Friday, September 30, 2005


I have been feeling rather disappointed with myself lately, but I don't know if it rises to such a level that I need to go to Confession ... I guess that means "no," since you have to "know" a sin is serious before you commit it for it to be mortal.

This is the story: I love going to daily Mass at St. Paul's, although I can only go three times a week on account of my schedule. There is one thing that grates on me, however. Make that several things. Or should I say, people!

My parish is the same as probably just about every other parish on the face of the earth; the daily Mass-goers are all middle-aged women, elderly folks of both sexes, and a two or three college-aged girls. Some of them are quite friendly and take care to introduce themselves. They are nice people.

However, I find myself annoyed by them, to greater or lesser degrees, at every daily liturgy. There is one lady who, during the Prayer of the Faithful, says "Lord, hear our prayerS" instead of "Lord, hear our prayer." For some egotistical, selfish reason I have to grind my teeth every time she says it. After Mass, I like to kneel for a while and make my thanksgiving; meanwhile, the old ladies and the middle-aged ladies congregate in the center aisle, talking and taking care of business and gossiping. This also is an occasion for teeth-grinding and silently thinking, "For once will you shut up, you old fish wives!"

What can I make of this? Obviously I have developed an attitude that is extremely critical of others yet witholds judgement from myself. Or rather, I do judge myself but in a rather superficial manner, like I am doing now. Subconsciously I probably believe that I am quite a wonderful and saintly if imperfect person, bleeeeh. I am annoyed by this even more than I am annoyed by the "fish wives." I am particularly annoyed by the "Prayer of the Faithful" example, since it is such a minor thing, and really an example of a lack of charity on my part.

Ahk. I remember how St. Therese (one of the great saints canonized in the 20th century) was terribly annoyed by the nun who sat in front of her in the echoing chapel and who made annoying clicking noises with her rosary beads. This was a horrible trial for Therese, who, as she was cloistered, realized that she was going to have to spend the rest of her life with this other woman, who was not going to change. Instead of nursing her irritation for Sister's behavior, Therese went out of her way to be nice to her. She brought her little gifts, smiled at her, treated her very well. Although the other nun did not stop making clicking noises, it was no longer a problem for St. Therese, since, through love, she had grown above and beyond it.

What an excellent model the Little Flower is. She reminds me of me so much, except that by the time she was my age (she died at only 24) she had advanced in holiness much farther than I have. Please, Lord Jesus, make me like St. Therese.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I don't think this is a full fledged "sin", persay. I mean, we all have stupid little things that annoy us, right?

    ...And since I have many, I have no useful advise, lol.

    But good luck in finding an answer!