Thursday, February 04, 2016

Dear parents: Not all those who frown are meanies

If you want to make people mad suggest that parents make an effort to control their children during Mass.  You will called mean, judgmental, nasty, a child hater, a sour old maid or a bitter old man, and a bad Catholic.  I say "phooey" to most of  that because I've seen way too much. 

At my parish Sunday Mass I watched a moment of whimsy almost turn bad. A child was lying on the floor probably because the cool stone felt good. Normally I wouldn't even mention this but he wriggled into the aisle during Communion. I guess he wanted to get a good look at people's shoes as they went by but he scooted out just has Rocky and an elderly man were going down the aisle. The elder deftly stepped over the kid and Rocky shifted to the side to avoid him. The parents just sat there and then suddenly  the red faced father grabbed his child and went to the vestibule.  Folks, Jesus said to let the little children come to Him but He did not say let them run wild. No decent person wants to see your child get burned while playing with the candles. Nobody wants to see your unattended young child get squished by the eight foot tall, solid oak door he was playing behind. None of us wants to see your child fall down the choir loft stairs, and truly, nobody wants to kick your kid in the face because he got underfoot. Sometimes people are  frowning not because they are meanies who need to learn patience but instead they're because they are good souls who are genuinely concerned for your child's sake.

1 comment:

newguy40 said...

I've sorta seen something like you described at the one EF I can periodically get over to... In those cases, the EF Mass is held in a very small Catholic mortuary. It's totally packed and after 1+ hours of Mass, the kids get squirmy and have to be let down or pandemonium ensues. Folks are packed in like sardines and the little ones fall down, roll in to the aisles or get stuck under folding chairs. There have been a few close calls I can tell you!

Several years back at parish I no longer attend, the only time for confession was 30 mins before the Saturday vigil, a child who was poorly attended to ran yelling and shouting up and down the aisles. Parents were clearly visitors to the Church and had no sense of decorum or politeness. I kept waiting for the kid to run full tilt in to the sanctuary and the tabernacle. +sigh+