6 July 2018
Panic, cold sweat, foul language and soft knees. The result of losing a credit card. Quite out of proportion to the loss. After all, it wasn’t as if I had fallen over and broken a wrist or heard of the death of a dear friend.
Sinking onto the nearest chair I realised that missing Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation, or a Sunday, doesn’t increase my pulse rate, set off a panic attack or induce the shakes. The reactions to these two losses were shamefully different.
Do you remember the woman in the bible who lost a small coin, hunted high and low until she found it, and when she had, called the neighbours in to rejoice? Similarly I turned out every pocket and purse, upended shopping baskets and even my walking aid in order to find the silly bit of plastic. It was a grisly, nervous twelve minutes.
No neighbours were called in but a daughter was texted with the happy news when the card turned up in almost the right place.
But — when I failed to go to Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation without serious reason, the omission disturbed me for no more than two or three minutes. It’s remarkable how many excuses a person can dig up in a few seconds let alone minutes. I won’t bore you with the ones I came up with but they shut up my conscience for a good part of the day. Just a few tweaks to be stifled…
Octos, as I like to call us, can always blame age for both losing their plastic AND missing Mass. It’s probably one of Satan’s last temptations which he keeps specially for oldies.