Saturday, January 19, 2008
Suffering Mass Suffering
Holy Toledo! We have so much to cover from the last couple of days. It looks like I might have to be writing even more often to catch up. We have just been bombarded with questions and comments. Good thing it's almost Lent, because guess what I'll be giving up? Free time. Yes, nuns do have free time. It's so we don't go crazy. Even those cloister girls get to goof off a little. Of course their idea of goofing off and your idea of goofing off are, no doubt, light years apart. In their case, a brief conversation. In your case, beer may be involved. Anyhow, we can't have a bunch of crazy nuns running around, even though are numbers our are much smaller these days.
We have to make a distinction about free time and stuff we squeeze in. We make a real effort to have some free time that doesn't involve tearing morning glories out of the garden, harvesting worm compost, rearranging Sister Mary Fiacre, cleaning the stove, or battling bankers. Those are the things we squeeze in. My current free time is spent reading a book the eighth grade boys gave me for Christmas! It's about how to do a pod cast. I don't even know what that is, even though I've heard a podcast and I'm reading this book. Sister St. Aloysius does sudoku. Sister Mary Fiacre has nothing but free time, as far as we can tell.
Let's finish up on the children at Mass issue. We've heard from readers who just leave the kids home until they are seven (the age of reason, when mortal sin kicks in). Good plan. Not practical for everyone, very practical for others.
Or leave the kids home until they are a little less wiggly, an age which varies among children. ( I know some wiggly adults.) There is also the risk that the non-wiggly child at home morphs into the wiggling poker once that child is faced with getting through Mass with his siblings. Sometimes the temptation to poke your brother is just too great.
That's all fine. My point simply was, if you want to brave Mass with the family, no matter how big, young, wiggly, blabby, gooey and impatient they are, those members are still welcome and shame on the stink eye crowd who would have it any other way.
We were also treated to a litany of what parents and children have been up to at Mass. Stuff like this:
But a few weeks ago, an older child (9ish?) and a younger child (4ish?) were in front of me. Playing video games. During church. Intermittently turning the volume on. The sound would go on, I'd hear loud bleeping and music for about a minute, then mom would turn and tell the kids to turn the sound off. Repeat in 5 minutes. Repeat again in 5 minutes.
Video games? I wouldn't know what to say. But I did tell a man (20's) to stop talking on his cell phone.
But it's not that bad. Look at it this way.
Sins you could possibly commit:
The Giving End of False Imprisonment
Electronic Devices at Mass.
As they say on "Sesame Street", "One of these things is not like the other."
I highly recommend talking to your pastor, asking for a line or two in the church bulletin, a sermon on the subject, or a sign in the vestibule. "Turn Off Electronic Devices. We Can't Believe We Have to Tell You This."
After that it's between them and God, not between you and them and God. Mind your own Massness.
I'll be back tomorrow. Even though it's Sunday. And not Lent yet.