Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

This is a terrible photo from the Adoration Chapel I have been spending a lot of time in lately.  It feels very very irreverent to be snapping photos, but somehow I do it anyway.  Discreetly, of course.  That's why it isn't a better photo.

Today my son and daughter in law are going fishing.  Guess who gets the baby?  Yes, me!!!

My son is leaving in 10 days for his new job overseas - he will be gone for a year and isn't real sure where he is going to end up, he starts in Kuwait.  I am trying to let go of my anxiety.  I talked to him last night, and unfortunately, I was being a selfish mom.  Heaving and sighing about his being gone for a year.  He finally said "I gotta go, I have a crying baby here."  Well, that makes two crying babies son, your mother and your daughter.  I need to knock it off.

The other night as I was entering my old church to go to the Adoration Chapel, the woman coming out of the church said hello to me so nicely.  The other adorers in the chapel were pleasant, in a silent, reverent way.  When I called the woman who keeps the schedule of adorers, she was delighted to hear from me.  I am now an official substitute.  When she heard the hours I was available, she was really delighted - from 4 to 7 a.m. / 7 days a week.

I have been going to my "new" church for nearly 4 years now and not a soul says hello to me.  I volunteered for a couple of things, just to get to know people, but still no one spoke to me.  I went to a pancake breakfast there recently, just to socialize, and the couple I sat with spoke to each other in Hungarian the entire time I sat at their table.  I left in tears, I felt so dismissed.  When I sit in the "gathering space" at the "welcome table" to sign up new parishioners, the ushers stand right in front of me and talk to the people they know.  And never even acknowledge that another person is right there in their midst.   BUT, I love the pastor of the church.  I like the fact that the church is so much more traditional than most in the area.   I guess with that, comes the fact that the congregation is mostly in their 70s, and aren't much interested in making nice with people they don't know.

I can feel my heart being tugged back to my old church.  I have so many friends there.  I feel like I belong there.  But I have huge problems with the pastor of the church and many, many of the things he does.  But then again, he did such things as instituting perpetual adoration at that church, and believe me, that was an undertaking!

Okay, enough of this stream of consciousness from me!

I am sure I don't need to remind anyone to pray for the victims of the tragedy and unfolding catastrophe in Japan.  I will be doing so and I know you will too.

Have a wonderful Saturday.


  1. It's too bad that your son will have to be gone for an extended time. Your Grandma skills will probably be needed more than ever to give your daughter-in-law some down time. You are fortunate to be so close.

    I see the same thing in the Catholic churches. I think this is why people end up in other churches. When we first moved here we had been going to our church for a year, donating every week, attending each Sunday- and our church is very small. One day our old priest asked us if we were visitors. (At one time we filled out the registration card.) He asks after a year? Very few people spoke to us. My husband used to work for a construction company that was family owned, Pentecostals. They are all loving and kind, supportive,never met a stranger. When I had a car accident the entire company shut down and they all arrived at the accident scene to take care of me. With the exception of the few couples we socialize with from time to time I still don't know everyone in my church, by sight, but not by name.

  2. This is a way of life if you are deaf!
    Folks do not "see" deaf; they "see" retarded.

    I read lips and can be in a conversation across the room, knowing every word said, with the speakers unaware I can read their lips.
    They would be amazed if I told them what they had said. But they do not speak to me ever.

    But, I liken this to God,.....viewing in on any conversation, knowing what was said, and being IGNORED by all. The old people who gather and gab among themselves but do not embrace fellow believers are indeed, what Christ refers to as the "lukewarm he will spit from His mouth". They are in eternal danger; God is in every soul, and not to be ignored.

    "Lord! Lord! Let us in! We cast out demons in your name and healed the sick. Don't you recognise us?"

    "Get away from ME! I NEVER knew you", replies the Lord as he shuts the Gates of Heaven.

    This is the scariest part of the Bible to me, for the people are BELIEVERS, in their own mind.
    Please note: They call him "Lord".
    Unbelievers and atheists do not do this.
    Yet Christ tells these folks who believe they are believers, "I never knew you".

    Our churches are filled with these folks, who will NOT enter heaven per Christ.

