Dear Catholic Guilt-
It sits on the countertop tempting my resolve. I swear it has eyes imploring me to come closer and taste its forbidden sweetness. I know it will be moist and decadent, everything I could ever want in a chocolate cake, but I know if I take one bite, I’ll want more. One taste is never enough.
I resist. I do dishes, fold laundry, remind the kids to brush their teeth to remove all the chocolate cake residue. I read, immersing myself in a tale, trying to forget chocolate cake even exists. On the counter. Calling my name. Pretending it’s not there is futile.
I move closer. Maybe if I imagine eating it, visualize my fork sinking into the cake’s velvety sides, and perceptualize the dense moistness on my tongue, I can fool myself and satisfy my craving. I take the cellophane wrapping off the cake. The aroma wafts up, assaulting my nose. My mouth waters and I swallow down the urge to break off a tender morsel and devour it. I close my eyes and envision myself going through each step. I savor every moment, even licking my imaginary fork, but who am I kidding?
I want chocolate cake.
I grab the box out of the recycling to see how many calories are in a slice. I calculate how long I’d have to work out to burn off the calories if I can’t resist. Okay, really, I calculate for two pieces because one piece is never enough, and then I add on the calories I need to burn in order to maintain my diet. Maybe I could switch out a few carbs for vegetables? I pull out pencil and paper and begin to calculate. All of this for a piece of cake. For a nanosecond I wonder if it’s worth it, but one look at that cake and I have answered my question.
I think back to the last time I made chocolate cake, and I can’t remember when that was. It’s not like I make it every week, or even every month. It’s a treat, a big treat, yet here I am perseverating on how many calories it is and how long I’ll have to workout to pay for my sin. Whatever happened to balance? My diet won’t be ruined if I have a piece of chocolate cake. It won’t be ruined if I have two. I’ll have to compensate, adjust, work out a bit longer, but perhaps knowing what I have to do before I make the decision is enough to make it.
Decision made, I take a knife and slice into the cake. The crispy outside gives way to the moist inside. Chunks of chocolate provide a bit of resistance, but soon yield to the pressure of the knife. If I’m going to cheat, I’m going big, and decadent, and luscious. Tomorrow will be enough time to find balance, work off this sinfully delicious cake, and get back to the straight and narrow; but today?
Today I’m eating chocolate cake.
The one who will go to confession…tomorrow
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