As I said the other day, last Sunday was quite a day. The two morning Masses for Palm Sunday, much longer than usual, the afternoon service at Redstone Highlands that I spoke of yesterday, and a Penance Service later in the evening. What I have not mentioned as yet was the encounter following the 11:00 Mass. We were "pinged", as a good friend, Michael Ripple, would say.
Mike has a blog, "Pray-lium", whose title is a take off on the word praelium which means battle, strife. He points out that evil seeks to bring us down because of our call to holiness, and evil places stumbling blocks, temptations, "pings" in our lives to trip us up. These are not straight onslaught attacks, but usually distractions, frustrations, anxiety, stupid stuff that keeps the soul distracted.
We had one of those on Sunday. After Mass a parishioner came to me in the vestibule to vent her frustration with a couple of youngsters who she found distracting during Mass. I listened, aware that with the extra long liturgy youngsters may get fidgety, and that there was very little that I could or would want to do. I did not notice any distraction. She went on and on, not realizing that the mom of the kids was standing within earshot. That mom took umbrage at what was being said about her children, and pointing out the length of the Mass, was defending her children. A verbal "discussion" of parenting skills began to take place that got a little out of hand and loud and was inappropriate at the conclusion of a wonderful liturgy of Holy week. I thought we were going to have a fight. Fortunately calm prevailed and I breathed a sigh of relief.
As Michael would say, we were "pinged", big time. The key is realizing who and what is at work, and not let the powers of darkness frustrate our journey into the light found in Christ. It is not always easy ... but it is truly possible to bring Christ into the situations of our lives. Sometime we simply need to walk away, rather than fight for our opinion or point of view. I hope both parties involved will celebrate the new life of Easter with peace in their hearts.