    Actions come out of what is in your heart.
    Their heart is a closed circle. Other souls, carrying the Holy Spirit within them, are not welcome. This will be the most shocking day in history as people who think they are going to heaven watch the Gates shut by Christ, declaring He doesn't know them and NEVER did.

    The church I went to Ash Wednesday holds about 2500 maybe 3,000 people. Everyone knows everyone; and everyone knows no one. I am new there for they are the nearest ASL church, signing the service. The next nearest to me is 70 miles away.

    This treatment has been at other churches as well, and I mean denomination as well as just a catholic church...everywhere.
    Smaller churches have fewer resources, so i went to larger spots raising my children as a single parent. Now, I am stuck at a larger church as the only one to have sign language.
    Were it not for communion, I would stay home.

    In the book, "Why Catholics Don't Sing", right at the beginning, a man at Mass turns to a nun, and holds his hand out, for the Peace sharing moment.

    She gives him a whithered look, and replied:
    "I don't do that s%#t!", and looked away from him.

    I recommend you take your concerns to the highest authority in your parish and sit down and tell them your experience, and let them deal with the resolution. Otherwise, by their actions in the body of Christ, the bride rejects the groom and the wedding is over eternally for such souls.

    Ps. Be glad you are not deaf. It does not bother me, per se, but to be neither valued nor loved crushes the heart. God has been faithful and I rely on Him for a specific reason....Malchus.

    Peter cut off the ear of Malchus at the arrest. Christ said "we aren't gonna do it that way, Pete", and put the ear back on Malchus....the LAST miracle, overlooked often. As Malchus was restored for hearing, Christ will one day touch my own ears too.

    I comment widely on blogs, and the worst to comment on,.... are Christian blogs, for they fight cats and dogs over minutia, and speak little of Christ otherwise.
    And like at church, they have an online circle of friends who are "accepted", while newbies are ignored. They miss out on some great companionship.

  3. I erred.
    The book is called "Why Catholics Can't Sing"...
    NOT Don't Sing. Sorry.

    But this gives me a moment to add relevant scripture on why we all MUST greet one another.
    Here are a few versions of Hebrews 13:2, an eloquent voice on this topic:

    New International Version (©1984)
    "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."

    New Living Translation (©2007)
    "Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!"

    English Standard Version (©2001)
    "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

    New American Standard Bible (©1995)
    "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

    International Standard Version (©2008)
    "Stop neglecting to show hospitality to strangers, for by showing hospitality some have had angels as their guests without being aware of it."

  4. MC
    That sounds like a horrible experience, but truthfully, it's not uncommon. I don't want to socialize with people in the sanctuary, but if I went to a social event like a pancake breakfast, I would not be able to live with myself if I treated someone as shabbily as you were treated. As painful as it is, it's also a gift from God to allow you to feel a scintilla of what He feels. Even while they're at Mass, there are so many people who do not talk to Him at all. They don't believe in the Real Presence and they completely disregard Him, even in His own house.

  5. I have heard the same thing about Catholic churches, people don't relate to each other. That's why I was not in agreement with that Sister who wanted silence after mass. We are literally driving Catholics away.

  6. Keystone, thank you so much for your comments. Adding an additional challenge must worsen an already difficult situation.

    How 'bout we all be nice tomorrow at mass? I don't need to give anyone the hairy eyeball when they aren't acting "up to snuff."

  7. I respectfully disagree with you Manny, as you know :)

    There is a very big difference between leaving church in the silence appropriate to the Blessed Sacrament and ignoring a newcomer at a pancake breakfast. I would also point out that in the days when it was unheard of to talk out loud following Mass, there were many more Catholics, as evidenced by the number of parishes and the number of Masses offered, as compared to today. It's when the "anything goes" mentality sunk in that "everything went", including many of the people.

  8. Thank you for your sensitive and very kind words, Mary Christine. I appreciate what you say.

    Manny is correct in his summation on Catholic Churches. Chapels are aplenty for those who desire adoration or silence.

    But people need God in their lives, and seeing Christians in joy, makes God come alive and desirable for association. You do not hear in church:
    "See how they love one another" (as in Christ's original church). That is because they don't love one another.

