They moved it outside, but they were not amused.
It came to me that my smile may have been too practiced and seemed insincere.
Perhaps I even scared them.I resolved to make an effort to be less quick to be annoyed at the lack of decorum sometimes shown by others in Church.
Henceforth, instead of seeking to change someone else's behavior, I would try to pray for them.
Yes, that was it, I would pray for them!
Today, after Mass, while I sat and read, (not for the first time, THANK YOU, MAGNIFICAT!!!!!!) really, a perfect reflection, considering, Dorothy Day considering the Little Flower's Little Way of Love, the opportunity arose.
Three women stood not a yard from where I knelt, not particularly old, the eldest couldn't have been 45, nattering full voice about tennis, restaurants, clothes, someone they hadn't seen lately....
I put my fingers in my ears and continued reading, the booklet balanced on the back of the pew in front of me.
I suddenly thought how ostentatious that must have seemed, but i needn't have worried, they had not noticed, or if they had, it didn't phaze them, for their conversation continued. It was loud enough to hear despite my fingers. Someone turned off the lights in the nave, leaving only the sanctuary illuminated, that served as an indication to them to speak more loudly.
Since I could no longer read, it seemed like the perfect time to stop feeling mean feels and just pray for them, try simply to love them, instead.
I found I only eschewed peevishness by substituting condescension [poor dears! they don't know any better...]. I settled into a state of exasperation, and left.
Falls again for the umpteenth time...