I’m an introvert. I’m not shy, I just like books, quiet get-togethers and lots of alone time. I do not like too much noise, attention and worst of all: small talk. Of course, God always likes to stretch our hearts, so he called me to an order where I am constantly doing public speaking, talking to people who come to our bookcenter and wearing a novice getup that usually makes me the most interesting thing on the street any time I go outside.
How personalities differ has become clearer to me after living in community with my sisters. Recreation night ideas from extroverts (roller skating in the basement, disco parties, etc) are very different from the recreation ideas of introverts (sit and watch a movie so we don’t have to talk to each other). Noticing how my sisters are each unique has led me to hold a little theory about division in the Church.
I think much of the discord in the Church is due more to personality differences than to real ideological differences. I sometimes wish we could lighten up a bit and appreciate the diversity of thought and personality among the faithful as a sign of the way God made us. We all see the world differently. Separate we see narrowly, but together we begin to see the world more like God.
Anyway, on a somewhat related note, to amuse myself I recently compiled a list of possible signs of a Catholic introvert.
Check the symptoms. If six or more apply to you, chances are you’re a Catholic introvert too.
10 Signs You’re a Catholic Introvert
- You like the Extraordinary Form of the Mass because prayer is easier for you when it involves zero eye contact with other people. The priest faces the altar, no sign of peace … equals introvert bliss.
- Liturgical dance generally horrifies you, even when it is liturgically and culturally appropriate. The only major exception to this rule is when Stephen Colbert does it.
- When you attend a parish where newcomers are asked to stand up and introduce themselves, or Happy Birthday is sung at the end of Mass, you mentally check the church off your list of possible places to attend Mass.
- The Lord of the Rings characters that correspond to your personality type are definitely the most awesome.
- The utterance of the word “mingle” at a Knights of Columbus pancake breakfast strikes terror in your heart.
- You are pretty sure Jesus was an extrovert, how else could a person stand those kinds of crowds?
- Your stomach turns over when you attend a parish and hear these words at the beginning of Mass: “Turn and welcome those around you.”
- Sometimes you go to pray, not because you are pious but because you need to escape other people.
- Your idea of a light conversation with fellow Catholics involves questions like, “What do you think of the filioque controversy?”
- When Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI resigned, you were completely unsurprised. Who wouldn’t want to resign from a job that requires attending so many parties? Now Pope Francis? He’s another story.
Have any signs of your own?
Add them in the comments!