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Finding God in the digital world

In the age of ever-evolving technology, where everything is a click or tap away, we seem to have collectively become obsessed with instant gratification.  We complain when the internet lags, or if a video has to buffer while we are watching it.  We ask friends to send us their GPS location, it is much easier than reading a map anyway.

But God cannot be located with Google Maps; the closest I have gotten is locating the nearest Catholic Church.

And sure, there is a lot we can do to make the search for God a little easier.  The CCC is easily Googled, and the easier-to-read Compendium too.  There are all sorts of prayers of all sorts of website for all sorts of things, but no real treasure map to lead us to spirituality.

This leaves a lot of room for doubt.  If God is not on the internet, does He really exist?

But maybe we are looking in the wrong places, or not looking hard enough.  We seem to be stuck in a culture of waiting for miracles, when we should be identifying the small miracles that fly under the radar.  We cannot say that technology is evil and pull ourselves away from technology entirely – this is where most of society spends its time, and if we withdraw, we will not be able to properly relate to people.  While our devices seem to be good for nothing but distractions from a nagging hollowness, they can also be tools for meaningful connections.

I have seen my grandmother say the rosary with my aunt who lives an ocean away, all thanks to a video call.  My church’s youth ministry use social media to reach out to the people they minister to, and to draw more people to join them.  These are only a few ways that technology can help.

And these are all great things to do on days when you can remember that there is good in the world, but what about the bad days?  The days when the news of disaster and hatred and cruelty drown out everything else and make you doubt the existence of a good, benevolent God?

It takes a different set of glasses to see God in the people who volunteer after these tragedies, the stories that make your heart swell with new hope for humanity.  Or the small advancements in technology that allow wheelchairs to climb stairs, or to find God in the cat videos that make you smile on a bad day.

And on the days when you cannot find yourself through the noise of self-advertising on your Facebook feed, a digital Sabbath can do wonders.  Everyone needs a digital detox at some point, and the time spent away from a device can show you exactly how reliant you are on keeping yourself too preoccupied to enjoy the outside world.

And when you take a break from the busy world, He will come to you in the silence and the world becomes a much more beautiful place to live in. – Lauren Lopez @ CAN


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