My mother is a “Staunch Catholic”. She is from a small island in the Mediterranean called Malta. The Maltese claim that Saint Paul shipwrecked there after a storm and that they were the first peoples to be converted to Christianity. Religion is an addiction in Malta, and my mom was a devoted addict from the start.
She tells me that when I die I’ll go to straight heaven on several conditions – if I: go to church, fear God, daren’t sin ( and if I do I confess my sins immediately to her ‘Holy Father’ or the closest priest). She also says being a charitable Christian and extending Christ’s love to strangers will bump me up on the heaven list. As well as praying to various saints, lighting candles, singing hymns, donating (obscene amounts of) money to the church, and following the pope’s every word.
She says heaven is the best place you could ever imagine. There, she believes she will be reunited with her deceased loved ones. Namely my uncle Joseph and my grandparents, and their parents, and their parent’s parents. All of them were God Fearing Catholics. She thinks she will get to meet Jesus, and maybe even God if she’s lucky. She plans on drinking and eating the most glorious things in heaven, and watching the people she loves on earth, putting in a good word for them with the Big Man. She also thinks she will be eighteen again in heaven, and have perkier tits and a smaller waistline.
I think my mom’s goal in life is to die. Which isn’t a really bad goal when you think about it. She will someday achieve it, which is more than you can say for most people's life goals. And she’ll probably go laughing at the good fortune she will encounter upon her decease. She prides herself on having never missed a mass.
I have never missed a mass either, but I don’t think I’m going to end up in heaven. Mainly because I don’t believe in it. What is real is what is here and now. If it can’t be scientifically proved to exist, it does not. I attend mass so my mom will get off my case about being a Good Catholic. Sometimes I wish I could believe, I wish I could embrace the prospect of death like my mother does with such joyous anticipation. But I think when we die there is simply nothing. You just cease to exist and everything is dark. Like sleeping forever but without dreams and boners.