Only once did someone have the effrontery to grab my hand during the Our Father. I made sure ever since then to adopt the more appropriate posture of folding my hands upright in prayer (I had the down by my side when the sneak attack occurred).
A few weeks ago we were at a meeting when our leader announced the news that one of our colleagues was facing a dire prognosis with cancer. She asked us to pray and told us to join hands. I have managed to wiggle my way out of the things that I find wrong (like receiving a "blessing" from someone who is not a priest) but what to do with things that are simply uncomfortable?
Offer it up, what else. I wish I could say I did the same with my next item.
A few nights ago, I ran into one of the "old guard" at my parish. She wasn't exactly enthralled with the op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer because, in her words, it gave the impression that "the majority of our parishioners approve of this Mass." I told her I didn't get that impression at all and besides, that was a very narrow and uncharitable way to view the piece.
"Very few of our parishioners go to that Mass". It was then that I took the opportunity to remind her that I am a parishioner and I am a regular at that Mass. I then decided to take things a step further. I seized this as an opportunity to ask this woman why the loud chatter before and after Mass does not disturb her as much as an article about the Latin Mass. I was just getting warmed up. I asked her why she has never complained about the hit and run Catholics who stroll in late and leave Mass directly from the Holy Communion line. I asked her why she has never addressed her friend who likes to talk in the same volume that she would out on the street. I told her that these offenses never, ever happen at the Traditional Latin Mass. I also reminded her that little by little, more and more of the older parishioners are coming to the TLM. As for "parishioners", I told her to consider how many new families had joined the parish since the inception of this Mass.
I left her speechless.
I'm not sure it was right or charitable for me to respond this way. I felt like maybe I had taken some of my frustration about the abuses I see out on her, but she opened the door and maybe, just maybe, she'll think twice before she decides to chat it up in church or condemn something as sacred as the TLM.