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!