I am not looking forward to dying.
Apart from the obvious pain involved I think that I might just be in a bit of trouble when I finally meet my maker. Why? Because I have sinned.
Those of you who are atheists will almost certainly say:
“You are a stupid idiot. When you die, you cease to be. Remember that time before you were born? You can’t can you. Why? I’ll tell you why. You simply didn’t exist. And that is exactly what will happen when you shuffle off this mortal coil. You will cease to exist. Sinning is irrelevant.”
Those of you who are religious in any way will probably say:
“Why? What have you done? Surely it can’t be that bad. God will forgive you.”
I am a Roman Catholic. When I say “am” I really mean “was baptised”. I stopped going to Mass when I was sixteen and have only popped back for weddings and funerals.
I think the reason I did so was because I found it all terribly boring. When I used to go to church, the main High Mass on Sunday was at 11 o’clock and sometimes in Latin. I studied Latin at school but to sit there for an hour and a half listening to “Credo in unum Deum, patrem omnipotentem …” sung out of tune by an old priest who was out of touch with my youthful exuberance was just too much.
I almost fell out with my mother because of my rebelliousness.
Roman Catholics will probably tell me that I should renew my faith and go back to church to have my sins forgiven. I can imagine sitting there in confession:
“Bless me father for I have sinned. It is 32 years since my last confession. I hope you have a month or three to spare because boy have I got some stories to tell you.”
I can honestly say that I won’t do that. If Catholics are to be believed then I when I die I will face my maker who will sentence me to a stint in Purgatory where I will be cleansed of my sins with pain and fire.
In fact, as my soul is being cleansed in the punishment camps of Purgatory, somebody will probably read this blog post to me and tell me that I have sinned simply by writing it. The fact that I haven’t attended Mass for so long and have actually mocked my religion and made fun of priests will undoubtedly lead to a lengthier sentence.
But have I really sinned?
Let’s take a look at the seven deadly sins and see how I have fared.
What is pride?
Pride is extreme self believe or vanity or self obsession. From a religious perspective, pride is really focussing on yourself rather than God. Purists will suggest for example that if you pursue knowledge for the benefit of God or others then you are doing fine. However, if you learn for your own benefit only, to basically say that you are better than others then I’m afraid you are on the slippery slope to committing this deadly sin.
The sin of pride is a particular grey area for me and I personally believe that deep down every single person is guilty of it – myself included. I write this blog for example so that people can read it and be entertained or learn something. However, I also write it for myself because I want to practice my writing techniques so that, in an ideal world, I will write a book and obtain steaming great piles of cash and fame from being a successful writer. God doesn’t come into it. That’s why I am committing the sin of pride.
VERDICT: I’m stuffed on this one.
What is envy?
Envy is the dislike of somebody who has something you don’t have, for example a possession or a job. If a mate of mine were to win the lottery I would be happy for him but, for a moment at least, I would hate him for it. Why? Because he would be free and be able to cast aside the chains that bind him to the interminable rat race that I am so desperate to escape from myself.
And I cannot believe that there are people out there in the world who do not commit the sin of envy. I frequently hear people say “I envy you” but the fact that they come clean and say it to make the other person feel better doesn’t detract for a second from the fact that their opinion of that person plummets even if it is only for a second.
I envy people and I admit it. I don’t hate them permanently but I am jealous. I am jealous of successful authors. I am jealous of people who can afford the Ferrari that (once again) Father Christmas failed to bring me on his overloaded sleigh.
VERDICT: I’m screwed on this one.
What is gluttony?
Gluttony is the need to consume excessively. This post has come so close to Christmas that I am still smarting from the vast quantities of food that I have forced myself to eat. On Christmas Day I ate a dinner that was so huge there was snow on the peaks. I followed this up with mince pie and then chocolates. At the end of the day I was laid on the settee and couldn’t see my feet over my huge wobbling belly.
Next day I was relieved to see that my belly had shrunk somewhat but then it all started again when we travelled to Blackpool to visit Mrs PM’s dad.
