Meeting Christ the Lord half way in the Blessed Eucharist


#1

I'm in my 40's and going through years and years of limbo in terms of career and personal relationships but recently I came back to embrace the faith. However, I look at the modern society and know that I've failed so far to contribute to meeting my requirements in communicating and being in communion with the Blessed Trinity in the Eucharist.
To give a less important but nonetheless relevant example, I was at mass this morning with my mother and sister and in the row in front a group of kids under 5 arrive just after the rest of the parish have received the Lord God in communion. Just before the blessing, I found that my patience with the children reading out the letters of the alphabet to represent aspects of the faith to them was tested. The children are quite loud and carry on as all small kids. After the letters, they were asked questions by the priest and then we sung 'Away in a Manger'. I felt annoyed with myself at my irritation and some of their helpers (adult women around my age but mostly younger) didn't notice my reaction. However when they turned around and looked at me they looked at each other and gave a shiver and made a sound expressing disgust. I take this very badly although in my lifetime, the number of times this has been done to me, you would think I'd be used to it ;0)!
I was in a bad mood for the afternoon and I considered that the lack of empathy from me and these women reflect my vanity and pride as well as theirs'.
It's a very minor example of individualism and a real lack of empathy in our society. I'm not meeting the Holy Spirit half way. I'm a seething mess of rage, failure and an inability to ignore and not take the offence offered. The views that I have are coloured by rejection and pride has rendered me immobile; completely shut down; unwilling to take risks; closed to most although to open to those who confer any attention. I know that it's impossible for people to understand what years of taking offence and going on the defence have done. I have confessed my sins but I find it hard to forgive especially when I have failed to meet my expectations.
I do notice that in places like Chapel in small towns if you haven't obtained A + B + C by a certain age then doubts are felt and people's minds work overtime. I don't share these views but here I'm on the receiving end. If people only understood how pure others are or try to be in my case, they wouldn't form these ideas.
Modern society encourages individualism and it never offers constructive advice on doing things with the grace that Christ confers on us when we take the blessed sacraments. I try to focus on that but get comfort from wallowing in the momentary satisfaction that anger and bitterness provides. I've also found that anger and pride quell the fear that comes from other's thoughts as compensation and all of this holds me back from enjoying the fruits of Christ's sacrifice. I try hard but the 'red rag' moments like today are a set back because they remind me of my failures in relationships and friendships.
How do you meet the Lord half way in grace when you're being bullied and ridiculed or harassed? Please be completely honest because advice from theory is different when we're in the trenches at work or busy shops or the 'training exercise' that I was in today? Visualise the situation, that neighbour is turning their music up; that young guy with the Subaru has just cut you up in the outside lane. Think...........It's easy but the difficult reaction is the option I'm trying to switch to.


#2

People can be rude.

However, I think if a guy is showing his irritation at small children (under 3 or 4) while caretakers do their best to keep the children quiet, I'd of made a face back at that guy, too. I've got a mamma bear streak and I've delt with many children with many different temperaments and disorders and some children just can't sit still in mass. If you are so irritated by children your best bet is to go to the very early mass and sit in the front.

I do notice that in places like Chapel in small towns if you haven't obtained A + B + C by a certain age then doubts are felt and people's minds work overtime. I don't share these views but here I'm on the receiving end. If people only understood how pure others are or try to be in my case, they wouldn't form these ideas.

This is a very self-centered thought. To claim you know what people think short of being a mind reader is so incredibly pompus. Its like that childhood song "No body likes me, every body hates me, I'm going to eat worms."

Honestly becuase of how you think, you probably would benefit from a good counceller.

That being said. EVERYONE struggles with things. A guy may cut you off, but he likely didn't even notice you. You have probably cut people off numerous times...because you were thinking about something that's now irrelevant.

