Don't Shoot the Messenger

Delivering the Good, True & Beautiful to Get Us All to Heaven

On The Benefits of Cantankerousness

I was in a local Novus Ordo (N.O.) Catholic Church this past Sunday owing to my feeling very much under the weather to the point of almost missing Sunday Mass, which is something that I have to be very sick to miss. I generally drive 45 minutes to a filled-to-the-brim-with-young-families Traditional Mass.

Anyway, the previous week I had sent the pastor a letter recommending some very simple changes (Isn’t ‘Change’ all the rage these days? Who Moved My Cheese – and all that?) that, I believed, would bring lots more people back into the pews. This N.O. Church has only one Sunday Mass, and it’s about 20% filled. I think there was one whole family with a baby. One. So, there’s a lot of room for growth.

I listened intently to the sermon, which per usual, followed the reading of the Gospel, and I really felt like he was talking to me, personally. The long and short of it was that cantankerous people like me simply aren’t welcome at the Novus Ordo parishes. At least not this one. We’re the ones who listen to the sermons and cheer when we hear one that teaches, preserves or explains Catholic teaching. We would like to cheer more often, but quite frankly, there generally isn’t much to celebrate. ‘Rigid’ folks (it’s the other side of the coin for our types) like me who prefer the centuries old Latin Mass due to its reverence and beauty are simply not the kind of people that my local parish wants in the pews. Point taken.

Due to my cantankerousness however, my feathers were not and are not ruffled. I’m actually glad he took the time to read my letter and respond to it, even if it was a kind of wimpy response.

Look, I was just trying to get the numbers up, but no worries. I’ll just move on to someone who’s interested. In the end I have to worry about what God thinks of me and not about what this person or that person thinks of me. They can’t save me from Hell, but Jesus can.

So, Lord, I tried. You don’t ask us for results but just for our efforts. It won’t be my last one. I’ll try here, and I’ll try there. Thanks for giving me more time here on earth to be cantankerous!