Why did I eat so much? Because everybody else did. I am not the only one. Thankfully I am really quite slim which I could say is evidence that I have not committed the sin of gluttony. It is, however, poor evidence, because I know that I have been a greedy pig and will be again – and I’m not just talking about Christmas.
VERDICT: Dear oh dear! I think the jury will scream “Guilty, your honour” for that one.
What is lust?
Lust is the excessive desire for pleasures of the flesh.
This particular sin is just plain ridiculous. Since the age of around thirteen my body has been betraying me in this particular area and I simply couldn’t help it – I still can’t. I craved sex from that age. I am a man and testosterone floods through my body creating a chemical reaction that has visible side effects. It is only will power and self control that stops me and just about every male from wanting their wicked way with attractive women. Men are driven by lust. There is no use denying it. Women too can be driven by lust (or so I’ve been told).
Maybe the key word here is “excessive”.
One thing makes me laugh. When people get checked into clinics for “sex addiction” I think to myself “Crikey! I must be a sex addict too.” If the sex police had injected me with a truth serum when I was eighteen years old and asked me “What do you desire more than anything in the world?” I would have blurted out “SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX!”. They would have carted me off to the clinic to cure me of sex addiction alongside every single other eighteen year old man as well.
VERDICT: They are building the gallows for me now.
What is wrath?
Wrath or anger is a negative and potentially destructive emotion that inflicts every single human being on the planet – and most other creatures too.
There are quite a few things that make me angry. I am fairly laid back and on the rare occasions that anger overwhelms me, I try to control myself, mainly because I hate the consequences. That doesn’t mean that I will pick up the nearest blunt object and bludgeon the target of my wrath to within an inch of their lives. What I hate about anger are the arguments and the perpetuation of arguments.
When I am genuinely angry I tend to explode like a mini nuclear bomb and then get the hell out of there. Rather than letting anger take control of my body I allow a certain amount to erupt against the source of the anger (usually a tirade of abuse) and then I walk away and allow the rest to dissipate. In fact, I find that writing provides a great outlet. If I convert my wrath into vitriolic words, the anger flows out, enabling me to read about and process the source.
Others use different ways to get rid of their anger, some acceptable others totally unacceptable.
Every human being is different but the key thing here is that every human being gets angry and those that say they do not are liars.
VERDICT: I would be in the Tower of London now if Henry VIII was my judge.
What is greed?
Whereas gluttony is the desire to stuff huge quantities of food down your gullet, greed is the desire for material possessions. From a religious perspective the added caveat is that it is material gain for yourself while ignoring God and the spiritual realm.
We all want bigger and better things for ourselves. A lot of the time we want a bigger house, a bigger car, more money, a yacht and many other things that make our lives just that little bit easier. I have said, many times, that I want to win the lottery so that I can escape the rat race and live my dreams. I want to travel the world and write books about my exploits. Is that greed?
This is another sin that I think is a little nebulous. We all want material possessions – even priests.
VERDICT: The axe man draweth near.
What is sloth?
Sloth is the evasion of physical work. Moreover, from a religious perspective, it is the avoidance of spiritual work.
I am lazy by nature but I have a job which demands a lot of my time. When asked to do extra work I am usually willing to do so (to a limit) and have been praised for it.
Yet when it comes to chores around the house I am truly lazy. The only reason I do stuff is because the alternative is less desirable – an argument with Mrs PM.
VERDICT: I think the jury might be struggling with this one unless they look at spiritual sloth, in which case I am as guilty as a cat whose mouth and whiskers are covered in cream.
Well, dear reader, it looks as if I am going to be sentenced to a little fire and brimstone when my time on this little blue planet is over. A stint in Purgatory seems inevitable. I won’t really be able to argue because there are too many examples from my life to let me off the hook.
The good news is that I think I will be in good company because I reckon that most if not all of the human race will be by my side as I am purged of my sins.
My only hope is that people like Jeremy Kyle or Piers Morgan are next to me so that I can see the smug grins wiped off their faces as we all suffer.