People can form some interesting speech habits. Most people answer the question “how are you” with “fine” or “well, thank you” without even really registering the original question. They may have been having a wonderful or a terrible day, but their response was more automatic than completely truthful. They answered habitually.
Catholic Masses involve a great deal of call and response. The priest says one phrase and the congregation answers with a set response. After doing this for years, Catholics begin to respond automatically to those initial phrases even outside of Mass. This can lead to utter bafflement when a person grumbles “Lord, have mercy” in irritation and get an immediate repetition of “Lord, have mercy” from their Catholic friend. This is then followed by the Catholic subconsciously waiting for the next call and response phrase, “Christ, have mercy.”
No Catholic is more aware of their habitual responses than those who are fans of the “Star Wars” movies. In the movies, characters often give each other the pseudo-blessing, “May the Force be with you.” In Mass, the priest repeatedly says, “The Lord be with you.” The Catholic congregation responds, depending on whether they use the old or new responses, “and also with you” or “and with your spirit.” As such, hearing “May the Force be with you” leaves Catholics either responding automatically or floundering helplessly with what to say in response.