Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Novena of Reparation, Day 2

I invite you to join in our community novena to St Paul (we celebrate a special feast in his honor on June 30). This year's theme is reparation for misuse of the media.

Intentions for the Day: Thanksgiving for the invention of written language, the first of all communications technologies; reparation for the organized use of communications to marginalize, ridicule, threaten or divide people.

Opening Antiphon:
O St Paul the Apostle, Preacher of Truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God.

Scripture (Acts 9:4-5):

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that, if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He said, “Who are you, sir?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

From Pope Francis' Message for World Communications Day 2016:
Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony. Words can build bridges between individuals and within families, social groups and peoples. This is possible both in the material world and the digital world. Our words and actions should be such as to help us all escape the vicious circles of condemnation and vengeance which continue to ensnare individuals and nations, encouraging expressions of hatred. The words of Christians ought to be a constant encouragement to communion and, even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil, they should never try to rupture relationships and communication.

Saul had an agenda. There was never any doubt: he would do whatever it took to achieve his goal. Many times we find the same dynamic in social media. The more noble the stated cause, the greater the risk of misusing the powerful means of communication through manipulation, ridicule, false representation of differing viewpoints, suppression of the truth, even veiled (or overt) threats. It can be maddening to see the deception behind many stock formulas in social media; sincere people seem to be taken in by slogans that subtly undermine the Gospel.
How can I avoid the temptation to adopt similarly dehumanizing ways of communicating? How can I engage in conversation about important Christian truths and values, without denigrating persons who may have been led astray or deceived by slickly packaged ideologies?

Daily Offering:
In union with all those who today celebrate the Eucharistic memorial of Christ's suffering, death and resurrection, I offer myself with Jesus to call down your mercy upon those who have been deceived or manipulated by the misuse of the media, and led away from your fatherly love.

Closing Antiphon:
O St Paul the Apostle, Preacher of Truth and Doctor of the Gentiles, intercede for us to God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the novena! It's so important to pray for all who contribute to and use media. It certainly beats complaining!
I like the words of the Pope and the reflection.
Careful Consumer