Monday, January 10, 2005

A View to the Perverse Side of My Personality

What follows is the cavernous, unconverted side of one Ragemonkey, Alpha though he be. It simply reflects the things that roll around behind my eyes.

This Sunday past, one of the parishes held their monthly parish potluck. It is a sweet custom and I like to encourage the parishioners to build up contacts and the like whenever they can. I had just finished my dinner and preparing to hop on the road to go to Wichita for Spiritual Direction when a woman, out of the literal blue of the tablecloth, asked me the following question: "Is there any reason why you don't mentions people's intentions at Mass?"

At this particular parish there is a long yellow pad on which people can place prayer intentions from week to week. Largely, they are repeats. Also, they tend to be unstated what the problem or issue might be. So, when one looks over the list, you see names but have no clue why they need to be prayered for: death, disease, distress, etc. Many times, then, I don't mention them because I don't know where to fit them in. Imagine if you wrote down your son's name because he was looking for a job and I listed him among the dead. You see my problem. It is laudable, and recommended by the way by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, that the general intercessions reflect the needs of the community, but naming individual needs of specific parishioners is stretching. I suspect that the recommendation applies more to mentioning local events, like harvest in a farming community or finding employment when a large company/factory closes, namely those things that affect the whole community.

Not that I want people to go into exscrutiating detail either. The prayer list is not a bulletin board for people to "air out" their laundry. It would suffice to have them write in a parathensis the need in question, e.g. (cancer).

I looked up at her and said, "No reason; I just don't always remember." This didn't satisfy her and she added, "Well, it is an awfully long list and lots of people have special needs." I simply chose not to follow this up. Thinking back on what I had seen on the list, there were two intentions written under Sunday's date -- I suspect that both intentions were hers. The real comment is, assumedly, "you didn't pray for those things because you don't like me." The person in question has demonstrated to me and to others an excessive sensitivity toward what people think of her.

Here is where the perversity leapt up. After I got out to the car and was hooking up my satellite radio, in preparation for my trip, I thought of something I could of said and calculated the reaction it would have garnered. In my mind, this was the revised encounter.

Her: "Is there any reason why you don't mentions people's intentions at Mass?"
Me: "Yes, because I hate your guts, and I hope that God never hears or responds to any of your needs ever!"
Her: (brain runs in chunky rivulet from left ear due to internal meltdown.)

No comments: