Confession time. I wrote this title and then saved it because life's duties called me away, including Noon Mass. The priest had just said "Let us pray" when some one's cell phone went off and they answered it. Now, the offender in this case is an increasingly physical and emotionally fragile creature who looks like the next unkind word toward him might very well cause his demise. With whatever intelligence and dignity he has left, he seems drawn to the Mass and adoration afterward. Sure, what he did was wrong, but what followed was worse.
A woman, who, God forgive me, has a flair for drama, came leaping across the aisle, tripping over the other people in her row, to chastise this individual for allowing his phone to ring at Mass. She was so loud, that I could not hear the words of the collect. It took every fiber of my being not to leap across the people in my own row and tell her to sit down and shut up. The priest rolled his eyes but said nothing about the incident.
At the prayers of intercession, the bad habit of opening the floor to input from the congregation lead to another spectacle, with the Drama Queen imploring the congregation to have more respect for the Lord and His Church with appropriate behavior at Mass, as though what she had just done was appropriate.
You don't know how hard it was NOT to offer my own prayer of intercession in response - that those of us carrying logs in our eyes resist the temptation to reach across and pull the speck from our neighbor's. To do so would surely have reduced this already-compromised Mass into a free for all of people insisting "I'm right, no I'M right, etc"
I have found the fragile offender to be somewhat annoying in the past, but it's clear his engine is no longer running on all 6 cylinders. The Drama Queen, on the other hand, is someone whose very presence I find repulsive, and I have to keep begging the Lord's mercy for the feelings she provokes in me. I've never been warm to people who take signs of piety to extremes while at the same time forgetting about charity. Then again, sometimes I think the Lord puts people who are extreme in our paths because it's the only way we'll see our own faults.
How many times has some yahoo answered their phone at Mass where I didn't want to leap across the aisle and throttle them, or, at the very least, smash the phone to bits? When we God's forgiveness for sinning "in thought, word, and deed" does it mean that thinking something isn't as sinful as doing it?
I saw a post on Acts of the Apostasy where a couple who own a Vermont inn are being sued by two lesbians from New York for discrimination. The inn keepers are devout Catholics and it would be a compromise of their faith and of their Church's teachings to allow the women to hold a "wedding" reception at the inn but also for the inn's owners to profit from it. As the blog's author rightly pointed out, you can't discriminate against lesbians having a so-called wedding reception, but it's ok to ban children under the age of 6 from eating in a restaurant?
Here are a few things that offend me. Some of these things are chock-full of ironies.
-People who can't keep their butt-cracks and cleavage contained within their own clothing
-People who foul the air while I'm taking a walk with cigarette smoke
-Public displays of "affection" that border on lewdness
-Other people's cell phone conversations that are liberally spiked with profanation of the Lord's name
-Dog owners who don't pick up after their precious pups
-So-called intellectuals who mock Christianity and Catholicism in particular
-"Mothers" who beat and berate young children
-Women who wear lingerie in public
-Able-bodied Catholics who can't be bothered to genuflect before they enter a pew at Mass
-People who are for abortion rights but who foam at the mouth at the mention of euthanizing a dog
-Militant vegans who support abortion rights but won't kill an ant
That's it for now. That's all the crankiness I can muster in this heat.