Dust motes float silently through the stuffy, hundred-year-old air.  Pews creak with every movement, even underneath the weight of my waifish, adolescent body.  The organ rumbles bleakly to life alerting the congregation to stand.  My lips produce noise, but I do not comprehend the meaning.  “I detest my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven” was the last sentence I ever repeated in church.  To this day, I have no idea what stopped me from reciting the next line.  The Act of Contrition was branded onto my tongue at an early age yet I never took the time to grasp what it meant to me.  Being born into Catholicism makes you Catholic, right?  Baptized and confirmed, I would live, die, and go to heaven as a Catholic, right?  Questioning my mother, the priest, or Christ our Lord were all considered sins, right?  Tunnel vision was closing in on my line of sight.  Thoughts swam in my mind as I stood staring blankly ahead at the crucifix.  Frightened and hesitant, the voice in my head uttered something ever so quietly that would change my views forever.  “I don’t believe.”


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