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BY Matthew Warner
This week’s clip from our New Media Library is from Papa B:
“While the speed with which the new technologies have evolved in terms of their efficiency and reliability is rightly a source of wonder, their popularity with users should not surprise us, as they respond to a fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other. This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations. In the light of the biblical message, it should be seen primarily as a reflection of our participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call - a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.” - Pope Benedict XVI (New Technologies. New Relationships.)
First, this is a perfect example of how somebody like the Pope (who doesn’t even really like to use a computer) can more deeply understand the “popularity” of new media better than most new media professionals. Of course, this is because he better understands - through Church teaching - the nature of the human person. The technical innovations will continue to change, but the nature of the human person will not. Our human nature is fundamental to every desire. If we want peace and harmony in our lives, no matter what we are doing, we must first understand the nature of the human person. This applies to anything that we do. And that is one reason the wisdom of the Church is helpful to every single aspect of our lives.
Second, it’s neat to think about our communication with other people (whether online or not) as a “participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God.” That makes every word from our mouths, gesture with our body, character in a txt, and stroke of the keyboard very powerful and, potentially, sanctifying.
Third, God is the God of everything - including communication. It’s not really servers and wires and our brilliant minds that allow us to communicate. It’s God. And every chance we get to do so is a gift. Even the smallest little comment on a blog or a quick “like” on somebody’s Facebook status is a response to this call from God - the God of communication.