Being shamed at Church- when your kids cry.

We went to Mass on the Island today.  We have been there several times and have found it lacking some things and thriving in others.  There are not a lot of kids there usually. Most of the community is a 50+ crowd.

Today, at the start of the Eucharistic prayer Miriam had a meltdown. Junia would not let her draw with a pen and she lost it.  She went ape shit! She probably cried loudly for 1 minute and then had periodic screams or belts for the next 5.  It was really hard.  FINALLY, I sat down on the kneeler next to her and just started looking at a book by myself and then with worked. By the time we were to the "great Amen" we were fine.

The community was surely staring at us, the presider slowed down and lost is place and stumbled, it was really hard.

And then at the end of mass there were 2 announcements. 1 was about money.  The second announcement was about how there is a cry room to take your children to when they are screaming at mass.  We were told that children are a distraction to the community...and so forth.

Wow. It SUCKED! I just stood their and cried.  During the announcement I cried.  Afterwards a ton of people came up and tried to "console." Most of them did a lousy job but they tried.

On one hand it is true that it's distracting when children cry. It is hard for others to pay attention.  I get it.  But that is not the gospel!  That is not what even fucking Christmas is about.  Jesus came into this world into the chaos into the loudness and social inappropriateness of childhood.  Kids scream- and kids are also part of the face of God.

My daughter is a baptized member of the Catholic church. She is as fully welcome as you or I.  She is as fully a participant!  If we are going  to Baptize and anoint her as priest prophet and ruler then we might have to believe that she, in her way of being is revealing something about who God is and how God is revealed.

I would love for some quiet away time to explore and encounter God. I would love for a silent retreat or some stillness with the  scriptures.  But that is not way the life of being a lay person is.   I am a lay woman. A lay minister. A mother. A partner. The deepest invitation in these is to see God in the chaos.

Sadly, this is the invitation that this priest and this community has lost. They are going to continue to think that God is only in the silence, the perfectly recited words, the exacting ritual of hte prayer itself and miss out on the way that God is also in the community: alive, chaotic, hurting, laughing and sometimes melting down over a pencil.


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