Chatting with a friend after a blessed morning at Mass I quipped that no one ever asks me for my opinions. She, not being a native English speaker, was confused. I clarified: “No one ever asks me, so what do you think about this or that. I actually think a lot of things, and have a list of opinions so long it probably reaches all the way down to hell.”
She looked at me with a grin and retorted: “It probably has its origins there.”
Very funny. But probably true. Aren’t most opinions just a kind of sideways complaint or criticism?
I’ve joked with friends that being an introvert in the Catholic Church is a particular challenge. Going to Church has inevitably been a very social undertaking: from the greeting rituals as one enters and leaves to navigating the shoals of the secretary’s office and other treacherous territories.
Today, thanks be to God, I was able to go to a normal Mass in a normal Church for the first time since March, and to my peace I discovered that the yellow tape obligated us to all sit several meters apart. Which utterly precluded the usual pre- and post-Mass chit-chat, as well is the in-Mass live commentaries,* besides sparing me the stress of snuggling up next to a stranger. It was an atmosphere that permitted me to actually read the readings and prayers, meditate, pray, and pay good quality attention to the sermon (a rare thing).
I even arranged to have lunch with a friend afterwards. She’s an introvert, too.
In fact, nearly every time I’ve said “I should write a book called ‘Catholicism for Introverts’ dozens of people say “Sign me up for a copy!” (Feel free to take the idea, I don’t have the time or interest to write it, but there seems to be a need.)
Any more said would probably just be complaining, and I’ve done enough of that. I’m very grateful. The Sacraments are a precious treasure.
*When the person sitting next to you makes clever or critical remarks in response to things that happen.