In response to the thoughtful article from the April issue regarding the question of cell phones at Mass, I offer the following question: Couldn’t all the benefits of accessing the net during Holy Mass be gained simply by looking up the readings before Mass begins? After all, no matter how quickly or discreetly done, accessing Scripture by phone looks just like a quick check of a text message. Children for instance — how likely are they to make the distinction? Will they not rather simply absorb the norm that cell phones are okay at Mass?
Understanding of the Mass as the renewal of Calvary seems to be at an all time low, and I think cell phones stand to fall into line with the rampant immodesty, chatting in the pews, etc. which are both an effect and cause of dwindling understanding and faith. We used to say, “The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,” or simply “Holy Mass.” Now, except in official church documents, Mass is often not even capitalized. We used to say “Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.” I haven’t heard this term from the pulpit for years, but I have heard even devout adults refer to the Precious Blood as if it were mere blessed wine. Many popular hymns contain the same error.
I think it’s time to hold the line wherever we can, even beyond what is personally necessary. Saint Paul wrote, “So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live — for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.” (1 Cor. 8:13)
Doesn’t the principle Saint Paul applies to food apply equally to electronics at Holy Mass?
— Therese J. Syren, Anchorage