Quiet prayer during Mass
Question from Anonymous on 09-26-2012:

I attend daily Mass after I drop my four children off at school. I look forward to my quiet time at Mass to pray. My days are full with being a mom of four and a full-time student, so I find it hard to find that quiet time that I long for. Recently, two fellow moms I know, a Catholic and a non-Catholic, have joined me at Mass (which is good) but they don't stop talking to me or using their iPhones. I enjoy my quiet time before Mass and I don't want to spend it talking about the children. I have been attending daily Mass for seven years now and I cherish this time.

I am not sure how to deal with this. I want to encourage them to keep coming to Mass and I don't want to sound rude so as to turn them off. I want to set a good Catholic example with how I address this. For me, it is not social time. I take my faith seriously and I want to grow in my faith. How do I address this without sounding selfish or rude?

Answer by Catholic Answers on 09-27-2012:


Perhaps one way to begin is to take a step back and look at the Mass for what it is (the sacrifice of Christ re-presented in time and space) and not on what it means to you (quiet time that you cherish). If you make the point that these women are rudely interrupting your "quiet time" that you have managed to carve from a busy schedule of mothering and schoolwork, you are going to sound to them to be "selfish or rude." That is why you should instead make the point that their actions are not appropriate in church at Mass.

Seize on the fact that one of these women is non-Catholic and make your tone helpful and informative rather than defensive and annoyed. Whisper to the non-Catholic, "I'm so sorry, but during Mass Catholics maintain a reverent silence." If you stage-whisper just loudly enough for the Catholic to hear you, perhaps she'll get the message as well.

If that doesn't work, all you can do is move away from them. Smile and whisper, "If you'll please excuse me, I'm going to go and pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament." Then get up and move as close to the tabernacle as you can.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers