I'm struggling to re-learn being a Catholic. I abandoned the Church for a couple of decades to wander in the desert. Now that I'm back, I'm really struggling to re-connect. Perhaps, I should just buy this book:
One of the major reasons I volunteered to play and sing for Mass at my parish was to give me something to do that would mask my essential confusion about why I was attending Mass.
As is true with just about all practicing and lapsed Catholics, the issues that really trouble me are the Church's teaching on sexuality and the sacrament of Confession.
Few Catholics continue to accept the belief that sex should be solely for the purpose of procreation, and, in fact, no priest I've encountered mentions that teaching nowadays for fear of offending his congregation and driving them out the door. I do sort of agree that the concept that the divine and most important function of sexuality is procreation, but I sure have not and am not practicing that teaching. Who is?
As Fr. George says... "All my parishioners must be saints because nobody ever comes to Confession!"
Count me among the sinners who struggle to understand the need for Confession. In truth, Confession embarrasses me. It's humbling, which of course is precisely the intent. Every Saturday, I consider going to Confession, but my resolve almost always fails me. I also don't really understand what sins I should be confessing. Perhaps, I'm just being evasive.
Over the past month or so, I've wondered if I should surrender my seat at the organ and sit out in the pews. Ego gratification is not the purpose of going to Mass. My parish might be closed down in the current consolidation program the Archdiocese of New York is enacting. I've been thinking that it might be better to sit in the pews and contribute more monetarily.
I retired two and half years ago for a number of reasons. Number one was that I had had enough of sitting on my ass in an office and playing shitty office politics. I also wanted to withdraw to a life of contemplation and focus on my artistic and spiritual life. That is an ongoing project that requires changing mental habits engrained through 45 years of office work. I'm used to my time being commanded and directed by an employer, and I'm fumbling around trying to find the way to take charge of my own time in a productive manner.
I believe that finding my way as a practicing Catholic might be the key to turning my life around in the desired manner. One step at a time, I'm trying to figure out how to do that.