I was reading the St. Louis Review (Catholic News) this weekend and there was a letter to the editor that just made me climb on my soapbox and rant at DH.
The letter, written by a Grandmother, outlined the various grievences that she had with the Mass and people attending said Masses. Her points included:
-people not genuflecting/ bowing before entering the pew
-young people not paying attention
-young children hanging on their parents, turning around, not using books,
-chewing gum and then receiving Communion
-the presence of loud music and singing of songs that are “anything but hymns”
She closes by saying:
What on earth will our faith be like 20 years down the road? Will my young grandchildren have a strong faith to see them through life’s hard times? Singing and shaking hands will not do much with standing by a hospital bed. It all makes me sad and very tired.
So of course, the CCM got all up in arms and was ready to fire her own letter to the editor when I decided to bring it here instead.
Now, I can see some of her points. It does irritate me when I see kids playing on their Nintendo DS or PS3 or iPods during the Mass, my husband does not genuflect and sometimes I just want to tie my 3 year old to the pew, but then I remember a few things:
1. My 3 year old is, after all 3. What I expect a 3 year old to accomplish during the Mass is totally different than what she CAN accomplish.
2. All the other stuff: other people’s behavior, music selections, skills of the choir, quality of the homily, is not why we are there.
We attend Mass to take part in the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, all of that other stuff is just extra. I try my best to remember that fact and when I find myself being disparaged by the extra stuff that I don’t like, I offer it up. Offer the suffering that you might be experiencing because of the extra stuff up for a poor soul in purgatory and pray that the Lord helps you to stay focused on the task at hand.
At our Parish, we are fortunate to have a multitude of Masses to choose from: If you want an early meal, try the 5pm Vigil Mass; want a more contemplative Mass, 7am; want a more grown up Mass, 8:45a; contemporary? 10:30 is for you and if you want to raise the roof with Praise and Worship songs, hit up the LifeTeen Mass at 12:15p.
The writer asks how her grandchildren’s faith will be shaped in 20 years. To that, I have to respond with the hope that their faith is firmly grounded in a love for and of Christ which can only be done with the Church and the Domestic Church (home) working in concert.
And as Saint Augustine said: “Cantare est bis orare.” (To sing is to pray twice.)
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