I gave up on being a good Catholic at 12 years old when I humiliated myself in front of our congregation as an altar server. To make a long story short, I failed to penetrate the giant crucifix into its stand due to a total absence of upper-body strength, creating the inverse of that scene from “The Sword in the Stone.” I’m convinced that this was a ploy orchestrated by our organist as a means of making me repent for my poor enunciation during choir rehearsals.
Peace be with you too, Joyce.
Instead, to fill the void of spiritual guidance through the armpit of adolescence, I founded a sacred practice in college that doesn’t require Sunday school, elongated diphthongs or circumcision. It’s called Bed Chocolatism, and it’s observed through ad hoc nighttime sermons with a square of cacao roughly the size of a communion wafer. These meditations can be held in addition to your routine prayers — we are non-denominational and entirely nom-nominational.
Just follow the ten commandments below.
I. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s chocolate.
A Hershey’s bar is just as good for the spirit as a truffle sprinkled with Oprah’s dandruff.
II. Thou shalt freeze thy chocolate ahead of each practice.
Room-temperature Kisses do not fair well between the sheets.
III. Thou shalt not offer thyself a Eucharist larger than thy palm.
Bed Chocolatism honors the bliss found in life’s minutiae. Save the King Size bars for your next Bachelorette marathon.
IV. Thou shalt not consume thy chocolate prior to reaching thy bed.
Don’t be an Eve. You saw what went down in the Garden of Eden. However, pantlessness is acceptable.
V. Thou shalt submerge thyself beneath thy bed covers in complete darkness.
This is your church. There is your steeple. Bask in the absence of obnoxious people.
VI. Thou shalt not “Dutch oven” thyself.
Get comfortable, but don’t self-sabotage your zen.
VII. Thou shalt first inhale the aroma of thy wafer, then release the tensions of thy day with a steady exhale.
Office assistant, who? There is only a Lady Godiva here. Praise her temple. Worship her bounty.
VIII. With a second inhale, Thou shalt appreciate thy luxuries of a bed and a piece of chocolate.
So what if you aren’t the CEO of a Fortune 500 company at the age of 26? You have yourself, this moment in comfort and a bit of sugar to cut the bitter thoughts that arise on the tongue of your subconscious. Be grateful for this.
Once your breath has steadied, you are given license to delicately place the chocolate into your mouth and let it melt into your tastebuds. Don’t utter an “om” — just ingest the sweet silence.
Then, once mass has ended…
IX. Thou shalt embrace the stains that accrue on thy bedsheets as a symbol of true devotion.
How deep is your love if not beyond the salvation of a Tide pen?
X. Thou shalt brush thy teeth prior to drifting off into sleep.
This is a church. Have some decency, dude.
Donations to the church can be made via Venmo or deposited directly into my Starbucks account.
Illustrations by Emily Zirimis.