Difficult People

By Lvrien, Peggy | Pastoral Music, November 2012 | Go to article overview

Difficult People


Lvrien, Peggy, Pastoral Music


One morning, the phone rang. Before the person answering could utter a greeting, the man on the other end began to yell: "I want somebody to tell me what the #!*^ is going on! Why are these #!*^ priests changing all the words in the Mass? I've been going to Mass for sixty-two years, and most of it every day of the week too, and now they decide to change my prayers. I've been a member of St. Neighbor's all my life and . . ."

The listener had a choice to make. She could remind the man that his behavior was unacceptable and hang up on him; she could defend the Church's revisions in the Mass texts, which might require yelling over his monologue; or she could sit in silence, listen, and wait until the man ran out of steam.

She chose the latter. Some of his rage revealed more about who he was. He sounded like an elderly man; information about his many years in the Church reinforced that. He was angry, but she had learned that anger, generally, is a symptom. The root of the issue is usually fear. What did the man fear? As she listened, she heard about his wife, now dead, who prayed all those Mass prayers with him-"and she knew them by heart, too!" he shouted.

She took notes on what the man said, not to refute him but to prove to him, once he grew quiet, that she heard what he said. After almost ten minutes of raging, the man slowed down. "So, there you are," he concluded. "I'm mad, I tell you, and I want you to tell the bishop to tell the Pope to stop this nonsense!"

She took the opportunity to turn two strangers into friends. "Sir," the woman said, "I have been listening to you speak for ten minutes, and I haven't had the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Mary Smith. Who am I speaking to?"

There was silence, then: "I'm George."

"Glad to meet you, George. As I listened to you, I heard you say . . . ." From the note pad in front of her, she repeated some of the lines George had shouted into the phone. "Did I hear you correctly, George?"

"Well, yes, I said that." There was a pause, and then: "By golly, you're the first person who has listened to me!" She invited George to tell her about his parish and the life he and his wife shared there. Did they have children? Grandchildren? She gleaned the wealth of his faithful life in the Church from the conversation and highlighted it for George.

"You know George, all us Catholics are in the same boat, aren't we?" George wanted to know what she meant. "I've been praying these prayers for forty years-less than you-but they are dear to my heart, too. Now our leaders are guiding us to make some different arrangements for that boat we're in. I think I can do that. But right now, I am concerned about the next generation, aren't you?" He was. "The way you and I talk about the Church, the words at Mass, Church leaders-all this will affect how our grandchildren view the Church, right? I mean, if we talk about the Church negatively in front of them, will they want to be part of it?" The two talked about the future of the Church and the daily influence they had on the attitude of the next generation of Catholics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Difficult People
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.