I think i managed to upset someone at mass

I feel like a really bad person right now.

so I had just gone to confression, was sitting in the pew waiting for mass to start, it was about a couple minutes to the start. anyways, this guy comes and sits down behind me and tries to force money in to my hand…

don’t get me wrong, I know ths intentions are good, and he kept saying he wanted to help me, but taking money is just something I really feel uncomfortable doing. and it’s not the first time it happens either, I just can’t really handle, having a disability, strangers coming up to me and trying to have me take their money. it perpetuates all kinds of sterotypes and I just don’t think it’s good, if it was a rosary, or a prayer card or a medal or something, that’s ok but money is just something I don’t want to accept

anyways, because there were other people praying around me, I was just trying to shake my head quietly and he was getting agitated, saying he wanted to help me, I was trying to avoid it turning in to a scene. so I quietly tried to tell him that it doesn’t really help, which it doesn’t, money is not what I need, I just wish to be treated as a normal person

but I guess I upset him because he got up and left, I don’t know if he left the churc h or just went to sit somewhere else.

I know I could just take the money and give it to some charity or something but how does that change stereotypes about disabilities? I just have a really hard time with this.

let’s face it, I’m willing to bet, no one has offered any of you guys money recently just out of the blue like that?

I really didn’t mean to be rude or hurt his feelings but I guess maybe he took it that way? did I commit a grave sin?

No sin there, in my humble opinion. It is difficult to destroy entrenched stereotypes. I just wish more people would come up to me at Mass and thrust money into my hand. Take it in the spirit it was given. Sometimes it is a virtue to participate in these gratuitous acts of kindness without rancour. I am prepared to take up that cross at any time. LOL However, I can understand your principal stand and you cannot blame yourself for your response to an unexpected situation.

That’s definitely a weird thing to do, and as far as I know, it doesn’t happen to able bodied people as a general rule.

In your situation I probably would have done the same thing you did, and I can’t see how you did anything wrong.

If he was offended, that’s on him - he was invading your personal space, and forcing something on you that you didn’t want - you were right to react as you did, I think.

No, you did not commit a sin. You were polite but firm. We’re being manipulated if we’re made to feel guilty for resisting or declining an importunate advance. In his defense, he may have thought this awkward attempt at charity was a decent thing to do. You did the right thing.

I agree with the others; no sin at all There is no requirement in our Faith you take money. You were trying to be polite.

Be at peace.


Poor guy. He probably went home and told a friend, wow, I think I really upset this girl at church…

Sometimes people set themselves up to be upset. It’s certainly not your fault if they then get upset!

that’s exactly the thing, why is ok for things like this to happen to me, if it’s something normal people wouldn’t dream of doing to someone who they considered to be on the same level as them?

I get it, his intention is definitely good, but I just can’t take money from people, especially if it is being thrust in to my hand like that, literally.

It sounds like you were pretty gentle with him. You did well.


FWIW, people used to press money into my hand all the time…after my first husband committed suicide.
People “feel sorry”, yet they don’t really understand how capable you are. He probably thinks a young woman like yourself could use a buck.
You did well. Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for compassionate people anyway.
If he was willing to sacrifice for you, he probably does nice things for others as well.
Nice to see you on the boards again.

I will come at this from another direction.

There is a disabled woman at our church who walks with the aid of a crutch. One Sunday we ended up at the church door about the same time. Thinking I was being helpful, I stepped ahead in order to open the door for her. She went around me to another set of doors, snapping at me, “I don’t need help. I have doors at home. How do you think I manage there without help?”

I was stunned & embarrassed. I could only mumble something like “Sorry, just trying to help.”

I consider myself a compassionate person (well, I try). I actually look out for people who might be struggling & ask if I can help. (Yes, I offered someone money at a hospital once, because I heard her crying that she had no money for bus fare.) Do I need to re-think my ways? Have I actually been insulting people by trying to help them? :blush:

Another point of view. Obviously this person felt strongly that he needed to help you. In his mind, the only avenue was to give you money. I understand your aversion to accepting this kind of charity and I don’t think you did anything wrong in refusing it. But I think after the 2nd or 3rd time he insisted (if as you say he was obviously agitated) I would have just taken it with thanks, and then put it in the collection basket. Just my :twocents:

Just my opinion. Maybe just take money graciously then then put it in in collection basket at church next time you go to mass or donate it to food bank.

That’s a good thought but I think it applies to the giver of the money. After realizing the person he was trying to give the money to politely and graciously declined HE should have put it in the collection basket.

Accepting it once, means perhaps he’ll do it again and it’s not needed, or desired, and was politely declined.


I’m sorry that this happened to you, that was honestly rather rude of her. on the other hand, I think sometimes we get so many things forced on us, that sometimes we get a bit grustrated with everything, not that it’s an excuse to be impolite.

since you asked, i’ll be truthful with you. yes, the vast majority of time, when people think they are helping, it is help we generally do not need or can even make things more difficult for us. but I know your intentions are good, as are most people, so I usually let most things go. I personally do not get insulted per say, but some people might

I just will not accept money, that’s just a line I won’t cross anymore. holding the door for someone is quite a normal thing to do, able bodied people do it for other able bodied people all the time. but if it’s something obviously done because you’re disabled or out of pity, then that’s when it makes us feel like less of people compared to everyone else.

as for your situation with the hospital, well if the woman was crying for having no money, and you gave her some, that is not the same as just going up to a stranger you don’t know and assuming they need money because they have a disability

sorry, forgot to add something in my last reply. if you do see someone who you think may need help, the best course would be to ask them. then they will at least have the option to accept or decline without feeling like they’re pushed in to a corner or it’s forced on them

I have done that in the past, just doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

that’s another thing, the collection basket, half the time, mysteriously, or not so mysteriously, does not get to me so I can’t even put anything in it. really makes me feel like people think I don’t have anything to contribute

yes, of course you’re right.

I just feel bad because I wasn’t trying to upset him

and if it was anything else, I probably would have just taken it. but ther’es something about money that just makes me uncomfortable

exactly, and it also enforces the stereotype

I just hope I didn’t come off as rude though. there were people praying everywhere and mass was about to start in 2 minutes. all I could really do was shake my head and quietly whisper that money doesn’t help me. then he got up and moved. I wish I could have given him a better explanation than that though

Well yes, it would if the giver of the money had asked, but he didn’t. :shrug:

Thank you for your honest & thoughtful reply. You have opened my eyes to something I hadn’t considered. :slight_smile:

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