Friday, August 7, 2015

Uncomfortable Reality

On the spiritual page of the Catholic Times, the columnist recounts an incident about a follow priest, whose permission he received, and writes about it in his column. Laughter was the natural response to what he heard, but it was not  a laughing matter to the person involved.

We go back a number of years to the ordination day of the priest in question. On the day of ordination he was practicing for the liturgy in the morning and during lunch time, he was eating box lunches with his classmates, and lost in small talk with the group.

Time was approaching for the ordination ceremonies and since the liturgy would be about two hours long he went in search of the men's room. He found the area with the toilets but only saw grandmothers waiting outside the toilet but looking closely he noticed that they were using the men's toilet.

Since the women were so many, they decided to occupy the men's room also. He raised his voice telling the women that this was a men's toilet, but they paid no attention. One grandmother grabbed him by the arm and told him we were all brothers and sisters, and we shouldn't be ashamed  to use the same toilet.The priest could not accept the idea of going into the men's room, lifting up his cassock to urinate in front of all the women. So he went back to the location for the ordination which was a big auditorium. 

After the ordination and returning to the rectory,  he almost crept to the toilet, the need to urinate and not able to, was excruciatingly painful. For some time after the toilet call, he was lost in thought. 
True, we are all  brothers and sisters but there is a limit to the meaning of this phrase. Interestingly,  a serious case of a  person unable to urinate in the presence of others is called Paruresis. Using this psychological disorder in this case would not be appropriate for most would have difficulty in this situation. Bladder shy syndrome is not an uncommon problem and embarrassment, especially for a religious may be compounded. "No stress, no strain, no unusual moods, staying loose and not fall apart" is an ideal we all want to attain.

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