(In answer to comments by ‘sad’),
First let me say I don’t speak for Shalimamma, but based on experiences that are similar. I am willing to bet, given seeing situations like this all over (social circles), that Shalimamma’s not going for 3 weeks, was not “the” issue “they” had with her but the confirmation for what they had created in their minds of the issue they had with her and her family. Which would be my guess as to why when she would be “in trouble” for not attending and you wouldn’t. It is easy when one has cult-like thinking as happened with this circle of “friends” to also have double standards.
She has said time and again that this happens all over the place and even thanked me for pointing out I experienced something similar in a SECULAR mom’s group. And as a reader who did not witness this I can clearly tell it is not about the parish but a select circle who attend the same parish she did.
What makes any LAY CHRISTIAN think they are responsible to shun a child of Christ for their flaws boggles my mind, when the VERY PARISH they met through would teach against that. How sad is it that all over now people have to leave a parish that a lot of people would otherwise love and benefit from attending because of the power these people have over the weak minded and insecure. It is really sad and I hope if they are reading they reconsider their behavior. No matter how deserving Shalimamma is of hurtful attitudes towards her because of poorly mannered kids it is NOT up to lay people of a parish to punish her. I believe that there is a group of real faithful there… and people who just want to follow God’s law and Love in every aspect of their lives and worship in the way that connects them to God and His Church. But yes this treatment does make it to where she benefits more from leaving than staying. Allow me to explain how I could know this based only on Shalimamma’s humble admission of her own flaws.
When I was a teen my family was in a similar situation at a parish and I can tell you we had to leave because the treatment and our tendency to allow treatment like this to give us a heavy and distracted heart, to almost obsess was distracting us from benefitting at all from attending the SAME PARISH that people who were hateful towards us were attending. I was a teen so I was the child in the situation and how the situation was handled was not my choice, and it was long enough ago that I can’t remember everything that went down perfectly. I can tell you that for sure n seeing what it was doing to my parents, brother and sister and me, we had to go. It was sad too because this parish had a particular style of worship my dad loved. Never for one second did either of them blame the parish or style of worship but the people who had control over the active circle.
Basically, some people have a gift to just take this behavior on the chin and are able to continue attending the same parish as people they know have problems with them. However, it takes strength to accept your own weakness and know when you can’t take it on the chin. If every Sunday when you go to Mass you leave with thoughts of how sad it was that Mrs. So and So didn’t say hi, and wonder why you didn’t get invited to the party that everyone else was invited to and you used to get invited; instead of thoughts on God, then yes you have a distracted heart and it is blocking God from entering it during the Mass. So yes I can see where she would benefit more from leaving and in a lot of ways it took strength to make that difficult choice.