A very interesting and frustrating experience at Church today

So I went to pay for a mass after church today, and I got to the office and the line was quite large. I spoke up and asked everyone whether they were paying for a mass, and they said they weren’t; they were lining up for other reasons (needing to talk to the priest, organise weddings etc). So the guy at the front kindly told me that since I only needed to pay for a mass, I could walk right in do so quickly. Nobdoy else really had a problem, I thanked him and said “I’l be real quick”.

So anyway I paid for it and as I began to ask the parishioner when the next available slot for my mass dedication will be, she had to look back through the records to see the next available time. I was probably in there for like 90 seconds, I guess most people in the line thought I’d literally be in and out instantly. So one lady in the middle of the line starts yelling out “you said you were going to be quick, stop discussing things, you should’ve gotten in line etc”. She was quite mean about it, I looked back at her and gave her an apologetic look, and she continued to make rude comments about my lack of manners (I’m sure you all see the irony in this". To be honest I was just more shocked than anything, the parishioner and the other people in line were as well. They whispered to me “just let it go, forget about it”, which I obviously did. I apologized to her and told her she shouldn’t be so quick to anger, and she just continued to border on physically abusing me.

I walked out, not even having my request fully completed in paying for a mass, and just wondered in all seriousness, what such people are doing at church in the first place! I’m in no way angry or personally hurt. I couldn’t care less, it’s not like she hurt my feelings. But my anger comes from the fact that there is someone in the world, furthermore in my community/parish, that can sit through a mass in which the sermon was based on forgiveness and compassion, and walk straight out of church (and still be on church grounds) and react that way to such a small issue. I’m literally just in shock.

I guess it’s just a minority though. The amount of good I’ve received from Catholics way exceeds the bad, but still, I was literally in disbelief. I’m not even sure why I made this thread, it’s just been on my mind all day. In such awkward and delicate situations, I love to ask myself, what would Jesus actually do? Would he keep peace and walk away or become annoyed with this womans judgmental behaviour and say something?

Anyway, peace CAF

Pray for her. And pray for the kind man that let you move up in line.

These things do happen, and when they do you can offer it up to our Lord who allowed himself to be spat upon and insulted and crucified for us. The thoughtless lady was surely recognized as being thoughtless by the others in the line. We are all weak and sin in different ways. Lord, help us to glorify You in all things!

I can only think that she has something else going that caused her to react that way. Maybe people treat her like a doormat and today was the day she decided she wasn’t going to take any more **** from anybody and you got the brunt. I’m sure Jesus would have said the perfect thing to humble her and turn her heart around, but we mere mortals have to just put up with people like that and try not to lose our OWN temper :slight_smile:

I’m sorry she was so unkind to you. Maybe she needed to see the priest to discuss something serious or tragic going on in her life.

Domiy, I admire your ability to shrug it off-I am still hurt by a similar incident I experienced. I attended mass with my adult son-age 24 (he lives out of the area so is not a regular at this church). Anyways, a mother and daughter (and eventually the rest of their family) in the pew behind us were “whispering” and giggling about cradle robbing and how I was too old to be with such a young man! Finally my son loudly whispered “Mom, can you give me a missalette” and they stopped.

Yes, that’s my experience too. Parishes in the USA tend to have a significant group of “road rage” types. This is a growing phenomenon throughout American society, I believe. Lots of Catholic just go to mass for social reasons, or out of family obligation, and have no idea that it is really all about practicing Agape Love (“charity” in the broad Christian sense) towards neighbors, strangers, and enemies. How did things get like this? What is the answer? Well, lots of people have ideas about that. But I’ll just say that what you experienced is something I’ve experienced many times. I limit my activities at my parish, specifically to stay away from all the meanness, rudeness, selfishness, viciousness that goes on among the lay people in the parish when they are outside of the context of the mass. There are some parishes that are different. There are some sub-groups within a parish that are different. But the sad fact is that the last place on earth where you are likely to find people acting in a Christian manner is among a group of lay people at a Catholic parish in the USA outside the context of Mass. That’s my experience, anyway. One solution is to remove oneself from a typical diocese parish, and go to a place where most of the people take their Faith more seriously, such as an Extraordinary Form (traditional Latin mass) place, or an Opus Dei study center, or mass at a convent or monastery, and so on. Just as women generally should not put up with “domestic abuse” from a husband, so Catholic should not put up with “domestic abuse” from fellow parishioners. But don’t get in a fight with people. Just remove yourself to a place where kindness not “f**k you!” is the norm. Well, hope that was of some use to you. God bless.

This.

We don’t know what was going on in that woman’s heart. Prayer always helps.

Well honestly, you shouldn’t have jumped the line. The person in the front had no right to tell you it was ok, unless everyone in line before you said they didn’t have a problem with it. The woman that got angry with you could have been there for the exact same reason you were and was angry that you got to choose the next available mass.