    Everybody has their minutia rules on how worship should be run, and woe unto thee who deviates from MY plan of the way Mass must be done, eh?

    But the Bible does not support this at all.

    New International Version (©1984)
    "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

    David danced! (outrageously) before the Lord.
    Rejoice and be glad is biblical.
    Few Masses anywhere are rejoiced; fewer are be glad.

    There has been confusion in bringing the laity closer to God since Vatican II. No one was instructed on how to do the new ways.
    Teachers were abysmal solely for not having been taught themselves.

    Indeed, even the Stations of the Cross have been changed from centuries of non-biblical adoration, by Pope John Paul II, and at least 6 or 7 Stations must be dismantled worldwide.

    People seek TRUTH and the Lord is TRUTH, but they have been served untruth for centuries, and JPII as well as Benedict XVI are jettisoning the old, for it does not square with the truth of the Bible.
    The change in Limbo-no-more was done a couple years back. No more Limbo folks.

    The Stations are well explained by this nun, as to need for change.

    As for difficulty and deafness, I had to leave the church of my youth, for the current pastor sees so few faces in a massive church, that he wanders up the center aisle to get closer to all sitting in the back pews to escape, often before "Go, the Mass has ended" is said.

    But I sit up front to read lips at the podium, not witness an excercise fitness program of racing into the audience and turn your back on a healthy number of folks.

    I pray in the adoration chapel and it is available 24/7. Mass is a time of heaven on Earth to be enjoyed with the Lord. Folks do not even enjoy each other. A new person is more likely to say hello than someone in the exact pew spot for decades.
    I have faith the youth will change Mass and church for the better. It will prevail forever...a promise of Christ. But surely not in present form.

    Worshipping in fellowship corporately is a joy to God and man. Hard to find that at Mass.

    Benedict is growing on me daily by his actions. He had to replace a huge number 1, and be in second place, but is coming into his own.

    And the deathly silence Manny speaks is truly driving catholics to new churches weekly.
    They desire a living God they can acquaint themselves to and fellowship with Him.

    Everyone is on a different stage of relationship with God. The old ways of Mass will disappear wthin a generation, but since the church universal is forever, a new Mass worship will rise like plants in springtime. I am hopeful the focus will again, be on relationship with the Lord, and BIBLICALLY true to form. The last two Popes have gone a long way on making the words of the Bible, NOT doctrine, a focal point of reference to perform Mass.
    I love it.

    Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galations 5:22).
    Given this post and most responses, the Fruit of the Holy Spirit is still on the tree and not in the people.

    Begin with having compassion for all who are around you, in or out of Mass. You are never fully dressed without a smile.

    ps. I've been meandering your library of archives; very nice blog here. And, hospitable too as Hebrews 13:2 says to do. :)

  9. MC, I found a somewhat similar "greeting" at our parish when I began coming to Mass about 9 yrs ago when our son was an infant. It took me 5 years of going to MAss to decide to begin the RCIA process and become fully Catholic and I basically "forced" my way into the fabric of our parish by teaching CCD, playing my trombone at church, etc. We have a nice mix of folks from young families to seniors, lots of active youth as well. but it's still a town of 2500 folks and it can be tough for newcomers to break in. This post serves to remind me to be welcoming to the newcomers. Thanks

  10. I understand about being silent as we leave; however, when I was a protestant we had a lobby (??) that you first entered and then went into the church area. I don't remember if it was every Sunday or maybe every other, but there was a table with coffee, KoolAid, and perhaps cookies. People would stop for 10-30 minutes to have a drink and socialize after services. I believe there were people who volunteered to meet and greet newcomers. They would visit the newcomers and bring information on church activities, invites to join the various activities. If there is nothing to bring you together socially then you probably won't get to know anyone. Catholics are bad about that, at least out here. We met more people through a small Bible study, a very informal group where there was a loose agenda but would be more of a round table discussion rather than a classroom setting. That was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other.

