Have you ever walked in a room and felt like everyone was talking about you just before you got there? That's how I feel every time I walk into a Catholic Church. I get a sense that the entire congregation has a 'holier than thou' attitude towards me. Their eyes pierce through me as if to strip me down and reveal my sins. Some people may say I have these negative feelings towards the church because I have my own guilt about not being an avid pursuer of God, some may say I should feel guilty walking into a Catholic church unbaptised and unconfirmed, and some may say screw the church. Whatever the opinion, it doesn't help the stress that overcomes me while sitting in a pew.
The reason I put myself through this every so often is because my boyfriend, or my boyfriends family rather, are devout Catholics. When I go to visit him on a Sunday, it's mandatory that we go to church. Well, my boyfriend says it's not mandatory, but I'd look like a piece of shit if I was sitting at his house alone watching Sunday morning cartoons in my PJ's while the rest of the family was out praying. So, to make him and his family happy, which I have no problem doing, I drag myself out of bed to be gawked at.
This past Sunday in particular was hellish, pun intended. My boyfriend and I went to the 11:15 service(his parents went to the earlier one.) I followed him through the stained glass doors like a lost puppy. He dipped his fingers in the holy water and crossed himself as we entered the church . I stood there and watched. We walked to the nearest pew where he knelt down and crossed himself again. I stood there and watched, again. At this point I'm usually getting murderous stares.
The service began, and for the first time since I've gone to his church the priest came through each aisle and doused the congregation in holy water with some kind of silver spoon, I later found out this was because it was the day Christ was baptised. Of course I was at the end of the pew, where the water was clearly hitting the hardest. When he got to where I was I think he could see the fear in my eyes. He re-dipped the "spoon" wound up his arm and threw the water at me like he was friggin' Cliff Lee. The shower hit me like a ton of bricks and two thoughts instantly popped into my mind, one being the Incubus concert I'd gone to a few years ago where they hosed us down because of the extreme heat, and two that I was going to melt. The unfortunate thing is, this wasn't the worst of it. I had to sit through endless hymms sung by possible 'American Idol' rejects, a sermon about birth control, and communion, which doesn't seem so bad until you see the rest of the church standing in line to get the body and blood of christ while I'm still sitting down.
I don't want anyone to get the impression that I despise the Catholic Church and it's teachings. I just feel that nobody has the right to judge me but God himself. So, instead of ostrasizing me from the religion they should be willing to show me why I want to be a part of it.
Fun Fact: my name means "judged by God"