I know there are rude churches. I was mocked by old ladies at Daily Mass, however, I met some very nice people who offered me rides when I had none. My new city has many very parishes with poor behavior from people and parishes lead by priests who are uncaring. I have been "kicked out" of my pew becuase a family wanted to sit together, told not to recieve communion becuase I was a couple minutes late, told that it was a sin to listen to pop music in Adoration (it was not pop music), was criticized for singing the closing song after mass...and much more.

I have asthma and priests are unwilling to not use incense so I can attend mass at a spiritually healthier parish. I have been told that they cannot change the cannon law for me (cannon law doesn't say you need incense at every mass), that I am whining and is what's wrong with the church today, I have been told that it was too bad and I shouldn't be complaining, I was told that I was sinful and deserve it, I was even told that I shouldn't be catholic...and this was not only from priests but monsignors, cardinals and even an archbishop!!!

Yet, I keep looking until I find what I need, socially, spiritually, mentally and physically.

Other than that there's a great line that my friend taught me, "don't blame God for His cheap help."


#3

I agree that it was pompous of me to make assumptions of other’s thoughts. It’s a form of pride and vanity that is something that I need to change to meet the Lord in the trinity at communion. I also agree that people can be rude but I can’t change them. It’s the struggle of the self. The reason I think like this is because of rejection and getting closer to God in the sacraments will help me to realise I only need his love. As for counsellors, they’re simply temporary temporal friends; the true friend is God.
You sound as if you’ve been through the mill with some of your parishioners especially having to move to satisfy a family’s seating requirements although I don’t know the exact circumstances so I can’t comment and the same goes for the music incident.
As for being late for mass, being a Traditional Catholic I would have to be there from the beginning of the mass but again I don’t know why you were late.
As for your asthma you suggested that I sit further back and my suggestion is to sit near the door. I can’t because my mother wants to hear the mass.
The reason that the mass includes incense is that we feel the action of divine grace entering our soul through our senses. This is in keeping with the writings of St Thomas Aquinas who proposed that our bodies are not separate from our souls and therefore through our senses and from our faith in Christ we perceive him through smell, sight, touch etc. This was in keeping with Aristotle before him I think abandoning Plato’s theory of one body and one soul. Theologically incense is an important part of the Mass.
As for finding a church that meets your needs, I believe that the mass is universal (Catholic) and the beauty and majesty of the Eucharist transcends my petty irritations. You have real difficulties from some of your parishioners but it sounds like you maybe need to consider each case? I take on board what you say though and it was vain and arrogant of me but consider my suggestions too. Thanks. There I’m doing it now! :slight_smile:


#4

thanks prodigal…I can’t be in the same room with incense. I sometimes can’t even go to mass on Satuday when they’ve had a funeral because it lingers. So it can be a real road block.

I’ve tried other parishes here, but unfortunately my city is steeped in liberalism and it wouldn’t be near scrupulous to ask if a mass was valid. (I don’t even know the finer points but you wouldn’t even have to in most cases) Then there are churches where the priest correctly celebrates the Eucharst…but he also preaches that there is no more mortal sin and cohabitation is ok for both male & female couples and homosexual couples. :frowning: That and there’s a diocesan reconfiguration (eg. churches being closed) so if people think you could be a “spy” from another parish they are very rude. At a recent reconfiguration meeting the city police had to be called.

I used to do (and occasionally do) alot of assuming of how people think. The first time someone pointed out to me it was selfish I thought they were nuts. Just recently I thought a friend was upset at me becuase of something dumb I did…when actually he was upset over something else and really needed me to be there for him. I was not beucase I was too afraid he was going to say he hated me. Its hard to not be selfish when it comes to things like that. From an early age we’re told selfishness means sharing things, not that selfishness is an emotinal state all about what people think about you.

a great line “It is none of your business what other people think of you.” Eleanor (I forgot her last name)


