Edmund’s Friday F.A.S.T – How would Jesus use an iPhone?

– Edmund Adamus

How would Jesus use an iPhone?

“..reflecting on the significance of the new technologies, it is important to focus not just on their undoubted capacity to foster contact between people, but on the quality of the content that is put into circulation using these means.” – Pope Benedict XVI’s Message for World Communications Day 2009.

This week I attended a conference discussing how the Church embraces information technology in order to enhance it’s work of evangelization and catechesis.  A “no brainer” as they say! As Christians, we are both leaven in as well as inhabitants of the “digital continent” to coin a phrase of Pope Benedict.

However, like all created things we also know that besides being realistic about what’s harmful, damaging and downright evil on the internet and social media, we also rejoice in its tremendous potential for good. St Paul reminds us to test the spirits as to find something’s true origin and worthiness. So here’s a thought – When we think of the word “digital” , it might be helpful to bear in mind its Latin origin, digitus (i.e. finger).

In Sacred Scripture, the “finger of God’s right hand” is a sign of the Holy Spirit. Our family life and households and daily lives are filled with all the devices of modern communications literally and often at our finger tips 24/7. On one level, that’s fine, but only in so far as our use of them is truly ‘digital’ that is to say, symbolic of the finger of God’s right hand!

But how do we know the Spirit is involved in our use of the technology? St Paul tells us to fill our minds with everything noble good, true and beautiful, so the litmus test for measuring our use of technology is simple – just check the influence of it all against the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23  ” love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”  Pope Benedict declared in 2009 that the new technologies which bring new ways of relating must promote “a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship”. If the fruits of the Spirit signified by these hallmarks are not part of our daily occupancy of the “digital continent”, then we must pray for the wisdom to know the difference and act on it.

Switch it off or switch redirect its purpose to strengthen your personal and family life.

– Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life – Diocese of Westminster

Using our Newsletter in your School or Parish.

“The ministry of evangelization carried out by Christian parents is original and irreplaceable. It assumes the characteristics typical of family life itself, which should be interwoven with love, simplicity, practicality and daily witness.”Familliaris Consortio 53

Each week I am producing a newsletter based on the coming Sunday’s Gospel. It is primarily to educate parents in passing on the faith to their children by way of example. If the parents are alive and educated in their faith – they naturally pass it onto their children. This is a major part of the New Evangelisation.

The newsletter highlights the Gospel in blue, and then provides a short, easy to understand summary of what you have just read.

It then offers a reflection on the Gospel specific to family life. This may be something I have experienced over the past week within my own family, or some thing wider happening to families in general. I am aiming to bring the Gospel ‘down to earth’ for parents and make it accessible and relevant to their vocation as husbands, wives, and of course parents!

The Pause for thought section offers three ’1-liners’ that aim to get the reader thinking about the Gospel in regards to their own life and their own faith.

Many parents I have spoken to who regularly receive this newsletter tell me how much they are enjoying it for several reasons:

1. They have never really taken the time to read scripture before – and actually they are really enjoying it!

2. It is super convenient as it arrives each week as part the school or parish newsletter.

3. It can be sent electronically which allows them to read it on their iPhone or sitting at their desk at work. And then they are able to email it onto people they wish to share it with.

4. It allows parents with young children to read the Gospel and have time to think about it each week before they get to Mass and have to spend most of the time trying to control their small children! (we’ve all been there!).

5. The reflections for families makes the Gospel relevant and accessible for busy parents.

6. It helps the reader understand their Catholic faith and successfully live the Word of God in their ordinary day-to-day lives.

There is no charge for using the newsletter and I really hope it can help to re-awaken and strengthen people’s faith. Please download a copy and send it to your Priest, Head Teacher, Principle, or School Chaplain or simply direct them to the Faith in our Families website.

I can’t email every parish and school in the English-speaking world! – so it is down to you to spread the word in your local area!

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Thank You!