Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Friday, April 29, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : Viewpoints : Editorials
2/9/2014 8:38:00 AM
Through the looking glass of an iPhone
Catholic News Service
World Youth Day pilgrims use their mobile phones to take photos as Pope Francis makes his way down Atlantic Avenue in Rio de Janeiro.
Catholic News Service
World Youth Day pilgrims use their mobile phones to take photos as Pope Francis makes his way down Atlantic Avenue in Rio de Janeiro.
Brett T. Robinson


Here is a January 31 editorial from L'Osservatore Romano, official Vatican newspaper.

The call of Pope Francis to take the Gospel to the streets also includes the digital ones. The first message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day is consistent with the Holy Father’s concern for reaching individuals where they are. Today that often means the virtual confines of the digital environment.

The Holy Father’s message is focused on the prospect of authentic encounter in a digital culture. Pope Francis invokes the well-worn image of the highway — a comparison often drawn by those who view the Internet as an “information superhighway.” In his recasting of the highway analogy, the Holy Father considers the hollowing out of relationships that occurs in a world of speed and efficiency, “It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves.”

To stretch the analogy a bit further, the image of people encased in vehicles of modern transportation, closed in on themselves as they rush from one thing to another, mirrors the modern communications environment. The sublime subtleties of nature are a mere blur from the climate controlled confines of a car or plane. The suffering of individuals homeless, stranded or injured hardly penetrates the callous veneers of steel and glass that fly by in pursuit of maximum efficiency.

A transmission view of communication, wherein media are merely modes of message transport, lacks the depth of engagement that authentic encounter requires. The Holy Father admonishes, “only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others.”

The world as seen through the glass and silicon of iPhones and laptops often lacks the ethical force of a face-to-face encounter. Jewish philosopher of communication Emmanuel Lévinas says that the human face “orders and ordains us” to serve the other. Thus, a popular social networking site like Facebook presents an opportunity for ethical encounter but only if the encounter is rooted in solidarity and service to the other.

It is here that we are reminded of the most unique proposition of our faith, the glory of the Incarnation. It is in this vein that Pope Francis uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to call us out of ourselves on the digital highway to encounter the visceral realities of our fellow travelers. Authentic communication is not merely the transportation of bodiless messages but the ritualization of embodied experience.

The Good Samaritan “tended to the wounds of the injured man by pouring oil and wine over them.” For Pope Francis, communication can be the “balm which relieves pain” and the “fine wine that gladdens hearts.” Like oil and wine, the language, symbols and images that make up online communication are media for delivering the compassion and grace that divine charity demands.

In his book Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI reflects on the passersby in the parable of the Good Samaritan with remarkable charity, “There is no need to suppose that they were especially cold-hearted people; perhaps they were afraid themselves and were hurrying to get to the city as quickly as possible, or perhaps they were inexpert and did not know how to go about helping the man—especially since it looked as though he was quite beyond help anyway.”

How often we find ourselves in this situation online. The drive-by nature of digital communication does not move us in the way that the physical presence of another might. It is unclear, lacking the subtle cues of the other’s presence, what might best alleviate their suffering. Further, the erosion of empathy fostered in part by the digital devices themselves renders many helpless when confronted with the pain of another.

Being immersed in a digital environment of information and images while attempting to remain grounded in the real is a difficult task. Pope Francis offers a solution in the form of another highway analogy, the road to Emmaus. Jesus, the mysterious travel companion who encourages the faith of the disciples by quoting the prophets and Scripture, enlivens the conversation. But is not until Jesus reveals Himself to them in the breaking of the bread that their eyes are truly opened.

Here the Holy Father provides a Christian vision for communication in the digital streets. Communication should not be viewed as a mere mode of transport. Rather, communication is a ritual encounter in which something real is exchanged and solidarity is strengthened. We lead by listening and entering into authentic dialogue, “to understand [the other’s] expectations, doubts and hopes, and bring them the Gospel, Jesus Christ himself … To dialogue means to believe that the “other” has something worthwhile to say.”

The ways in which Christ can be manifested online through charitable communication are as manifold as the millions of online exchanges that take place every day. Let us bring the living bread of Emmaus to the highways, side roads and outposts of the digital frontier by privileging presence over just passing by.


The writer is visiting professor of marketing at the University of Notre Dame







Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved