We are in the fourth week of Advent, approaching Christmas very soon. We can feel the culmination of the year, as if the whole of humanity was “gathered up” into these coming days. How have we done? How will we go forward?
The day before Christmas, December 24th, is Adam and Eve day. On this day we remember the “Fall of Man,” the beginning of the human story and the whole reason and purpose for Christ’s coming to be born.
The Fall began with the eating of an apple, the taking in of an earthly substance and the sense of taste. With that came all of the other senses, and the desires and attachments that go with them. The senses bring us into connection with the earth. Sometimes the satisfaction of senses, binds us in addictive behavior, or drives us to do things which we would really not want to do.
Eating food set our transformation in motion. It set the transformation of the earth itself in motion through the human being. We are asked by the Creation: “What will you make of your life here on earth? What will be your response to the Living God?”
Our “response” is what we call culture, stemming from “cultus,” that which we offer back to God. A very significant part of our culture today has as its logo, an apple with a bite taken out of it! Is this mere coincidence or are we “falling” into the use of the internet at the expense of true human contact? It seems real. We Skype, we use emails to communicate with other people, so it seems to be okay.
Technology has caused us to speed everything up. Whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not. We are always in a hurry and we are always checking our phones. This new phenomena is pulling us away from other people and into our “devices.” This is unprecedented; we have no social/cultural rules around it. We would rather look at our phones than at just about anyone. Lovers and couples are no exception and are finding that the phone can be a hindrance to a relationship.
We can, however, use the new technologies to the good, and we do. The thing that it requires is “vigilance.” If we are vigilant, we can use the computer instead of it using us. We have to use the media to keep ourselves informed, connected and active. We have to stay awake in these times, more than ever before.
Let us find peace of heart during this Christmas season. Let us put ourselves in the position to create the highest culture we can possibly create, without violence, without infringing upon others, but with dignity and respect for every human being. Nothing online is more important than the person standing in front of you right now.
by Carol Kelly