4 Pages

Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa

WithHelen Boyd

Even now I have the urge to walk into a confessional and plead guilty to being human, and thus vulnerable. Vulnerable to bouts of jealousy, desires of the flesh, mortal and venal and whatever other kinds of sins I might have forgotten. It was that “sin of pride” that always caught in my throat because I knew it was mine. Even as a child I didn’t go to my chores like the Little Flower St. Teresa, oh no: I fought my mother with the devil’s tongue, advocating only on my own behalf that my day was ill-used in emptying wastebaskets and folding clothes. No doubt my mother muttered, “God save her” a few too many times during my elaborate verbal defenses as I’ve always, and inexplicably, felt that all’s well between me and my God. I own being human and all the innate frailties of that condition, but I’m not letting Him off the hook, either: my logic is that if He is so omnipotent, He could have kept me from feeling seduced by the smell of lipstick and the tickle of a dangling earring on my neck, and He could have given me a head that wouldn’t have called Him out on this shell game of sinfulness. What kind of game is it if when you lose you lose, but when you win you lose too? What kind of nut, after all, would force a child to start out in this world with a soul blackened already with sin?