30 August 2010

Wherein It's All Teed Up...

The following letter to the editor appeared in last week's St. Louis Review, and since I have taken the paper to task a bit lately, I thought I would help out by answering the reader's letter in this space. The question, followed by my response:

Getting tired

Attending Mass lately has left me feeling very tired. I am tired of people sauntering into pews with no genuflection or even the popular bow. Where is the reverence for God's house and God's presence? I am tired of young people hunched over with hands on knees, heads down, not really paying attention. More attention is paid at a sporting event! I am tired of young children hanging on their parents, turning all around, not using books, and chewing gum and then going up to Communion.

Where is the respect or even awareness of what is really going on? I am tired of screamingly loud music and singing of songs that are anything but hymns. What are they doing in our Catholic church? Doesn't God hear our prayers in the silence of our hearts? Is louder really better?

What on earth will our faith be like 20 years down the road? Will my young grandchildren have a strong faith to see them through life's hard times? Singing and shaking hands will not do much when standing by a hospital bed. It all makes me sad and very tired.

P- D-


Dear P- D-,

Next Sunday, why not hit Mass at 2653 Ohio Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118?

In Christ,
thetimman

13 comments:

X said...

This person needs to get into a time machine and go back to 1970 when this letter might have been timely. I hope they are sincere in their criticism but I've often found that some curmudgeons would rather curse the Darkness than light a (votive) candle.

Anonymous said...

In fairness, X, given the vagaries of postal delivery from time to time, I don't know that you can assume that this letter wasn't written in 1970.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Franklin

just wondering said...

dear reader x, you must be one of the fortunate few who have never sat next to someone text messaging all through mass, or been scandalized by "daisy duke" shorts and flip flops and any other seductive, slovenly dress of the day. or maybe you missed the homily by a certain priest during the Christmas Season where he sang jingle bells while dangling his car keys. yep, thats all the people received to get them through the week, hey, maybe in this perfect world we live in thats all we need. a little car key jingle bells and nobody gets hurt, right? snap out of it! i suggest you take that votive candle, hold your hand to the flame and see if you are even capable of feeling pain. mr. sad and tired, i'm right there with you buddy, but i'm not ready to throw in the towel, i'm digging in for the long haul.

Anonymous said...

Primarily, because people like you attend that church.

just wondering said...

anon 13:16, i am assuming that you are referring to me when you say "people like you" and so i will attempt to let you get to know me a little better, and please, by all means, correct me if i am wrong in my assumations.
i love God. i believe in God. i believe every word that Jesus Christ said. i love and revere the Holy Catholic Church,the Roman Pontiff, and the bishops, priests,& religious in union with him. i love the sacraments that give me spiritual life and assist me in my corporal journey. i revere the holy priesthood instituted by Christ of which only men can be ordained for. i believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body, and i am willing, by the grace of God to die for those beliefs if need be. now, if that is what you were referring to when you said "people like you", then you, my friend are right on time. as for people like YOU, i think your comment speaks volumes. peace, out.

Anonymous said...

" i revere the holy priesthood instituted by Christ of which only men can be ordained for. i believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body, and i am willing, by the grace of God to die for those beliefs if need be. now, if that is what you were referring to when you said "people like you", then you, my friend are right on time."

My goodness! Good thing you didn't waste any time studying sentence structure or grammar!

Sorry, but I don't traffic with self-proclaimed saints, false prophets that claim to speak for Christ, didactic philistines, or complete idiots.

For that reason, I believe that I will take a pass.

To paraphrase Thomas Hardy, “Save your soul man! Thou hath no star”

Anonymous said...

I am tired of people leaving mass early. I attended mass at Christ Prince of Peace last Saturday and found it alarming the amount of people that left after commnunion.

What is this teaching their children?

Anonymous said...

I have never attended a Latin Mass but am rather fascinated by it. My mom still talks of it like it was yesterday and someday I plan to go to St Francis de Sales to attend for myself. Many of things others are describing happening in your parishes, I am surprised by. I go to church outside of St. Louis (south on way to Cape) and I have to admit, our pews are full (we go to 2-3 different mass times often), people are dressed up for the most part and conservative. There is lots of singing and participation and 98% of people stay right to the last verse of the last hymn. Most people's children are well behaved and if they aren't, a parent takes them quietly and discreetly to the cry room. I say we have a vibrant welcome parish and our priests are terrific and traditional. I was a cradle Catholic, strayed as a teenager (cause it was uncool don't you know)and returned in my early thirties after I married, had 2 kids and moved to MO. I feel welcome and very spiritual at Mass and have had the chance to sing some traditional hymns I remember my mom discussing (like Ave Maria on Assumption Sunday this year). And I feel everyone around me is the same for the most part. I feel bad some of you have these horrible experiences at other parishes. Even our school is terrific and I am gonna send both my children there when they are old enough. May God bless you and help your parishes to be better if possible.

cp said...

"What is this teaching their children?"

In charity I can only respond as TheTimman did:

Next Sunday, why not hit Mass at 2653 Ohio Ave., St. Louis, MO 63118?

Andy McD. said...

Anon 22:08 (one of many spineless turds who refuse to leave a name),

My goodness, it's a good thing you didn't waste any time on reading comprehension.

He stated, " by the grace of God to die for those beliefs if need be."

Did you get it this time? "By the grace of God", apart from which true martyrdom is impossible. Far from being a self-proclaimed saint, he was simply pointing out the obvious (or what should be obvious)and logical conclusion for any Catholic: the willingness to die for Christ and His Church, and the necessity of His Grace to fulfill such a highly honored call.

Read, think, understand, then, and only then, speak (or type as the case may be).

Anonymous said...

Okay. So let me get this straight Timman:

It is the height of disrespect to refer to the gentlemen residing at the Vatican as “the boys at the Vatican”, but its okay for Mr. Andy McD. To refer to another blogger as, “one of many spineless turds…”

Christian civility - Got it.

-cdg

thetimman said...

cdg,

Fair criticism. The "t" word was excessive, and I hesitated before posting-- made the wrong call there. As for the other comment, it wasn't "boys at the Vatican" that caused it to be deleted, I can't remember exactly but I think it was an overall tone thing. Please resend if you like and I will read it again with some more leeway in light of the other.

Sorry. Human error.

Anonymous said...

Timman-

Appreciate the offer, but the issue has disappeared into time and cyberspace - (meaning, I can't remember!)

I vaguely recall the comment being a witty and trenchant response to Mr.guyfawkes equally trenchant criticism of those within the Catholic community who differentiate between religious fervor and spirituality.

Perhaps Mr.guy can more adequately describe (remember) the specifics.

-cdg