April 19, 2011

Technology, Faith, and Us.

Pope Benedict on Palm Sunday*

On Monday the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI (today is the 6th anniversary of his Pontificate!) gave a sermon about the ways technology can harm our relationship with God:
"From the beginning men and women have been filled -- and this is as true today as ever -- with a desire to 'be like God', to attain the heights of God by their own powers," he said, wearing resplendent red and gold vestments.

"Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful," he said.

While the great advances of technology have improved life for man, the pope said, they have also increased possibilities for evil, and recent natural disasters were a reminder, if any were needed, that mankind is not all-powerful.

If man wanted a relationship with God he had to first "abandon the pride of wanting to become God," said the pope. (HT: Rueters)
Does that seem weird: to be talking about technology on Palm Sunday.  Aren't there other, majorly important, things to be talking about on this day? Like, the 30 pieces of silver, or Pilate's washed hands, or the supreme amount of pain Christ suffered on the Cross, for us. Or that odd mix of joy and triumph--Christ's procession into Jerusalem--and solemn sorrow--our reading of the entire Passion--as we approach this Passiontide, these most holy of days.

On the other hand, this week, this entire Lent really, I have felt a strong pull to break some of my ties to the internet.  They have been small, but the effect has been strong: I feel more free, better organized, and less distracted.  I scrupulously jot down dates and times in my calendar so I don't forget.  I don't stay signed on (always on!  on! on!) Facebook or g-chat all day, which truly does free me to have better interactions, online and otherwise, with friends and family.

All these websites and networks are fun, and worthwhile: I don't want to do anything so drastic as quit them entirely.  But I am trying to focus on a few really edifying projects of different bloggers especially for Holy Week:

+ The Blog of the Courtier is reviving his tradition of meditating (he won't use that word, but I will!) on great works of art inspired by St. Matthew's Passion (which we read on Palm Sunday).  His first was on Pontius Pilate's wife's dream.  You can find this year and last years meditations here.

+ Godzdogz (the blog of the Dominicans in England) has been posting meditations on the Stations of the Cross given by their Student Brothers (seminarians).

+ Meanwhile my dear Friars have also been giving lectures on the Passion and other topics (art and literature mostly) around the Province.  These videos are posted here.

Related: R + J gave up almost all media this month. 
* p.s. Does anyone know how to braid palms like this?  Amazing!
* p.p.s. remind me to tell you sometime about how we rescued three trash cans full of blessed palms from a church in SF, and burned them on Ocean Beach.
p.p.p.s. This is the best photo ever.

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