Feb. 10 was the day after the big snowstorm’s visit to New York City, but it was Sunday, so I had to attend Mass at 8:30 a.m. at St. Bartholomew’s Roman Catholic Church in Elmhurst, Queens, almost full despite the slippery streets.
I found a seat near the front on the left-hand side of the church, which has three rows; the middle one has the most benches. As soon as I arrived, the music and singing started, and the procession, led by the celebrant, followed by two altar boys and the lector, marched towards the altar.
I was deeply engrossed in the ritual until the lector began the first reading, when from the corner of an eye I saw a young man of about 14 or 15. He was bent down low, crouching in his seat, leaning to one side by the aisle in the middle row opposite mine.
At first I thought he was sick … but wait a minute … no … with both hands and four fingers, he was texting! I became so amused and distracted by his demeanor that my attention got divided between him and the Mass. This went on until Holy Communion when he stood up like the rest of us, approached the altar and received Communion.
Back in his seat and on his way out in the recession, he continued doing it. Was he sending messages to God? And was He texting back?