How should I react?...Super - irritated during mass

I went to church around 30 minutes early today. I decided to sit at the back-most, corner-most area beside the garden, where I felt most comfortable because of the cool breeze that came in from the open doors.

There was no one near me at that time. A few minutes later, a woman and a teenage girl (I assume to be her daughter) came and sat down in right in front of me, despite there were so many free spaces elsewhere in the big church.

Then I had to go briefly somewhere and decided to “save” my seat by leaving my fan and a card but reclaimed my seat when I came back.

During the mass, the woman left her bag behind her on the seat while kneeling, even though there was a vacant seat right in front of her where she could’ve placed her bag and keep an eye on it.

Since I was kneeling also, her bag was directly in front of me and behind her.

As the mass progressed…she started to look agitated and was going through her bag and not finding whatever she was looking for. I don’t know for sure, but I felt she was thinking along the lines that I had done something or gotten something from her bag because of the way she was acting.

I was so irritated with what I thought she was thinking. I tried to pray for her to be enlightened…but the feeling of irritation was so distracting.

I know that, if true, that she was wrongly thinking ill of me, she was commiting a sin, I too, who allowed myself to be affected, sinned by not being able to concentrate fully during mass and having this irritation get the better of me.

How should I have acted in this situation?

For example, another place where she is not , and then you can see is problem with you or not. If you in another place do not have irritation , then is not problem with you.

ignored the entire thing and focused on the action on the altar, meditating on Christ’s saving grace

How annoying! Some people don’t like to sit by themselves in a nearly empty church. That could be why the women sat near you. Perhaps you could have left to go out to the bathroom and taken another seat when you came back.

However, when this happens we should offer up our distractions to God and sincerely pray for the person who is annoying us at Mass. St. Therese was very annoyed by another sister who prayed near her, I think she was muttering or clicking her rosary. It drove Therese crazy but she wouldn’t go to another seat because it might have hurt the feelings of the other sister.

Being distracted is not a sin and doesn’t displease God, just try to be patient next time. I’m sure He will give you another opportunity to be patient.:smiley:

And if you pray the rosary, do include her and her daughter in the prayers. Focus on the Lord and remember what Mother Theresa said to her sisters: treat the next person as if it was Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

I know it it hard, but very worth striving for.
And i shall include you and those two in my prayers.

It couldn’t be that she chose to sit there for the same reason you did is it - You know - the cool breeze coming in the doors…

During the mass, the woman left her bag behind her on the seat while kneeling, even though there was a vacant seat right in front of her where she could’ve placed her bag and keep an eye on it.

Since I was kneeling also, her bag was directly in front of me and behind her.

As the mass progressed…she started to look agitated and was going through her bag and not finding whatever she was looking for. I don’t know for sure, but I felt she was thinking along the lines that I had done something or gotten something from her bag because of the way she was acting.

I was so irritated with what I thought she was thinking. I tried to pray for her to be enlightened…but the feeling of irritation was so distracting.

I know that, if true, that she was wrongly thinking ill of me, she was commiting a sin, I too, who allowed myself to be affected, sinned by not being able to concentrate fully during mass and having this irritation get the better of me.

How should I have acted in this situation?

It sounds to me as though you are making assumptions based on too little facts.
Your statment of, “I don’t know for sure”, and being irritated over what you, “thought she was thinking” are clear indicators that no accusation was made by her.
You have no idea why she was irritated and it could just as easily be that she was irritated at herself as at you.

Saying a prayer is a good idea, not for her enlightenment since that presumes she was thinking what you thought she was thinking about you…Rather you should have prayed that she find what she was looking for, and for yourself to not have the uncharitable thoughts.

Peace
James

A lot of people does what this woman did and I am one of those from time to time.A few times, I remember something that I need and could not find it straight away and it’s not actually irritation that comes when I go through and search for whatever I’m looking for but more of being embarrased because I know I’m distracting other people’s concentration in what is going on in the altar. Maybe, this is the same thing that happened to the lady in front of you.
I think the best thing to do is to ignore what is happening in front of you but rather concetrate on what is happening in the altar and you have done a good thing in praying for her and I am sure God heard your prayer.
You can also pray to the Holy spirit to enlighten you and to guide you to take your attention away from this person.
What I also do, is sit in front so I am closer to the altar and I don’t get distracted as much because my attention is focused on the altar and away from the people around me.
God Bless

:signofcross::highprayer:

Excellent!

I don’t really have an answer to your question because I am one to get extremely irritated, like you. Once I was at adoration and the ENTIRE Chapel was empty except for me (50 seats). A lady came in and sat in the seat one row behind me and one seat to my left, so when she was kneeling, her mouth was right next to my ear!!! She knelt there for at least 20 minutes and was making all kinds of weird noises with her mouth (praying silently, maybe). I didn’t want to move over because I didn’t want to appear aggitated, but I was so furious because I was now only concentrating on her mouth noises right next to my ear instead of concentrating on being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament!! I spent the rest of my visit wondering how bad it would look if I got up and moved my seat. UGH!!! And I hated myself because I really wanted to slug her!! :mad:

I don’t know much about St. Terese of Liseaux, but I think I recall a story about her becoming irritated at a sister who would sit behind her in Chapel and click her Rosaries. Human nature. Don’t worry about it.

Just wanted to say that it kind of bugs me when someone leaves their purse on the seat behind them.

If it is closed it is not such a big deal (just a minor “bug”), but if it is hanging open I feel a little more uncomfortable.

Not that I would take anything, but just the fact that they are not keeping an eye on their belongings to know for sure if someone touched them or not.

Maybe it comes from the fact that I was accused once in the past of taking something from a friend (which I did not) but it turned into a major fight between us.

My mother also always taught me to be careful about being alone with people’s things because if they find something is missing, they could accuse you. So for example, I will not “house sit” for someone or keep a key to their home - if they loose something, I do not want to be accused.

So I guess it is the same with the purse on the seat. I wish they would put it somewhere where they can see it at all times - and keep it closed. That way if something goes missing, and they are rummaging through their bag, I will not feel uncomfortable that maybe they are doubting me - the person who was hanging over their “open purse.”

Just a thought :slight_smile:

:thumbsup: I do this, too.

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