I don’t own an iPad or an iPhone. I even have to confess to being bored with the internet on occasion. Perhaps my interests are too antiquated for the electronic age. So when I saw that an Italian priest had developed an application to allow priests to celebrate Mass I knew that the brave, new world had attained a heretofore unfathomable high. Instead of laying a missal on the altar, priests can now “double click” to the appropriate rubric with an iPad next to the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Of course, the temptation to surf the net during Mass must be overwhelming at times. When I look out over my university classes and see a sea of laptops, knowing that university wi-fi is everywhere, I am sure they are somewhere far, far away from Numbers or 2 Chronicles. Perhaps they are checking out what is going on in Mass? A couple years back iBreviary came out for those who need the daily offices on the fly. Convenience and worship, however, were never intended to go together.
I spent this morning in a used bookstore. Some of my favorite places are among old books. The knowledge they hold doesn’t freeze up on you or crash. And often it is easier to find since you don’t have to search for exact terms in an ocean of information so vast that even intellectual whales couldn’t navigate it. Upgrades on iMass are expected to be available soon. The content, however, will remain the same as that rolling off the press in hardcopy after Vatican II. How long will it be before virtual communion is available so that commuters can partake without ever taking their hands off the wheel?