Yesterday, I spent a litle time in Adoration following Mass and if I didn't get up and leave when I did, I would have had to go back to confession. It began with a gentlemen behind me not only answering his cell phone but standing at the back of the chapel and carrying on a conversation that was clearly not of an urgent nature.
Next, the woman across from me, who also neglected to heed the sign warning her to turn off her cell phone, allowed hers to ring rather loudly while she prayed her Rosary, making no effort to silence it. Following that, a distraught man rushed in searching for his lost Missal. He asked the cell-phone lady if she'd seen it and she proceeded to answer him in what a teacher might call an "outside voice." Following that, her cell phone rang yet again and this time she got up and went outside the chapel to answer it. At this point, an elderly gentlemen blew his stack and chastised everyone for their lack of reverence. "Put the damn things on vibrate" he said, and then he immediately apologized to Our Lord for swearing in front of Him.
It's like that some days. You set out trying to spend some time in prayer, and wind up commiting a sin against charity. I would venture to guess that in the past year, clearly half the sins I've committed have been in church, either for judging someone or for wanting to throttle someone who wouldn't be quiet. It's a tough call sometimes. Do you continue to watch the Lord disrespected, or do you take a chance committing a sin against charity and speak up?
On one occasion, when two people spoke in "outside" voices in the chapel, I did shush them. I got a lecture from the woman about being holier-than-thou and then she talked more and even louder. Another time, I respectfully asked a group of ladies to please take their conversation outside out of reverence for the Exposed Blessed Sacrament. They were very nice, apologized, and left the chapel. No one wants to be a cop, but the last place I want to hear a cell-phone or inane chatter is in Church. There is absolutely no conversation so important that it has to take place in front of Jesus in the Eucharist.
I think our priests need to help this situation a little with frequent reminders that the sacred silence must be kept in the Lord's Presence. And all of us can help by setting pristine examples for others.