I was going through my old posts, and found this as a draft. I didn't want to discard it, so here it is...
A remembrance from childhood...
I was raised by a Catholic mom and Lutheran Dad, so we were sent to mass at a Catholic Church when we were younger. My older brother was even an altar boy, a fact I find very ironic! (You would have to know my brother to understand that.)
I must have been about 7 when this happened. It was a weekday evening, and my brother was at church. I was looking for him, so I stepped inside to see if he were there. I cracked the door open and scanned the sanctuary. I did not see him, so I left. Apparently, there was some kind of service going on at the time.
As I was leaving the building, a priest asked what I was doing. I told him I was looking for my brother, and did not see him, so I was leaving. He then proceeded to tell me that I had just committed a mortal sin. (I am not sure what that sin was, perhaps leaving a church service? Talking to a priest? Looking for my brother?) I remember thinking, "Well, that does it, I just blew it and now I am damned to hell for all of eternity." I don't recall if I had any further conversation with the priest, but I do recall going home, all the way thinking what it was going to be like in hell.
We tend to remember strange things from our childhood.
Jesus was there that day, as he always is. And he took care of me as he always does. I ended up leaving the Catholic Church a few years later, but story is for another time.
I see the signs now, "Catholic Come Home." They make me chuckle. Come home to eternal damnation is what I hear when I read those signs, and I am not interested in that. I read a lot about people who have left the institutional church for a variety of reasons. I can understand why sometimes. Is it just me, or has the church (as a whole, and not just the Catholic church) gotten away from what it was intended to be?