My mother tells me to go to church and thank the Lord for another birthday. Mindful of my sensibilities, she reiterates I do NOT necessarily need to attend mass. I need only put my body within the church premises, perform the requisite rituals one need do in such an event; such as making the sign of the cross, kneeling, kissing or wiping with a kerchief of any one among the available figurines' hand. Upon careful observance of said rituals, any good Catholic may then pronounce I have done my religious duty as one who is celebrating another year of being alive.
My boyfriend calls and pretty much reiterates what my mother has said. Go to church and thank God for another birthday. What does this business of church-going on birthdays really mean anyway? That I should be thankful that God tolerates my living on earth? And that he or she or it has been gracious enough to make sure I do not number among the millions of other beings who have no food to eat, no shelter under which to lay, no job that generates enough to provide the aforementioned basic needs? Should I be properly thankful then that this almighty power consents that I need not steal, murder or commit other inhumane acts in order that I might live? That his or her or its beacon of blessing and endless love is shining expressly on myself, the chosen child? Whew. Such pressure indeed to do my birthday duty and go to Church.
What an ingrate I would be indeed to waste such gifts given me, most important of which is that I am still in a relatively well-preserved state of being ALIVE whereas many more are in varying states of sub-human existence. I shall do what is expected of me then, and humble myself upon the altar of such a gracious, if selective, provider.