In the Trenches at Sunday Mass

October 2000By Laurie Balbach Taylor

Laurie Balbach Taylor is Editor of Called to Conversion, a bi-monthly newsletter, and co-owner of the Catholic Restoration Shop, a Catholic book and gift store. This column is reprinted with permission from the March-April 2000 issue of Called to Conversion, 1149 Vera Cruz Pike (State Rt. 131), Suite D; Milford OH 45150.

Sunday Mass can be one of the most painful events of the week for my husband and me. Recently two things happened which caused us distress.

The first instance occurred during Communion time. I prayed after receiving our Lord, but sensing a disturbance in the aisle, I glanced up to see two young girls, perhaps 13 to 15 years old, cavorting as they returned to their pews. The first — dressed in a sweater and jeans — was walking with a smirk on her face (the only anomaly I noted from her). The second — dressed in a tight, midriff-revealing sweater and jeans and sporting multiple facial piercings — was in the process of leaping forward to poke the other one while laughing with her mouth wide open, revealing the sacred Host on her tongue.

In that brief instant as they passed, the second child locked eyes with me, and the look on my face was withering. Interestingly, the look she returned did not display insolence, hatred, or disgust, as one might have expected. The look she displayed was shock and fright. She knew what was wrong and Whom she was offending. Somewhere in her heart she knew.

The second instance occurred as my husband and I were leaving church after Mass. A woman we know approached me and asked a favor. She identified another couple who had also attended that Mass, and she asked us to pray for them, which I assured her we would do. She explained that the couple desperately wanted a baby and were undergoing in vitro fertilization in order to conceive.

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