For some, the Holidays are a time to reflect and often times religion can take a new role in a person’s life. Or not. Depends on the person. I was raised Catholic, and I remember as a child once Advent hit, I found myself attending church. Finding God and being a better person would take center stage. I even gave up my recesses to be holy. Looking back it wasn’t just about receiving extra credit, or points for being good, it was about finding God. And without exercising that muscle, eventually you can lose out on that relationship.
POEM: SACRIFICE AT ELEVEN YEARS OLD
I don’t get excited
I get ready
To feel pride
And young hope.
I genuflect and enter being good
God is good
And I will hear him, find him, even if I have to sacrifice recess.
Because that takes me one step closer to that place everyone seems to be
The priest stands before the meek lunch congregation
And says the sermon like the sky is blue
But I want to hear God
I want him to talk to me
What does it take to find him?
Church, bible reading, my knees on the pew hurt so badly
That it has to bring something
Chewing gum in class
A future of failure awaits those that don’t adhere to demands
“You’ll get extra credit if you attend mass during lunch.”
I don’t need any extra credit
But I went to church.
Being mean to my little sister needs to change
I need something to help my natural inclination to lash out
When she crosses the line that separates
Her side of the room from mine
Rosaries before bed
I look at the drawing that was passed out in religion class
I stayed between the lines
Mary of Guadeloupe looks so peaceful
I’ll find that peace
Keep doing the entire rosary
Those ten hell Mary’s
The priest offers the Eucharist
The body of Christ, Amen
I want to eat a whole stack of it
I wonder if priests do that behind closed holy doors
He takes a minute to reflect
I hear the mesh of boys playing kickball and handball
And can imagine the girls standing in the corner talking
To form stronger cliques
Leaving me estranged
They are weak
Church will give me something
It has too
The idea of church not making me nice
Never crosses my mind
Six weeks of sacrifice must work
Now I walk into a church
And feel nothing
After all those lunches.
Praying hands image available from Shutterstock.
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Last reviewed: 26 Nov 2013