We usually go to the noon mass on Sundays, but we were running late yesterday, so we decided to go to the "praise and worship" mass at 5:30. Most of the praise and worship at this mass, it seems, involves very loud drums, very earnest, very off-key teenagers, and an electric violin that gives strange new meaning to Gerard Manley Hopkins' phrase "pitched past pitch of grief." I think Sadeeq, the musician of the family, was actually in pain.
Then it occurred to me that the whole purpose of this mass was to render one a martyr for the faith. It's not exactly like being crucified, or fed to lions, or burned at the stake, but it was its own kind of hell. It made me feel better, anyway, as the kids began droning and the drums began pounding and the violin began keening, to remember that I could offer my suffering up to God.