Eternal Father, you call your children to walk in the light of Christ, the light of the world. Grant me the grace to be more attentive today to those around me and seek to be a light shining in the darkness. I offer you this day for the intentions of Pope Francis for this month. Our Father...
That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.
We see this month how the Pope continues to urge that we engage, as followers of Christ, with the real world. A key feature of that world is, of course, the digital revolution and the growth of social media. “This is for everyone”, famously said the British inventor of the internet. Its transformation of communications and the flow of information compares only to the invention of printing or the earliest radio broadcasts. But like all human freedoms, it can be used for good, or misused.
We sometimes distinguish between the “real world” and “virtual reality” or “cyberspace”. But that’s misleading and unhelpful. Cyberspace is a reality and it’s not virtual. For many people, particularly younger generations who have grown up with the internet, it’s thoroughly real. That generation has been called “digital natives” for whom the online world is as natural as breathing.
With freedom always comes responsibility. Too often that’s been absent since social networks really took hold. Hateful posting, online bullying and “fake news” all diminish us and taint that freedom, leading even to physical harm. Online and offline, let us celebrate instead our God-given diversity.
- David Stewart SJ, extracted from Living Prayer