have. I am not a selfless saint, and though I try to do what’s right, sometimes I do things that are best for me and mine. You take the guilt, file it, and live on.
But I still think catholics have got it easy…