“Once we take our eyes away from ourselves—from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions—then we will become clear to see Jesus around us.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
Have you fallen victim to the selfie culture? Well, I have! Not necessarily pictures of me all the time. More often pictures of my adorable and talented grandchildren, wonderful vacation spots, great restaurants, fun events. Also, pictures of friends, groups of friends and family members, even my dog.
Essentially, it’s all about me, me, me and my wonderful life. My every experience has to be photographed and shared with my Facebook friends. My every opinion has to be expressed to my text groups. How would people know what I’m doing and thinking every single day?
Well, maybe I somewhat exaggerate, but you get the drift.
I think many of us have created a world of idols to worship, starting with ourselves. For instance, how many times have you changed your Profile picture to one that you think is prettier or more handsome or funnier or cool? And how many pictures do we post of our renovated, state-of-the-art kitchen, new swimming pool or even our new body piercings or tattoos? We even idolize our high-achieving children and adorable grandchildren. There is a fine line between celebrating our family and accomplishments one the one hand and being totally all about self on the other! In everything, moderation!
In addition to our self-absorption, the amount of time we spend reading about the important and silly news of the day, responding to people who have responded to us and catching up on the lives of sports heroes and all things Hollywood is excessive and truly embarrassing. In fact, we spend so much time recording and celebrating us and the stuff of our lives, there is little time left over for the One who made us and who blesses us.
We are here by the grace of God to fulfill His purpose for which we were sent. We are not here to worship and elevate anyone or anything above our God. Remember the first commandment, “I am the Lord, your God. You shall not have strange Gods before me.”
“Take care lest the children of this world spend more care and attention on transitory things than you do on seeking those that are eternal.” (Saint Ignatius of Loyola)
So how can we become less attached to this “selfie culture,” that promotes us above all else? And how can we better use the time we waste pursuing gossip and fake news on the internet?
The first thing is to remember that God is God and we are not. He is the One worthy of all praise and thanksgiving. We are the ones who should practice humility above all else.
The second thing we have to do is put the phone down so we will be free to:
- Pray and Meditate – Do you think you have no time to pray? Put the phone down! Spend time alone with God. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Be silent. Be still.
- Say a Rosary – Put the phone down and pray a daily Rosary. Spend time with Jesus in the company of the Blessed Mother.
- Pray the Angelus – Wake up early. Don’t grab the phone. Hold on instead to the Lord. Thank Him for the new day, offer the day to Him. Pray an Angelus at 6 a.m., another at 12 noon, and again at 6 p.m.
- Read the Bible – Yes! Put the phone down and be intentional! Begin reading the Gospel According to John starting tomorrow.
- Spiritual Reading – Spend a portion of the day reading about the lives of the Saints. Get to know them and follow their examples.
Technology can be fun and vital in our lives. And social media can be a blessing. It seems we can’t live without it. Just remember that one less picture of your poodle with his birthday hat on or one less snarky remark about your spouse or boss could be a very good thing and the start of something truly inspiring.
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