Is Your Social Media Persona Making You Less Human?

If we are all being honest, we are overwhelmed with information. We are overwhelmed in our inboxes, newsfeeds, and timelines. There is more content there than we even come close to having time to read, and (frankly) most of it isn’t worth our time. That doesn’t mean it’s all “bad.” But it does mean that very little of it ranks with the important things in our individual lives that deserve priority, and it does mean that much of it is not making us more whole human beings. Given the environment of social media overload, I think Catholic communities need to consider how we are contributing to it.

I say this as a blogger and aspiring book author who utilizes social media to share my writing. Writers and speakers like myself feel a lot of pressure (from publishers, ourselves, others) to promote our writing, and by extension ourselves, through social media. It’s the publicist of the 21st century. While it is necessary for us to use it, I’m concerned with the typical use I see. I fear that a significant amount of the content I read, often by highly-followed Catholics and Christians, is contributing to the excess social media “noise.” I call it noise because, while the more substantive writing and speaking of these individuals is highly edifying, the social media content often presents a different persona.

Continue reading “Is Your Social Media Persona Making You Less Human?”

The Mother in Every Woman

I recently read and wrote about St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. It was a timely read, as May is the month we celebrate both mothers in general and our own Mother of the Church, Mary. But it was also timely for me because I have been reflecting on the idea of motherhood in culture today. The letter was such a life-giving exhortation to me of “the dignity and vocation of women,” and one of the main themes that runs throughout is the fact that every woman is created for, and is therefore called to, motherhood.

It doesn’t matter if you are 6, 16, 36, or 60. It doesn’t matter if you are poor or rich. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, or consecrated to religious life. It doesn’t matter if you are blessed with many biological children or struggle with life-long infertility. Every woman was created with the capacity to birth new life. Not every woman will birth or raise children, and those who do will not do so in every stage of their lives.

Regardless of the stage of life, or the limitations of our circumstances, or the particular vocational call — every woman is called to spiritual motherhood throughout her entire life, and this truly is our unique and defining vocation as female human beings. We have lost the significance of this purpose. As a culture, we view motherhood in so many mixed up and problematic ways. But our view of fatherhood is skewed as well. Why? Because I think we have missed the point of being human in our world today. Continue reading “The Mother in Every Woman”

Breaking Through the Wall

“I hate Lent!” was the exclamation that came from our almost-six-year-old’s mouth the other night. He was overcome with sudden despair because we denied his plea for dessert. It’s funny that he was being so dramatic; it’s not like this was the first day without sweets. We were three weeks into Lent; but perhaps three weeks was his breaking point.

“I hate Lent!” Ty whimpered. “That’s kind of the point,” my husband replied humorously. I chuckled. Ty didn’t find either of our responses comforting.

I started thinking about the exchange. Ty was “feeling the burn,” so to speak. The spiritual exercise of self-denial wasn’t very novel anymore, and his self-discipline and self-control were waning. For a child, it’s probably equivalent to a weight-lifter at the gym after multiple sets. At the beginning there’s a lot of enthusiasum. The first few reps aren’t bad; they might even feel good. Then fatique sets in…then mental exhaustion, and the thought of one more rep is terrible. Continue reading “Breaking Through the Wall”