I share Matthew Greene's distress and have been pondering options as to what I can do:
* Decide Jesus is happy with his children chattering away to one another and join in.
* Stick my fingers in my ears, fume and try to pray.
* Stand up and act like the wrath of God, ordering everyone to "be quiet".
* Offer Jesus the pain and distress caused by the tumult, in union with his mother's sorrows beneath the cross, and beg for grace to make the parish priest ask everyone to be silent in church.
* Leave and find another parish where people adore and respect Our Lord in the tabernacle, but abandoning him to the ignominy of this parish church being treated like a market or cafe.
No wonder the young, the faltering, and anguished souls don't come to Mass - the sense of mysticism in the presence of our transcendent God is annihilated by congreg-ations who are too busy re-establishing social contact after Mass.
Are they aware of the stranger, the marginalised, the lonely creeping into the back of the church? If Christ is abandoned in the tabernacle, so are His little ones.
East St Kilda, Vic