On Prayers Of The Faithful And Distractions

Painting of the martyrdom of the 7 Maccabees

Attavante, Martyrdom of the seven Jewish brothers, ( XV century, Ap. Vatican Bibl.)

At Mass


Scene: today we went to Mass in a church that we know but isn’t our parish. All went well, no complaints (oh, how grumpy we pew-critters tend to be at times!): a good priest, a beautiful church full of art.

Before the beginning of the service, while we are already seated, there comes a guy in charge of organizing stuff. The following exchange ensues:
-Anyone wants to read the Readings? The Prayers Of The Faithful?

Moment of indecision. I’m pondering the idea of blurting out the appropriate answer for an occasion like this, one I’ve prepared some time ago.

-I may read a Reading, but…

-Then it’s settled: the Prayers Of The Faithful.

-No, actually I do Readings, but I’m opposed to the Prayers Of The Faithful!

Suddenly he smiles and pinches my cheek very gently. I feel like an insolent brat. He’s old. I then try to justify my words, but he stops me right there, understanding.

The episode ends like this, with my somewhat embarrassed wife laughing quietly.


For those who don’t know it, the Prayers Of The Faithful represent a part of the Mass where people recite some -more or less improvised- prayer intentions on Church life, faith and current events. They are typically overflowing with rhetoric; sometimes you have to stomach nonsense about trendy stuff, the Environment or choosing to side with the poor against our unfair society. Bending matters to the Spirit of the Time, with assertions that are at least suspect of going against Catholic doctrine.


For the record, the prayer intentions at today’s Mass were perfectly OK, again: no complaints. This may serve as a lesson. Always on guard eventually means going too far.

By the way, I’m still not reciting those prayers in the future.


I’m a bit silly


May God forgive me, I’ve never been good at concentrating while I’m at Mass; lately I’ve been super distracted, thanks to the blog launch. This morning I kept zoning out, mostly thinking about technical details, changes to the site, and of course future articles, including this one. I went off on a tangent reimagining the Reading from the Gospel of the day. Again, apologies.


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke:

Some Sadducees — those who argue that there is no resurrection — approached him and they put this question to him,

‘Master, Moses prescribed for us, if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother.

Well then, there were seven brothers; the first, having married a wife, died childless.

The second

and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children.

Finally the woman herself died.

Now, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?’

Jesus replied, ‘Of the fourth!’


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