At one church, I am urged to get up (if I can; they make allowances for people with disabilities) and greet the people around me by name. I do not want to do this. I find it false. I do not remember the names of strangers, and I do not like to give my name out to strangers, either. It’s an act of aggressive etiquette, parading as bonhomie. I do not go to church for bonhomie. If I ever wanted it, I would go to a bar and order gin and tonic.Whether it is politically correct speech being forced into conversations, forced greetings, "entertainment Masses" or the aforementioned "New Whatever", the whole idea of silence and prayer seems to be left out.
In our Plain Catholic home we only have a weather radio with emergency bands. It can run on electric or on a dynamo hand crank in case our electricity is out. That is all we need. No telly with its incessant whinging about the latest political brush fire or insta-celebrity mouthing scripted politics. Our computer usage is limited to correspondence via email and to financial records as well as our occasional contribution to this blog.
The rest of our lives are the conversations with each other and the silence of prayer. Those conversations we have are as much about listening to each other as they are about talking to each other. To truly listen means to silence our own thoughts and our own lips. We do not force politically correct speech onto the other. We listen with an open heart.
What can you do today to silence the relentless noise of mass media and enculturation that distracts you from your relationship with Jesus?