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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Losing Our Sense of Reverence...

“This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Happy are those who are called to His Supper.”

“Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

Silence… Peace… Solemnity…

I go deeper into prayer…

Then...

Conga?… “C’mon shake your body baby do the conga, I know you can't control yourself any longer.  Feel the rythm of the music getting stronger... " Fortunately, it didn’t get to the instrumentals…

A cell phone in Mass!

Disrupting the serenity of prayer as the faithful prepared to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ in the Eucharist!

Is there anything sacred anymore?

In today’s society where everyone has to be “plugged in” to their cell phones, laptops, desktops, Blackberries, iPhones, on emails, text, Facebook, Twitter, the internet, etc., and where more people are willing to stand in line overnight for a chance to buy the latest technological gadget than attend church on Sunday, many of us appear to have lost our sense of reverence.

Is it too much to ask to turn off our cell phones for the twenty to thirty minutes it takes for a weekday morning Mass? Or better yet, could we, please, leave our cell phone in the car?

Now, I know I am being a bit unfair to the individual who interrupted my prayer one recent morning. The fact that the person was attending a weekday Mass before work is an indication that they take their faith seriously. But, it was so inopportune that, before the final blessing, our parish priest took the time to make a passionate appeal for restraint from cell phones at church. He said, “at least have the courtesy to put it on vibrate mode.”

Although, by the Grace of God, it is still rare in our parish, occasionally you will hear a cell phone ringing during Mass. Or, you notice someone texting a message.  On extreme occasions, I have even seen people actually answering their calls and talking, albeit briefly.

A couple of years ago, I remember a time while the priest was delivering his homily, a loud cell phone went off towards the front of the church. The priest paused. The phone kept ringing. The priest waited for the ring to stop. Everyone in the church started looking in the direction of the ringing. Apparently, the person who was getting the call felt embarrassed and didn’t want to admit the cell phone belonged to them, so the phone kept ringing unanswered. Ring… Ring… Ring… It appeared to go on endlessly. When it finally stopped, the priest said something to the effect of “the things you see in Mass these days…” and he shook his head.

Reverence!

Why have we lost our sense of reverence? Why have kids lost respect for elders? Why have people lost faith and respect for authority?

Is it the constant criticism reported in the news? Is it that we parents are so busy with our own lives that our children grow up without discipline or respect; even for God?

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