Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hats Off to the "Facebook Culture"!

In less than 9 minutes, Father Barron says great things about affirming the good, the true and the beautiful (in this case, in the realm of sexuality) by saying "No" to common trends. Any preacher of the Word knows that you can only say so much. This video is a genuine tour de force! It deserves the highest compliments and helps me in dealing with a long-standing and gnawing question I have about the "new media" and their contribution to proclaiming the Gospel.
Ultimately, the best and regular way within a community which understands itself as Christian to share the experience of God, to make Him all that He should be for us, is within the context of an ordered family where, please God, both Mom and Dad are present and witness to the faith they were gifted with at home. Older people all over the Caribbean told me that along side the family, or if the family failed in its mission, the Catholic school of days past was the effective encounter with the Lord, which many times led small children to a faith-filled life even if Mom and Dad did not go to Mass or pray with their children. It was chance, but it happened, thanks be to God, again and again in days gone by.

Today, as I say, people look to the "new media" in substitution for the Catholic school as that outside chance for touching the hearts and lives of those neglected or deprived of the "little Church" as that primary and essential first encounter with the God Who made us, saved us in Christ and Who loves us so dearly. As a blogger and observer of some years, I think it safe to say that full-time and "monetized" bloggers have bigger readerships, but I am beginning to wonder how much of any of our (whether we be blogger by vocation or avocation) readership/subscribers actually read or think about what they often light upon, whether systematically or by chance. Average times spent by readers on a given post would seem to point to something less than serious engagement (How far are we from the kind of flipping through the pages of a magazine which happens in waiting rooms?).

Hence, "Hats Off to the 'Facebook Culture'"! It has the marks of what would be closest to a living community of people, not isolated, of people who touch base with those whom they love and admire on a regular basis. Articles like this one of mine don't hack it. Even the impressive volume of 1 minute videos on YouTube from both the Vatican and Rome Reports don't chalk up the numbers.

Am I discounting the importance of the efforts of Word On Fire? Not in the least! Father Barron is feeding and feeding well the apologists who have the faith but will never have time to take the courses. In season and out of season and with every means. Go for it, Father!


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