Praise the Lord and Pass the Ear Plugs

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska adored silence. Only through her special relationship with Jesus Christ could she find the inner strength to pray, to contemplate, worship, and hear God, amid the “din” of her convent. I can only imagine the cacophony of that house of nuns. With Mother’s Day commitments abound, I was reduced to attending 5:30 Mass tonight. I lasted 10 minutes—18 if you count the time before the Mass started. During my eight minutes for reflection, I tried to pray against the blaring, bad rock music. I failed. I asked God for the grace to maintain inner silence despite the noise. But my faith is not so strong as Faustina’s—or Faustina’s “din” was significantly less than the audio horror show.

At 5:40, I walked out of the church, not in disgust or protest, but in failure. Before me, God placed a huge challenge to my faith. He surrounded me with the loudest of terrible music and asked me to pray through it. I could not. Forgive me, Lord, but I am still growing in faith.

I suppose it’s too much to ask the church to give us a few minutes of silence in which to pray, to prepare ourselves, before opening the church doors to a watered down version of pop music. I suppose the church feels that performing really awful music attracts teenagers to Mass. Lord, I pray not. I pray, first, that the kids have an appreciation of good rock and roll—good enough that the abomination at Mass would cause them great distress. Second, I pray that their faith is strong enough to sit in a church for 45 minutes and think about God, a difficult feat against the imposed temptation to think about how loud and terrible the music is.

If the kids go to 5:30 Mass to hear THAT, then I must say they suffer from a distorted understanding of God and a heretical disregard for music.