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Monday Musing – New Media Musing

This blog, like all of my other internet ministry, is a real labor of love. My belief in the power of the internet as a powerful place of evangelization, catechesis and community building is deeply rooted. In my experience, there is so much to be learned and so much to be shared.

Our Roman Catholic faith is never about just quiet time with Jesus for me. Oh yes – quiet time with Jesus is essential and frankly, a potential negative about the internet. Perhaps we all lack silence and contemplation time, even when we think we are having some of it.

In any case, I am prompted to write this for today as I consider this ministry through prayer and work and as a result of a book that I am reading.

The book is called “The Church and the New Media” by Brandon Vogt. In full disclosure, I received this book for review some time ago and began to read it. In the craziness of the fall, I lost track of it and then could not find it. Well it did (thank you God and St. Anthony) eventually turn up again – and wouldn’t you know, at the right moment? This book is striking me so powerfully right now, that the Spirit knew that this would be the time for me to be open to the transformation that it brings.

There is so much good work to be done through this new media and I personally have been transformed by such work. When we are transformed – something that happens over and over again if we allow cooperate with God – Jesus really commands us to transform others. The last lines of the Gospel According to Matthew, chapter 28.

When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.  Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

It is not about just staying with ourselves in our Catholic communities, and I don’t think it is about sitting alone in the quiet of the sanctuary. It is about those elements being a part of it, but not all of it. How can we transform the world if we are not in the world?

This community is so supportive of this work, but I hope we can all grasp hands and do this work together.

Back to Brandon’s book again, I am so moved by this collection of essays by contemporary Catholics addressing how online presence has transformed them – and how they continue to work to transform the world through Christ.  I have not finished the book and hope to publish a review when I do. I won’t say much more than I have already but I do urge you to read this important volume.

And as you read and consider the power of the internet, for both good and evil, I ask you to join the conversation at the blog. Please send me any thoughts or ideas you have, if you want me to write about a particular matter, I will attempt to do so and if you wish to write a guest post – let’s talk and see what we can do.

Let us see what we can do together. We are formed and transformed in community – and this community is such a powerful one. Let us go forth and make disciples of all nations, both within and outside of all of our boundaries.

Here is the video trailer for Brandon’s book – have a look, it is less than two minutes long, but like the book itself, in brevity is quite powerful.


One Response

  1. You’re giving here quite a tall order!

    I may not really address what you are asking in today’s post, Fran. Here is what my heart and mind have to say in response to it though:

    As you know, I don’t find it easy to be part of the Roman Catholic Church (well, the Western RC Church. I really don’t know about the Asian, the African, or the Latin American RC Church…).

    What internet has done for me is to offer me a Christian community. I have found in the cyber world a spiritual community, Christ-centered, but not particularly denomination-centered. This community is a breath of fresh air.

    In a way it is like Occupy Wall Street: it is composed of many voices without a particular agenda, with a great hope for goodness and truth, generosity and self-sharing. It is about authenticity.

    In my blog, I share my own faith journey and the challenges I find in my own denomination. There is the voice from Rome, and those voices echoing Rome. There are also other voices, such as mine, who endeavor to follow Christ, if not always Rome — because the two paths don’t always seem to overlap.

    I will look at the book before I buy it. The endorsement of a bishop has an opposite effect on me… Realize that if all the gospel writers had had internet as a tool, the Canon would probably look quite differently and ‘heresies’ would not have been squashed as easily as they have been in the past…

    In fact, who knows, maybe the new gospels are being written as we exchange our thoughts here, for the Spirit of God did not stop writing by the first century AD 🙂

    If I can be of any help, I’ll gladly participate in your project. ♥

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