Lent is upon us. Ash Wednesday thrusts us into the midst of things, opening to us the riches of this season of grace.
This day of unnoticed fasting, tear-streaming prayer and bright mourning finds us heartily repenting in ashes and committing ourselves before God to prepare for a daring Easter renewal of baptismal promises. Those promises will re-bind us to the rugged Cross of sin’s demise and awaken us to the God-facing Resurrection of Christ where the children of God are truly free.
Are you ready?
Are your resolutions worthy of a true, lasting and Christ-inspired change?
i Am Free
In the spirit Pope Benedict’s recent letter on social media, I highly encourage all to examine their technological habits and cultivate a techno-asceticism that draws all our techno-praxis into the ambit of Christ.
To encourage walking on the path of Christ-won freedom in our use of technology, I propose here Four Freedoms for Lenten observance:
Freedom from inner compulsion that binds me slavishly to haphazard, time-wasting, duty-evading, mind-numbing and frivolous engagement with electronic devices and new media, atrophying my ability to be wholly present and faithful to the just demands of my present state in life.
Freedom from the iCulture of gossip, slander, vulgarity and calumny that wreaks havoc on the demands of truth, justice and charity and cripples the power of my Christ-witness; from recklessly airing the dirty laundry of others or of the House of God; from cursing enemies and employing, in the name of Jesus, the violent power of sardonic humor in order to gleefully skewer the “ideologically otherwise.”
Freedom for the use of technology in service to the God-given demands of my vocational state in life, in service to the flourishing of face to face relationships, in a manner that edifies both mind and spirit, constructed around a well-discerned ordering of time in my daily use of technologies — which includes times of “fasting” from screen-gazing that manifests your self-mastery.
Freedom for creating an iCulture that is worthy of the mind and heart of Christ; that is cognizant of the laudable and damnable power of words; that is characterized by divinely-inspired prudence in posting and forwarding; that is worthy of the joy of Christ; that speaks the truth in love and does justice to human dignity; that enlightens with blessing, refusing to curse the darkness, all the while boldly manifesting to the “ideologically otherwise” the greatness of a hope that creates in us such a serene confidence that we, like our Crucified Master, know only the violence of mercy.
May the bright mourning of our repentance give way to the bright morning of Resurrection and new life that sprang from the word of the Cross.
(for a trove of resources on the effective use of technologies in service to the Gspel, always see the work of that apostle of the digital continent, Brandon Vogt)