I've never been an altar server and I couldn't care less whether the altar servers are boys are girls. Most of the time, I don't even pay attention to them. If I was forced under pain of death to tell you whether the altar servers at mass today were male or female...I'd be a dead woman. Why? BECAUSE I WAS THERE FOR CHRIST. I wasn't there as part of a feminist movement. I wasn't there for my own personal agenda. I wasn't there to stir a ruckus. I was there to witness the miracle of transubstantiation, and worship God along with my fellow Catholic Christians.
This is exactly the type of insignificant garbage that really makes me wonder why some people go to mass. Do they go there for Christ? Do they go there for social hour? Do they go there to show off their newest ensemble? Do they go there out of habit? Do they go there more for appearances than they do out of good faith?
In this article, some mother allegedly just started attending a particular church in Virginia. This church apparently does not allow female altar servers. Why? Well, they want to reserve this role for males. I'm a woman, and I couldn't care less about this. I'm sure they have their reasons, but I honestly don't care about whether altar servers are men or women.
The mother, apparently, did care. She cared so much that she burst into tears and ran to the bathroom because her two daughters could not be altar servers. I'm sure she had her reasons, but I honestly don't care about them either. You see, it's tiny and ridiculously insignificant things like this that take away from the grand scheme of things when it comes to mass.
Mass isn't about doing what we want. It's not about upstaging Christ. It's about Christ being the center of our lives. It's about coming together as a community to serve and adore Christ for his sacrifice and love...not about flower arrangements, music selections, and whether or not you like guitar mass. It's about partaking in the mystery of the Eucharist and being part of a living, breathing community of people who wish to do the same...a community of people who believe as you believe.
How in the world this makes national news is beyond me. Papa Benedict is finishing up his historic tour of Africa, but none of his messages of peace and hope are being broadcast in the media. Thousands of Catholics are out there serving their brothers and sisters in some of the poorest places on earth, but none of this makes it to the media. We got miracles happening all over the world as we speak, but none of this makes it onto the news. All we see on the news is another article of Evil Church vs. Woman, sex abuse scandal, Evil Church vs. Abortion, sex abuse scandal, Evil Church vs. Contraceptions, sex abuse scandal, Evil Church vs. Other Evil Religions, sex abuse scandal, Evil Church vs. insert new group here.
It really never ends and considering my own experiences with the Catholic Church, I know that quite a few of these are taken out of context and out of proportion. Don't get me wrong, there are members of the Church that have messed up big time and did deserve the bad press about it. However, do we all (collectively) really need to get lumped together into the "bad guy" group to be dragged through the coals over and over again for everything these days? Needless to say, this women altar servers article got ugly pretty fast. It quickly went from a simple matter into an article about sexism, the Church's "need" for women padres and modernization, etc. and that's without even going into the comments section.
My advice to the mother of two daughters: FIND ANOTHER PARISH. If being in the presence of Christ isn't enough to stop you from storming out of mass over the tiniest things, RE-EVALUATE YOUR RELIGIOUS LIFE. Instead of rushing off to do interviews with the local paper and pose for "victimized family" photos, consider going to the priest in charge first and address your grievances. If this doesn't work, just try that other Catholic Church around the corner. I can easily think of 4 alternative churches around my house that I can attend if I was bothered by something or other about the church I went to this morning. Therefore, I don't see you having to drive through state lines to attend a parish that suites your palate.
|The Catholic Science Geek|
CATHOLIC FACEPALM AWARD
This award goes to the media this time...
for making a mountain out of a molehill....again
Anyone want to join me and this young whippersnapper to pray for unity within the Church?