I used to get a kick out of how everything that drove behavior in Roman Catholic Life had to be reduceable to a great bunch of Mumbo Jumbo- that killed me.
I was sent at my mom's insistence- to become an altar boy. (altered boy)
This was at the time of their Latin Mass configuration where Latin was spoken during much of the sacramental aspect of the mass. After some great illustrative pointers to us newbees by a most senior altar boy- I made a spectacle of myself by asking him "But what does it all mean?"
He looked at me with disgust and said "Just memorize it."
Yeah- I was 1/2 way to Jonestown already......why slow things down for synthisis?

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The shame, blame , regret triangle is a very familiar one to me as well. John Bradshaw's tv series on family systems and his book "The ties that bind" really got me thinking about the gambits the church uses to work the guilt. Happily there is enough information out there for informed adults to make a knowing consent or knowing rejection of this cognition killer.
I feel for you guys. My mom wants my sister to be an altar girl too. My sister and I have different backgrounds. I grew up in the Philippines where I did the whole all girls Catholic school from kinder to the junior year HS, did most of the sacraments except confirmation (which mom insists me to do before getting married to a Catholic guy - yeah, dream on, mom), then officially migrated to the US to be with the whole family. My sister came here when she was 4, did all her schooling in public school here, hence, no religion. My mom feels that there is a big void in her Catholic experience. Now that she is in middle school, my mom contacted the parish priest to have some sort of Catholic classes so she can have her first communion, confirmation, and also to be an altar girl. So one day, after mass, my sister and I were left in the car and I asked her, “Does this all make sense to you?” My 12 year old sister, to my surprise, said to me, “I’m not really a religious person.” LOL. She said that there are just things that she does not agree, like condemning gays or being homophobic. She also is pro-choice. I’m like WTF? We came to the same conclusion. For a bit, I got worried, I was like, “I didn’t “unconvert” you right?!” She said that it was all her. So she is very annoyed that my mom’s making her do all these “classes,” among many rituals, but mostly, she really doesn’t want to be an altar girl. Church has been very annoying as well, especially when I have an exam Monday morning!

To make it worse, I have a grandmother who’s visiting from the Philippines, and she is like the stereotypical Jesus freak. I mean she insists on going to the “classes” and my poor sister’s all embarrassed on having a chaperone who keeps talking to the priest. Oh yeah, you think being a Filipino is easy? Another funny thing about my grandma, she doesn’t like how cars are driven fast here in the US unlike in the Philippines where it is slow as heck because of traffic. Typical scenario would be, mom driving, we’re listening to the radio, all of a sudden there will be a loud, “The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” It is so annoying! And I am forced to answer to her prayers. God freaking damn it, why not just say “Please slow down.” Good thing I was brainwashed so good that then I just spit out the prayers without any thought into it, like a reflex. So yeah, I feel your pain.
Not to worry. Eventually I was able to replace most of the Roman Catholic Dogma with empirically valid science and philosophy. I intend to maintain my questioning mind, when I press forward towards cogent outcomes.

Also, in my experience, the R.C. church's moronic ideas of human sexuality and it's orientation/ gender scripting are xenophobic and lacking in any vestiges of incite, equanimity for the individual or compassion.
I remember the Latin Mass, and then folk Masses. I was a very devout kid. The beginning of the end for me came when I started asking why girls couldn't help at the altar, and women couldn't become priests. "Having faith" just wasn't intellectually satisfying.

I took Latin for a couple of years in high school... one year at the Catholic high school, and the next in the public. I was really screwed up for a bit, as the nun kept mixing Church Latin with classical Latin. She was really irritated that she wasn't allowed to teach us Church Latin.

So, next year, I went to the public high school and had to relearn a few things.

I wonder how many ex-Catholics become Ceremonial Magicians, trading one form of Mumbo-Jumbo for another?
I was always in trouble during catholic grade school. I was the first person ever to kick a ball through a stained glass window! When I was in 2nd grade I asked the nun, who was our teacher, why she didn't have breasts. Did they cut them off when she became a nun? That one got me sent to the office. I also wanted to know, if Adam & Eve were the 1st two people, then who did their sons marry? I don't ever remember getting an explanation to who the "holy ghost" was supposed to be, either. So much of what they were teaching me seemed stupid, even to a 7 yr old.
Hahahaha! Wow. I wish I'd been that forward. It staggers me that someone would penalize a kid for asking honest questions.
I didn't know that I was being "forward" at the time, I just asked lots of questions they couldn't answer. :-) Last night I remembered another question that got me sent home from school. I wanted to know why Adam & Eve had belly buttons in the picture bible. After all, if god made them, why would he give them navels? My life at St Martha's Elementry School went down hill from there.
You're absolutely right... that's not being forward. I should have placed that forward smack dab in the middle of some quotations marks.

I asked questions that couldn't be answered starting sometime in my teens. Some of the questions had occurred to me earlier, but I just hadn't thought to ask them out loud. I don't remember critical thinking being encouraged when I was a kid.

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