  11. Good point about lobbies Kathy. The few synogogues I've been to also have lobbies outside the congregation area.

    One other thing on silence. If silence was so important at the end of mass, then why is it that the priest greets people and shakes their hands at the back of the church? Priests themselves talk after mass as people are exiting.

  12. My old church had donuts and coffee after mass once a month - and the people there actually talked to one another. It was cheese and crackers after the Saturday vigil mass.

    This morning I tried to smile and take the attitude "if it's to be, it's up to me." I can be the friendly face that others are looking for.

  13. Ha ha Manny - you won't get me on that one. Our priests ALWAYS stand outside the church to greet people. And if the weather is inclement, they stand in the vestibule.

    Kathy, we don't have a church hall, so our pastor has graciously allowed those of us who wish to interact with others to invade his home a few times a year. We cook, wait on people, talk to anyone who wishes to talk to us, and then remain behind afterward to make sure the rectory kitchen is as pristine as we found it.

    I thank God every day I have the kind of priest that I do.

  14. I think from post through comments, a clear picture of today's Catholic church emerges.

    Isolation, rejection, and willfully ignoring a child of God, talking Hungarian, knowing the person's around are cut out, simply hurts. And any church function on any level, should never be a source of hurt to anyone. People need embraced by one another, and that let's them see the embracing of God THROUGH his believers.

    Vatican II did the same approach. The culprit blocking God for many, was to listen to the Mass in LATIN, not Hungarian.....and be cut off for lack of understanding what was being said.

    While centuries of merit to adoration, holiness, and tradition were noted in TLM, folks were missing on the Living Lord, and fleeing to other churches...not parishes, to find Him. Some did; some didn't still.

    From the latter category, a little God is better than no God, so they attempt to go home to the church of their they left long before as it did not meet their needs.

    For the most part, the church of their youth does not exist. However, they can UNDERSTAND what is being said globally, as the Mass is in local vernacular. The Tower of Babel is alive and well at confusing folks, until Vatican II said to change the language to what folks can understand where THEY are.

    Whether there should be silence or no silence morphed to where the silence should be located, a minor issue at best. Anyone can create silence within themselves, even in the largest of churches, packed with people. Not relevant; not biblical either. Some of the most silent spots I know are in marriages I know.

    And a priest can not ALWAYS greet outside and talk if he also greets in the vestibule. These are contradictory and not helpful to understanding we NEED each other as Christians to edify and build up each other. Talking is required to do this.

    Many come to church loaded with burdens; while others have passed the gorges of those burdens before and can be helpful in instructing the currently burdened. They must talk.

    And there is merit in invading a priest's home to enjoin fellowship with believers, but how would God feel if people invaded HIS home but a few times a year? They DO! Easter, Christmas, a wedding or funeral or baptism, perhaps Ash Wednesday OR Good Friday.

    So the spectrum of believers runs from the traditional super respect, to folks who look like homeless, wanting relief from the chills of life for an hour. I have a hunch Christ would hang out with the latter, before saying hello to the former.
    The least among us are his treasures....that's Biblical.

    And in embracing talking, at some point in the time you are at Church, with members, visitors, friends, strangers, then burdens shared..... are cut in half, while joys shared.... are doubled.
    This is the way of the Lord, and the intent of Vatican II, still being implemented and still being resisted.

    Having Christians build up and edify one another, talking joys and griefs, or simple banter, has only one objector....satan, formerly Lucifer.

    And since Jesus Christ told us "I saw satan fall from heaven like a bolt of lightning", uttering that name is also biblical.

    I pray the lost are led by choice or Divine Guidance, to find blog posts like this, where they can read the discussion of what is also going on in THEIR lives, and in the final analysis after a stop here to peruse, say to themselves:
    "I want to be a part of that. I want that in my life"

    Dominos vobiscum.
    The Lord be with you.
    Both are better than "Ich niche verstehen sie"...
    "I don't understand you".

    Speak the truth in love.
    I always thought the key word was "love", followed by "truth".
    But I notice "Speak" comes FIRST!

    Use your five senses, under discernment of the Holy Spirit, to reach out to people around you
    (not ONE is there by accident; God is showing YOU something through them, in your vicinity), and Speak the truth in love.