Second, do you know for sure that this woman is a member of your parish? Are you sure she’s even Catholic? If people were in line to organize weddings, someone in line could be non-Catholic or a member of a different parish and perhaps they do things differently at their parish when it comes to business in the parish office.

Third, like someone said, pray for her. Perhaps she is grieving, perhaps she has a very, very serious problem to discuss with the priest. Yes, her anger was way over the line, but I can think of many reasons that can prompt a person to act out of character and I’d give her a little bit more of the doubt and less speculation about the other issues.

That’s the point. Her anger was way over the line. Christ would have a lot to say about being mean (not angry at, but downright mean toward) because somebody got ahead of them. That woman is far from the kingdom and just put herself even farther. If she was so concerned about standing in line and had some serious issue to discuss, she should have made an appointment with the priest. He can’t counsel effectively with a long line of people waiting to talk to him after Mass.

And we all have problems, for sure. But we really need to do a better attempt at getting along with each other than to march right from Mass into a confrontation over trifles. It would have been bad enough if this were in the food stamp line, but in church? WAY over the top. I’m not interested in making any excuses for her. If she was having a bad day and just lost control for a minute, she could have apologized – and I’m pretty sure if she had then OP would have told us.

Alan

And you don’t think she was standing in line to perhaps make that appointment with the priest? We don’t know the state of her soul, nor her heart, nor her mind. Yes, I agree her anger was over the top. But to presume otherwise, I’m not comfortable with the way you seem to be to condemn her without even knowing her and based on a one time encounter with the OP.

How can you say something like that. That she is far from the kingdom of God. You do not know her heart, only God knows and you shouldn’t be that quick at judging her. Don’t forget Jesus Christ said " do not judge on appareances, but judge rigthly. You have no idea what is going on inside her at that particular moment. From your words you don’t seem to try to do a better attempt at getting along with each other.

May Our Lord grant peace to you and to all those with whom you stood in line. Many charitable suggestions have been made thus far-and as all Catholics are recovering sinners struggling with concupiscence- it can be helpful to have this evidence of what we can do when we are at our best.
Sometimes people have challenges with medications(too much, too little, the wrong one, negative interactions or dangerous accumulations over time in the body). Such a situation may have triggered the outburst you experienced. If this is the case for the person in line who troubled you, may she be led to competent professionals who might diagnose and correct the problem. Amen.

Remember the old saying that the church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.

If our churches on Sundays are filled with only kind, holy and spiritual people then we are doing something wrong as the Body of Christ. Our churches need to be filled with theives, adulterers, drug dealers, and rude and bitter people. Pray for her, God bless you.

I don’t condemn anybody. I do my best to help others get into the kingdom. If she misses out on the kingdom, it’s her own issue, not because I “condemned” her.

You are right. I don’t know her heart so I can’t say precisely how close she is or isn’t on a quantitative basis. But since I am in the kingdom, I can assure you that such behavior indicates a problem, and will drive her in the wrong direction. :sad_yes:

Don’t you think maybe I’ve behaved like that woman before in my lifetime? It took a great deal of healing for me to wake up; I know about which I speak here. :wink:

Alan

LOL, now I think this is funny and in a way kind of complimentary that they thought you were a cougar!!
I think your son ruined everything but he could probably see that you were upset ( good job at raising a sensitive child btw) so he handled it.

If it were ME I would have walked out arm in arm with my boy, smiled at the family in a patronizing way with an “that’s right, I’m HOT!” attitude!

Don’t be hurt, you’ve won in every way, people think you look good enough to snare a young guy, your boy defended you in public and he GOES TO MASS WITH YOU!!! I don’t go to Church very often but think about it, that family shouldn’t have been giggling or chatting while at Mass anyway! So you win there too, your kid acts better in church than her kid! I know some will not like MY response but in my opinion, you’ve come out on top in every way and I just thought I’d say so!

It’s very presumptious of you. I will try to be more humble next time.

You said you were there to pay for a Mass. I’m sure you didn’t mean that literally, but someone may not be familiar with what you meant. Of course we can’t buy a Mass. There is no way to place a monetary value on our Lord’s sacrifice. What we do when we schedule a Mass is make an offering to the priest for his time. Priests’ salaries are not adequate for the extras that are necessary for their needs and wants, so the donation the priests receive for their time simply helps them to provide for some of these needs, and possibly, wants. God bless.

I like your style. :smiley:

Don’t be hurt, you’ve won in every way, people think you look good enough to snare a young guy, your boy defended you in public and he GOES TO MASS WITH YOU!!! I don’t go to Church very often but think about it, that family shouldn’t have been giggling or chatting while at Mass anyway! So you win there too, your kid acts better in church than her kid! I know some will not like MY response but in my opinion, you’ve come out on top in every way and I just thought I’d say so!

:amen:

I was under the impression it was actually to pay for a Mass “intention.” At our parish, for a $10 donation (it may be optional) you can ask for a Mass to be said for an intention and they will schedule it for the next one available. At our parish it takes about 30 seconds. You give them your money, they write the name down, and you’re done.

Alan

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