In an interview with The Awl, George Saunders recalls his Roman Catholic upbringing and the guilt that came with it:
Guilt is ego, actually, when you think of it. If I’m at a party with you and I’m trying to be clever, and I say something hurtful and afterward I feel guilty about it, in a way that presupposes that I should be so in control that I would never make a mistake—that’s ego. The thought that I—I, so perfect and above reproach—would never make a human blunder. Which is—you know, that’s very egotistical, to understand yourself as He Who Never Blunders.