Monday, 04 May 2020 13:26

Social media self-control

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Since we started living with this COVID-19 problem, many things have changed. The saddest of all is to see how our pastors decided to close the temples leaving us helpless and without the grace to receive the Sacraments.

In most countries, they have decreed a mandatory quarantine; in others, the going out to the streets has been restricted. Many businesses have closed, schools are closed, and all of this has caused a devastating domino effect where all of us are affected. So, the days go by, but depending on where our heart is, so is the quality of the days we are living during this pandemic.

Many will complain about the virus for fear of getting it. Others will fall into despair. Others have gone to an extreme purchasing products in alarming quantities ... But among all these groups of people, we are the ones who trust in the Lord and remain happy and calm, since we can rest in the Lord as we welcome His word as when he says to Saint Paul: “My Grace is enough for you.”

And as such, only the Grace of God is enough for us to pass this bitter cup that humanity lives today, and the same Grace is the one we have to trust when, God forbid, other plagues probably stronger come to us.

But, despite this fact, we cannot become relaxed because the devil easily grasps onto this in order to remove God’s protective armor causing us to deviate, and be distracted by things that harm us.

How are you spending these days at your house? What are you doing while this quarantine time passes? Because the world has taught humans not to socialize, some will be desperate without knowing what to do. There will be families who will realize that they have never had a true family relationship, and this is a double-edged sword because it may be that very strong ties get formed, or sadly, that the family is destroyed… and for the latter situation, we have to pray a lot; for all the families around the world so that they can open their homes to the Love of God… On the other hand, others will be totally wasting their time, totally consumed in social media which it should really be called “anti-social” media.

It should be noted that by themselves social networks are not bad; the bad thing is the time we spend using this type of things in order to distract ourselves. This time wasted is the one that the devil uses to separate us from what is truly important, which is to be able to live in the Grace of God.

Let us thank God for this pandemic that has confined us into our homes because just at this time we are living the season of Easter.

A time to leave everything that separates us from God and binds us to this world, a time to find the many things that we carry in our lives and do not let us walk in the Truth, a time to strengthen our relationship with our Creator.

Many will say “we have nothing to do”; “I do not know what is beyond social networks”; "The only thing I have left is to watch television”, etc., etc., etc.

As I mentioned, social media, television, electronic games, and other distractions are not bad, the bad thing is the time we spend, and the way we use them. The human being by nature needs to be in motion, because if one remains static, one can get atrophied, and will not evolve; for this reason, God has allowed everything we know today to be of use for our development, and be able to glorify Him for all His Wonders.

The fact is that, if we do not know how to control social media, it becomes very harmful to the soul. For example, social media is an abundant source of gossip and lies. Young people are constantly bombarded with all kinds of immoral advertisement and videos that separate them from being in communion with God. And, even if one does not want to see a video or image, or corrosive advertising they always sneak in, and they become like a drug that we cannot do without, and then we will not be able to control it, but it control us. We believe that we have control over social media, but then we realize that without them we are nothing. The information on television, and on all social networks has been designed to stir up our desires, and it entangles us, and it embraces us, and at the end, it devours us and makes us sin.

And although many of us use social networks to evangelize, the fact that we dedicate more time to it than necessary also becomes a sin… whether we are looking at or sending Godly things, then they can become things of the devil if we do not control our time connected to the phone, tablet, television or radio.

Having said that, the recommendation is to prioritize everything we do and everything we use, and first of all, what should grab our attention and actions is to give Glory to God, to praise Him, to worship Him. This does not mean that we are always have to be on our knees in front of a crucifix (which would be ideal), but rather that, to be able to offer the Lord all of our works, however small they may seem.

You ask me “What if I don’t know how to pray?"  My answer is that there is no need to expand on words or rites, to be silent contemplating the wonders of God, that is enough.

From the time we get up, say a prayer of thanksgiving. Say a prayer of thanksgiving when we sit at the table to eat. Give thanks for the life of our family. Give thanks because we have electricity, water, clothes, the Internet ... Thank God for everything and for nothing.

To offer all our actions to the Lord is to offer the time we spend sweeping the house, washing the dishes, cleaning the windows, making the bed, cooking. All these works done with love and offered to God, are very pleasing to Him and our soul, body and mind will begin to tune with our Creator. Thus, everything will seem pleasant to us. 

And how can we forget about praying the Holy Rosary, Meditating on the Way of the Cross (which I recommend to pray always, not only during the Easter season), two very powerful weapons against the enemy. If we meditate very well on these two heavenly weapons, we can ask God, St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary their blessings in order to face the enemy or any disease ... but we need to do this with all our heart, and trusting in the Grace of God, so this way our souls will be stronger, and, spiritually, we can be better prepared to face any adverse situation because the Light of Christ dispels all darkness of every evil.

And then, believe it or not, there are many things that we can do in our homes to live a very deep and joyful Easter season. For example, reading the lives of the saints and, for this time in which we live, I recommend reading "The Dialogue of Saint Catherine of Siena", and watching the movie "St. Fr. Damien of Molokai"

There are many board games, such as UNO, Rummi, Bingo, Parquets, Jenga, Twister, etc., etc., etc.

You can also use YouTube to search for exercise sessions to keep our body and mind healthy; this activates our hormones and cells, together with a good diet, our immune system becomes stronger ... But beware! Make sure that they are exercises ... NOT YOGA, NEITHER PILATES NOR ANY OF THAT ... They are things that the enemy disguises, which deceives us very easily and then we fall into the sin of breaking the First Commandment of the Law of God.

Another thing we can do while we are in Easter and in quarantine, is to try to prepare recipes, but let the whole family participate...

In short ... so many things that can be done to get out of the seduction of social media, the spell of television, and that can help strengthen family ties; a bond that the devil wants to damage from its foundations.

What’s more, if you have any ideas on how to spend family time at home, please share them with us, maybe we can live the best Easter season of our lives, hoping it won’t be the last ... =)

I urge you to pray a lot for each other, especially for those who are sick and hopeless. May Almighty God have mercy on his people and send His Holy Angels to take away the evil that overwhelms us on this earth.

Let us live, breathe, and palpitate together with the sufferings of Christ, in order to heal the wounds of the human heart that is so empty of God.

May God, Saint Joseph and Blessed Virgin Mary bless us and protect us,

¡Laudetur Iesus Christus!

iFong

(http://catholicplanet.com/ebooks/Dialogue-of-St-Catherine.pdf)

 

GlennFFAGlenn Fong is from Cali, Colombia but is currently living in Florida. He has been married to Sandra since 2001 and counting...(yes, it is possible! Marriage is supposed to be forever!), and they have been blessed with two children. Glenn studied Systems Engineering at San Buenaventura University in Cali, Colombia and now works for a multinational company as an Analyst-Developer. He is not a writer, but his passion for Christ and His Church propel him to write about many different topics. Glenn is author and editor of the Blog "It´s for Real".

You can read Glenn's blog in spanish here: http://gfongm.wordpress.com

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