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Reflection: “God is near us and not on the internet” BY Jason GUEGUE, SDB

“God is near us and not on the internet”

The means of communication in general render an enormous service to the whole of humanity. Thanks to them, our planet has become like a “village” where it is hardly possible for anyone to ignore the events that take place there. Thanks to the genius of man, inspired by the absolute intelligence of God, the distances of place, time and space are forever reduced. From there, the Good News of our Savior Jesus Christ, among so many other means, also spread throughout the world, and faithful believers, people of good will took advantage of it to build their lives and improve their relationship with God.

“God doesn’t have a Facebook or WhatsApp account”

 Nowadays we are more and more anchored in the world of “falsification” so that we no longer distinguish between what is in the realm of reality and what is in the realm of the ideal. This makes it sometimes difficult for us to take with a little reserve, the information that we find on social networks. The lack of wit and critical sense does not allow us to discern the dangers that gradually creep into our interpersonal relationships first, then in our relationship with God. These dangers seem to be going into fashion today that very few people think about. These relationships, in my humble opinion, far from a sincere recognition of the Goodness and Mercy of God, of the glory due to Him, of the authenticity of our interpersonal relationships, lack depth. These are tricks that the world uses today to gradually divert the “ poor in spirit ” from their individual contact with other men and especially with God, to reduce it to a simple virtual relationship (fictitious, unreal) and nothing else.

Having said that, time after time, after browsing the facebook page, which is a social network that today connects the whole world, the trend is strong, one that wants to distance us from God while showing us that we can leave a message for Him as a thank you or for any reason, only from our computer keyboard or our phone, as if every day God is going to open his facebook or whatsapp account to check his messages. Today we can no longer do without these means, social networks are increasingly becoming the new court where the Salesian is called to go and meet young people with a view to their education and evangelization. However, these should not replace real human and face to face contact with God personally, in family, in a church. Indeed, very often we find publications like this: “God loves you, do not pass without saying thank you Lord”; ’If you don’t have time for God, mercilessly, my God’; “One hundred years to the one left by a heart for his parents”; “God is going to change your situation right now. Just type in “Amen” etc.

What appeals is to see that following these promises of blessings, happiness or sometimes miracles, a whole litany of “Amen” and “thank you Lord” precedes them. We know that youth are hypersensitive to the slightest promise of material happiness no matter where it comes from. And since they are the first days of their life, they dare to hope for everything. Hence it is easy to deceive them, for they easily hope.

“No protocol like the internet to address God”

What we want to remind our young people today is to know that God does not need protocol so that we can speak to Him, because He is near us all the time. “I am among you until the end of time”. If he is with us until the end of time and we are aware of his presence, to what god do we leave these messages of thanks and the like? Why thank someone who is always near me using the means of communication, designed to reduce the distance of place and time between people? It is a bit lacking in spirit on our part, very often. Let us become aware of the ineffable closeness of Jesus among us; no need for any means of communication to speak to Him. He listens to us with unfailing attention. We must know that “God has accompanied his people throughout history, he freed them from the slavery of Egypt; in reality he did not do a virtual liberation “. Let us know that God does not need these means to obtain for us the graces and the gifts that we need. Jesus Himself asks us, in order to pray, “to enter our most secluded room, to lock our door in order to address our prayer to our Father who is there in secret.” He who sees everyone’s heart and even knows our intentions.

Let’s try to analyze a few of these posts. “God loves you, do not go without saying thank you”. What is to be considered here is that it can remind us of the love of God in our life, whenever He has shown us his benevolence, his patience in supporting us in our errors. And from there, we can thank him personally in all discretion, away from the “ ears of Internet users ” and at the same time implore his grace not to abandon him for a single moment, instead of leaving him a message. through other people.

Furthermore, these messages, far from bringing us closer to God, put people in an embarrassing dilemma that it seems that not leaving a written message for God would be detrimental as a result. So, these thanks are not driven by love or gratitude towards God, but rather by fear. People should know that these trends do not leave our relationship life without drawbacks. It is obvious that even our family, friendly relations … suffer from it. Because there are even those publications which promise “a hundred years of life to those who leave a heart for their parents”. Do you ever wonder who is it that you leave a heart for your parents to? Does this parent know you love them so much? At least, is he looking at this heart left in his honor? Wouldn’t it be better to show him your love in your actions? We all know how easy it is to leave a message for someone with whom we have little or nothing in common. And facing it personally takes a good deal of courage. Which is difficult, so we take the easy way out.

“Let’s have a critical sense on social networks”

We have to open our eyes and be a little critical, because we are at a level where the world wants to impose a different way of seeing, finding and worshiping God on us. Or he wants to completely change the way we look at God and man, created in his image and likeness. Let us know that Jesus took on the human condition so that we could be forever united with God. It is not to be overlooked that social networks can help us to show compassion for others, encourage them, congratulate them, cheer them up with comforting words … because they are far from us, in the sense of keeping the communion of spirit. This is quite normal between men. Because it may be that by dint of talking to on the net, you may end up being convinced that this is where you can find it.

Jason GUEGUE, Salesian of Don Bosco


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