Logging Off for the Year of Faith

I tried out facebook at first because I thought that it was important for me to understand social media before my children were old enough to use it.  I found that I really enjoyed catching up with old friends, and adding depth to local friendships by seeing what my friends were posting.  I like facebook more than I thought.  Also, since homeschooling means that I am away from other adults for most of the day, it is nice to feel connected to people and to be able to share when something cute, funny or frustrating happens. Therefore, what follows is not a condemnation of social media.

Over the past few months I have been praying about what God would like me to do with the Year of Faith, which begins on October 11, and is a very important part of the new evangelization movement.  The Pope is calling those of us who are faithful to step up our doctrine, to share with our friends what we can, to invite people to church and activities, to help a culture which has moved away from Christianity.  For some of us, a social media effort will be an important part of our year.  I think, however, not for me.  I think that God wants me to be as present as possible to the people I see everyday, namely, my family, and also to make more of an effort to see other people face to face, to love the ones that I am with.  To that end, I need to redirect my time, and I have decided to do so by logging off of facebook for the year.

I know that I will miss things – I love seeing the pictures of growing children, hearing people’s engagement stories, even reading the great news links that my friends share – and I am prepared to offer this as a small sacrifice for a greater good.

I know that there will be benefits that I can see, in the increased time I have for real relationships, and my relationship with God as well – when I have something cute, or funny, or frustrating to share, I will share it in prayer.  Second, I know that the various efforts and ministries of the Year of Faith need our prayers and sacrifice, so when I am missing anything about the community on facebook, I offer that, in union with the sacrifice of the Mass, for the needs of the Holy Father and the entire church.

Have you thought at all about the Year of Faith?  What can you and your family do?  Parishes have lots of activities planned, but they need us to participate, to spread the word, and to pray and sacrifice for the effort.  We are the church militant, let’s fight the good fight!

  • Kathleen

    Thanks for the reminder. Giving up facebook is admirable. I think for me, it would be giving up reading catholic mom blogs and probably giving up my own blog. I struggle with whether it is a good thing, helpful to see other mom’s fighting the good fight and sharing my own struggle and whether it is just a distraction from my family and the community. I’ll have to pray about this one. I actually think disabling the internet on my phone would be the best way for me to stay disconnected. I don’t have much time to sit at a computer, but those many “quick” phone checks all day take up precious time.

    Great post!

  • JMB

    I’ve thought about pulling the plug on Facebook too, but for the time being, I have too many links from school/the town/PATCH that come through my FB page. What I have done, however, is block any person who makes a political comment. So much for free speech, I just don’t want to hear it anymore. I don’t want to know what or who my friends, family and acquaintences are voting for. I don’t want the political to over take the personal. That’s my big FB compromise.
    As for the Year of Faith, I’m intrigued with the plenary indulgences and I’m going to try try try to do as many of them as I can.

    • http://ikeepmymemorieshere.blogspot.com/ Ruth Ann Pilney

      How do you block political comments? I’d like to do that.

      • Kellie “Red”

        I think you have to block all updates from that person.

  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

    JMB — I love the idea of focusing on plenary indulgences, especially because you have to be in a state of grace to receive them, so you will be keeping your soul in excellent shape! Don’t forget that you can offer them for the souls in purgatory as well!

    I totally hear you on the connections to town, etc, and I KNOW that I am going to miss stuff, even important stuff, but it was such a huge temptation and time suck for me — I have been off for two days and can already feel the difference in the found time — I just gave the baby a lotion massage and read him a bedtime story, the sort of thing that I was “too busy” for in the evenings before!

  • Saoirse

    This is such food for thought! I am going to have to think very hard about things that I can do. I don’t think I will be able to drop FB completely as I use it as a communication tool for too many things, but I imagine I could limit my “busy” time on it and other tech things. I do have a current mild pinterest addiction, and while it has provided some excellent recipes and other ideas – it is my evening time suck. I definitely have some praying/thinking to do. Thank you.

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  • http://patheos.com/blogs/buildingcathedrals Katrina

    Mary Alice, I hadn’t even thought about the idea of making an intentional sacrifice for the Year of Faith – thank you for prompting me to reflect on this idea. As long as you don’t log off from the blogosphere, I wholeheartedly support your effort to log off of Facebook for the year :) I had a moment of panic when I thought this meant that you would be logging off completely!

  • Maria

    I actually deactivated my FB page a couple months ago because it was too stressful. I felt like I was a bad person if I didn’t pay attention to people or comment enough. I am surprised that I haven’t missed it AT. ALL. It turns out I can only be real friends with a handful of people at a time. I’m cool with that.


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