#5

It's not about how we "feel" it's what we do. I've been blessed at times with some powerfully uplifting experiences during liturgy and I think perhaps these are encouraging treats. But I believe the true spiritual challenge and potential growth occurs when I am besieged by distractions, irritations and sometimes even wicked thoughts during mass. The temptation is to become resentful, angry, especially if they appear to be caused by others around me, or even ashamed that these things, are interfering with MY "Holy" experience. I offer these up to God , acknowledging that I am weak, prideful, sinful, etc, but also that God takes this and creates strength and virtue for me. The main thing I try to do is to stop struggling with it. Like St Teresa of Avila advises when we encounter hideous toads in the first mansion of the interior castle, just ignore them. They are there to distract us and draw our focus away from God. (by "them" and "they" I don't mean the people or children around us, but the distractions we experience) I think Mother Teresa's saying applies to this as much as it does to our other human activities- God does not ask us to be successful, He only asks that we be faithful.


#6

[quote="purplesunshine, post:4, topic:179549"]
Then there are churches where the priest correctly celebrates the Eucharst...but he also preaches that there is no more mortal sin and cohabitation is ok for both male & female couples and homosexual couples. :( That and there's a diocesan reconfiguration (eg. churches being closed) so if people think you could be a "spy" from another parish they are very rude. At a recent reconfiguration meeting the city police had to be called.

[/quote]

I would accept the sacraments while you have to but those teachings are so anti-catholic that I would consider writing to your bishop. Why do these people stay in the church if they disagree? "Protest" tants - join another of the 35000 churches, that's what they should do but not under the auspices of the one true faith. I can understand your anger on this.


#7

I agree completely with what you’re saying Ann but I’m any specific examples? I was thinking about people who have struggled and using that as inspiration. I’m a theory person so it would be good to know about struggles


#8

You need look no further than Christ himself for an example of someone who has been "bullied and ridiculed or harassed"

I am not talking from theory, as a fellow human I have experienced my share of life's pain and injustice. Do you think you are special in this respect? Why the interest in hearing about others similar struggles, to feed your self righteous indignation and sense of martyrdom? There is no value in reliving all the hurt and pain, it's like picking at a scab, the wound will never heal and could develop into a raging infection of the soul. Aside from regular attendance at Mass you should be praying daily. A simple short prayer for deliverance from this spirit of pride, anger and vengeance with which you are afflicted would be the best start. Don't commit yourself to "heroic" sessions of prayer, keep it humble.

Both you and purplesunshine may benefit from reading The Church Militant or the Church Belligerent, which can be found on this site by entering the title in the search box.


#9

I completely agree that our Lord suffered for our sake but you and I and all of us realise that we can never be perfect. I wasn’t asking for examples for purposes of comparing and then attacking my fellow man. I am not a martyr either Ann, 300 years of physical torture and execution for the faith make all of our daily struggles pale into insignificance. However solidarity and a sense of community in hearing of people’s similar struggles would help me to put things into perspective. That’s what I was doing when I spoke to purplesunshine empathising and putting things into context which she did for me when she rightly said I was self-centred in the case of putting thoughts into people’s heads.

However the following:

I disagree with your latter point in that Christ embraced his cross which I take as an example to us to understand pain and suffering and if this is through empathy, I think this is a good way of dealing with similar situations in the future. Your suggestion about reading the church militant document is very well received and thank you.

However I’d like an apology for the suggestion that I’m seeing myself as ‘special’.

The clue is when I asked to hear about other struggles and I hope this doesn’t make me sound patronizing. I’m trying to maintain grace although to be honest Ann you have insulted me. However, I hope that this is misunderstanding but please I think you owe me an apology.


#10

I didn't mean to insult you and I am sorry you were offended.


#11

[quote="ann_chicago, post:10, topic:179549"]
I didn't mean to insult you and I am sorry you were offended.

[/quote]

Thanks Ann and no worries. I read that article and it was fantastic especially the section about being Joyful warriors. It's worth adhering too especially for myself because I can be a ranter at times and lose sight of charity and mercy. God bless and thanks for a great and life reforming article


closed #12

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