Sunday Morning

A few days ago I spent a couple of minutes in St. Mary’s Basilica—it was a weekday—where perhaps a dozen people were kneeling in prayer.

Every now and then someone’s cell phone rang.

Horizontal communication refused to surrender, it kept on battling its vertical counterpart.

~ Adam Zagajewski, Slight Exaggeration: An Essay



  1. A sad sign of the times.
    So brilliantly told.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. depends on what matters most to you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sad, incredibly irritating, deeply troubling…can’t decide which emotional response feels right…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. All of it. And yet these words from the 8th century make me pause:

      If there is a remedy when trouble strikes,
      What reason is there for despondency?
      And if there is no help for it,
      What use is there in being sad?”

      ~ Shantideva, 8th Century Indian Scholar and Philosopher (Awakening Joy: 10 Steps that Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness By James Baraz, Shoshana Alexander, Bantam Books, 2010)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve portrayed the present church in such a simple, yet beautiful way. Amazing use of words – I guess the values in this generation in regards to church are different to how it was in the past.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s worse? Not going or not being fully present?

    Liked by 4 people

  6. More than one thing come to my mind reading this.
    It was predicted ages ago that houses of worship will be empty someday. For many reasons.

    A person’s truest place of worship is on the inside, for which the phone has to be put aside as well.

    I haven’t been to a house of worship in years unless it’s for a social event or gathering.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sad, but not at all surprising. Captured in so few words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cell phones no longer annoy me in my Sunday morning Yoga class. I feel for the people who forget to turn them off. Meditation and yoga have become an alternative to traditional workship. Connecting inwards and touching the Divine comes in many forms and in may venues. Thank you for this reflection Dave 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Bright, shiny objects! and commented:
    Well played…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 “No one can serve two masters……….” Matthew 6:24 I hope a person would find a place to worship that offers, peace, quiet where they can be Still enough to hear God…such an interruption when one doesn’t. A place of worship should be a cells turned off area.
    I wonder if Adam Zagajewski had stepped into St Mary’s Basilica circa 14th century in his native, Poland? or somewhere else, in the USA (there are a few churches in the US with the same name)… I think of the reach of earthly distractions now and throughout history…we are all humans, we at times allow our minds to wonder and who have our priorities a skewed…and I also think of a person who handles their cell while driving or drinks and drives and how the neuron-surgeon (who knows the gift of life) lifts their head upward praying for a miracle, for steady hands, for the stamina and for the strength if the patient passes on, to talk with the patient’s family in a caring, reverent manner while informing them of their loved ones, death…one person’s selfish action to read or send a text while driving is not worth their life or another’s life…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s Sunday night here in France, and we had a busy day (90’ sessions per voice of our small choral ensemble), followed by assisting a concert of 4 young, fantastic and incredibly talented musicians/singer in a local church. The most amazing thing was that NO mobile phone was ringing!! On the other hand I have witnessed myself in one of our churches, during a service, that one of the priests, after calling my husband to the altar, took out his cell phone and started reading his messages…. I think he didn’t even REALISE how completely awful his action was.
    It was that day a 90% black congregation and we ‘excused’ this man’s behaviour with thoughts that maybe it was his first smartphone and like a child he had to yield to its novelty. Anyway, there was no further harm done on that day but it reminds me often to put my own phone on silent before I enter a church, music event, a choir practice. We very often are driving long distances and were on several occasions witnessing ‘texting at the wheel’ (of lorries and long-haul-28 to 40 wheelers), ppl doing their ‘morning’ beautification (incl one guy using his razor while driving – I kid you not), etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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