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The 8 beatitudes for social media
“When God closes a Church Door, He Opens a Browser Window” (Kate Shellnutt). In the past, our Church Social Communication Platforms (digital media) only complement in-person gatherings, providing access for those who are sick or traveling or serves as an alternative to those who prefer to access spiritual resources online. But now our health crisis has transformed our virtual resources as a lifeline to crucially provide spiritual wellness despite our continued social gathering restrictions.
From the Vatican, to the parish community (barangay) church, shuttered places of worship are streaming liturgical and religious services for an online audience seeking guidance and connections with others during the pandemic. All your spiritual needs are a just a click away. And, if connectivity is a problem, we can still readily rely on our traditional forms of mass communication — Radio Veritas and TV Maria will always be there to provide the needed programs through its regular broadcast. But how can we utilize this New Form of Media within certain moral boundaries? In so doing, allow me share with you a list of blessings amidst all these online challenges which I call the 8 BEATITUDES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:
Blessed are those who “think before they click” for they shall be responsible users of social media.
Blessed are those who refuse to spread fake news and propaganda for they shall be protectors of truth.
Blessed are those who spread God’s Words through social media for they shall be agents of new evangelization.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution through misinformation for they shall be comforted by God.
Blessed are those who fight for those who are cyber bullied for they shall be named children of God.
Blessed are those who honestly use cyberspace for e-commerce for they shall be profitably rewarded.
Blessed are those who gain friends not foes through online connectivity for they shall be called peacemakers.
And, Blessed are those who like, share and comment on posts as genuine gestures of love for they shall be inheritors of God’s Kingdom.
To some great extent social media has now been used to spread duplicity and half-truth but we must know that when used morally can be a source of blessings that too were given to us by God.
Life will be unmeaningful if we don’t have these challenges. We are given these situational realities for us to be stronger, for our skills to be sharpened and for us to be closer to God. We should always remember; problems are just problems and we have a bigger God than all of the burdens that we have in life. We should turn our online woes into a blessing that will make you stronger and a better person.
If we look deeply, we will realize that there are more blessings than problems but because a lot of us are frazzled and overwhelmed by our social media engagements, we notice more the problems than the blessing. When we are focused on what we needed, or what we thought we needed, we will be blinded by it and we will not notice the blessings God gave us. I do believe that God gave us what we truly needed. Nothing happens without God allowing it. In fact, God will not permit any troubles to happen to us unless He has a specific plan for a greater blessing to come out of that challenge.
As the Beatitudes are a radically bold statement of Jesus’ intent to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth, which will bring true peace and freedom for all who dare to follow him as his disciples. I hope my version will help bring the same spirituality in our online engagements. The Beatitudes give a succinct statement of the ethos of the kingdom of heaven that Jesus has announced and summarize the principles of kingdom life that he will articulate in the Sermon that follows. We will find it as useful as well in the cyberspace we are to use for new evangelization.
Similar to the biblical Beatitudes, these Social Media Beatitudes “depicts the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity. They express the vocation of the faithful associated with the glory of his Passion and Resurrection; they shed light on the actions and attitudes characteristic of the Christian life; they are the paradoxical promises that sustain hope in the midst of tribulations; they proclaim the blessings and rewards already secured, however dimly, for Christ’s disciples; they have begun in the lives of the Virgin Mary and all the saints” (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1717).
“The Beatitudes are in some sense the Christian’s identity card. They identify us as followers of Jesus. We are called to be blessed, to be followers of Jesus, to confront the troubles and anxieties of our age with the spirit and love of Jesus. Thus, we ought to be able to recognize and respond to new situations with fresh spiritual energy” (Pope Francis).
For any personal comments or suggestions, you may call 0917-4805585 or email me at email@example.com.