LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Be the 'Soul' of the Web, says the Holy Father

Yesterday, the Holy Father delivered his Message for World Communications Day, which is actually today, the Memorial of S. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists (and apparently, by extension, of bloggers !).

In it, His Holiness explicitly commended priestly use of the internet in general, and blogs in particular; and although not explicitly, clearly supported the growing Catholic presence on the Web - reassuring for Catholic bloggers everywhere !

Fr Tim has, inevitably, got a splendid post about it all, and as I can't possibly do better, I just advise you to read it without further delay.

I would, though, like to make one particular comment.

There's an old saying - 'If you want to get something done, ask a busy man'; and experience shows that is also true for priests - the busy priest, busy about the Lord's work, will always manage to do what is needed, and do it well . . . it is (as Archbishop Sheen and other so forcibly observe) the priest who cares only for his own interests who loses sight of the Word he is meant to proclaim.

The Holy Father points out that 'priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ' - in other words, don't let your blog take over your life so that you neglect your pastoral duties.

Well, I don't claim to know every priestly blogger in the UK, still less the world : but I know at least one who has a very successful and popular blog, and multitudinous external commitments, and yet still manages to be the heart and centre of a notably devout and active parish - a parish which is also home to several other notable Catholic bloggers. Thus his activity, being nourished and inspired by the love of God, is fruitful; not sterile as it would be if it was founded only on his own interests.

The Holy Father continues with the hope that this will 'not only enliven [the priests'] pastoral outreach, but also will give a "soul" to the fabric of communications that makes up the "Web"' : and it seems to me that this is something which applies to all of us Catholics who blog - we are meant to be the 'soul' of the 'Web', and try and ensure that, in an increasingly secular age, the truth of God does not disappear from sight in a haze of technology.

As I mentioned; today is the Memorial of S. Francis de Sales. I am lucky enough to have a relic of him; and I pray today that, with his help, the Web may increasingly be an effective means of grace for many, and a channel for the knowledge of God's love to spread throughout the world.

1 comment:

  1. 'in an increasingly secular age, the truth of God does not disappear from sight in a haze of technology.'

    Good point!

    Sometimes I feel like disconnecting from the internet permanently, but wonder if that in itself would be irresponsible? I hadn't realised/admitted to myself, until reading this post,that a sense of obligation to at least seek information,(mainly religious)in a cyber world is pressing upon me, from within? Or without? Not sure.

    I think I might become a hippy, and just live in a shed and pray. I've got enough scarves! I haven't got a shed though.......yet!