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The Busted Halo Question Box
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This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Neela Kale
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Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

How should we respond when a priest does/says something during mass we don’t like?

Mike Hayes Answers:

My first thought is that if you feel the need to respond to anything you don’t like you should have enough restraint to not fire off something impulsively over email or approach the priest immediately after mass and give him a piece of your mind.

However, I do think that preachers need to know when they aren’t reaching people in their community. So perhaps the right approach is to ask to make an appointment and to explain your point of view at that time and to listen to his side of the story as well.

Lastly, you use the word “like.” It’s important to note that mass does not exist for you to “like.” Mass exists for GOD to like. We come to praise God and hope that our actions move God and bring God joy.

Secondly, preaching is meant to comfort the afflicted and also to afflict the comfortable. So when you hear something in a homily or reflection that you don’t like you might ask yourself a very easy question: Why don’t I like this? And what about this is speaking to me in such a negative way? Owning our feelings about this is fine but we also should be mature to realize that the preacher may simply have touched a nerve that we indeed need to hear–and our visceral reaction may indeed be fodder for our own spiritual reflection.

The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Jenni

    Mike: I love this line: “preaching is meant to comfort the afflicted and also to afflict the comfortable.” It rings so very true and will be thinking about this for the rest of the day. Thanks for giving me some food for thought!

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