There’s a danger in this otherwise fantastic world of New Media that needs addressing. It’s the thought that blogging, or reading blogs, or evangelizing on Facebook, or making videos, or watching the latest Catholic videos, or being informed by Catholic news, is being Catholic.
It’s thinking yourself Catholic for engaging in debates over Tridentine vs. Novus Ordo, or for adding your comments on whether the Eucharist should be received by hand.
It’s the danger that G.K Chesterton pointed out in his quip that “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.” I rephrase it for my purpose: “Talking about Catholicism doesn’t make you Catholic any more than talking about music makes you a musician.”
My point is not that defending, extolling and discussing Catholicism online is in any way bad; it’s an awesome good. No, my point is that this activity is not ‘it’ at all. Ask yourself this; what would God rather have you do, spend everyday of your life talking about the intricacies of Catholicism, or kneel right now and pray the Rosary? Would your wife have you spend a lifetime speaking about her, defending her honor, and debating the finer points of her beauty, coming home only once a week to sleep with her? Of course not.
So with each comment should come a Hail Mary. Each blog post, note, or article written should have the force of prayer behind it. Each call to charity should be followed by getting up, walking out your front door, and giving alms. Each written invitation to prayer should be preceded by prayer. Each video promoting the Eucharist should be preceded by Adoration. Every single debate over the Liturgy should be followed by an attending of the Liturgy. Every debate over Christian music should end with us singing praise to God.
This isn’t simply to say, “practice what we preach”, this is to say “practice!” And practice often. Because thoughts, ideas, and discussions on our faith should flow from our state of being, not from the mere – admittedly thrilling - perusal of Church documents. And besides, if we can unite our online communication to real prayer and real contemplation, how much more fruitful the dialogue would be! Can you imagine the results if we were to pray rosaries before confronting atheism? What a vast difference it would make, both in our own hearts and in the conveyance and defense of truth. Seriously, let’s pray a Hail Mary before every comment.
So, Catholics online, do promise me something: That we will refuse to allow our defense of the faith to be divorced from our practice of the faith. That we will be Catholic, and never, ever, ever settle for simply talking about Catholicism. Sign below, make the patron of the New Evangelization proud.
Category: New Media