So, now you want to kick them out of church?
Crying babies, restless children at Mass?
The Pope says, "Let the children be." I agree.
Calling children’s tears “the best sermon,” the Pope told parents of children baptized in the last year that “children cry, they are noisy, they don’t stop moving. But it really irritates me when I see a child crying in church and someone says they must go out. God’s voice is in a child’s tears: they must never be kicked out of church.” - SourcePeople complain about a lot of stuff at Mass - especially single people. They claim they don't feel welcome. They claim they don't fit in. I've heard the very pious claim people are too noisy, kids uncontrolled, the sign of peace too much. These are church-lady complaints. These people have unreal expectations.
I love kids at Mass, babies who cry, developmentally disordered kids - and sometimes adults - whose presence is impossible to ignore. Kids who escape the pew and run towards the altar - or do something else to embarrass their parents. It is life. Are we pro-life? That is life. We can still pray and worship - we have that freedom.
If single people feel unwelcome or find kids annoying - they may want to examine their conscience a bit more closely...
Crowded churches at Christmas - an irritation for the pious?
Ever hear of 'Submarine Catholics'?
A friend sent me an article from a Catholic website discussing those Catholics who return to Church for Christmas Mass yet never step inside the church throughout the year. So she cleverly calls them 'submarine Catholics' because they surface once or twice a year. Actually her article was a positive spin on how to evangelize them and make them feel welcome to come back regularly. That's nice.
Imagine complaining that Mass is too crowded, no place to sit, and worse, no place to park. Imagine complaining that people at Mass might sit where you normally do, or might ask what's going on, or dare to speak to the people they are with? How very dare they.
Nice Christmas spirit, huh? Yet despite the exclusive reputation church-people have, there is something about Christmas which attracts even the most secular, the most alienated ... the Infant Jesus wants his house to be full. How can you complain? Why would you jump in with your learned evangelization techniques and pamphlets, when these folks were never welcomed by you in the first place? These souls were brought to Midnight Mass or Christmas Mass during the day by the Father - as Jesus said: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me." Leave them alone. Let them take in Christmas. Smile, be kind, and let them receive Christ-Mass.
It should also be remembered that many people who crowd the churches are simply returning family members and friends - home for the holidays. Are we pro-family? That's life.
All are welcome?