Tech Talk: “Baptizing” our Technology

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computerWhen you Google “Blessing Technology” you will find reflections on technology as a blessing or curse, a burden or a blessing, a gift or a danger. The other day I found out that I had posted a greeting on someone’s page that I don’t remember posting. Only after the person thanked me did I see it. Then it happened again and I caught it. My touch screen is so sensitive that I hit a suggested greeting accidentally. In the first case the greeting was very thoughtful (thank you, Facebook). In the other accidental post the symbol of a hand toasting with a bubbly drink greeted a friend. I was able to delete it since it did not express what I meant to say. After these two occasional posts I thought of getting my technology blessed. What if I accidentally post something thoughtless (thanks to ready-made greetings)? What if I text a funny icon – unwittingly? What if a gif slips onto a message I am sending and it throws off my conversation? What if…?

Technology used by hands folded in prayer can be consecrated in prayer.

Technology used by hands at times folded in prayer can be consecrated in prayer.

These “what ifs” are just the tip of the technological iceberg.  There is the possibility of someone stealing my account and using it for ill. It is possible I will “Friend” or “retweet” a troll. Then there is my phone use, a great piece of technology that I need to maintain with discipline. When do I keep it off, answer it, and use it to text? What about how I use my computer and e-mail? Technology permeates my life now — YouTube, blog articles, Google searches, and so much more. I realize that I need to have a prayer that dedicates all of my technology for good, protects me from unwitting conversational responses and reminds me of when to use these means and why I am using them.

media apostle

Blessed James Alberione “First Apostle of the New Evangelization”

Blessed James Alberione, the “first Apostle of the New Evangelization,” recognized media as a gift of God that can be used for the uplifting of people and society. Instead of telling people to avoid new technology because it could be “a curse” he decided to consecrate it to God. To consecrate something is to make its use sacred. If the means are consecrated then on our part there is a more mindful use. In our own media apostolate all of our printing presses, binding machines, computers, were “baptized” in holy water and named after a saint. The saint’s name usually reflected the technology. Video cameras may be named after St. Gabriel, patron of audio-visual media, for instance. You too can “bless” or “make holy” your use of technology.

Naming your devices after a saint may be a way to have your whole family involved. Perhaps the television could have St. Clare, patron of television, as its guardian. A picture of St. Clare could be placed someone on it. Other patron saints can be chosen for their saintly attributes. Our Lady of Guadalupe (for visual media), St. Anthony (for Google searches), St. Peter (for passwords), St. Joseph (for family-plan phone use), St. Augustine (printers), or St. Monica (for safe searches).

Since “every baptized person is called to be a ‘blessing,’ and to bless” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1669) I wrote the following prayer that may be used in your family or by an individual to bless the use of their technology. Add the use of holy water for your blessing by tracing the sign of the cross on the technology.

Family Blessing of Technology for the New Year

Loving Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus Truth, Way, and Life, bless the use of our family’s technology to you. Bless the technology we use each day. Bless our phone, the Apps we use our text messages, our posts, our photos, and our every conversation. Bless our computer, the work we do on it, the games we play, the e-mail we write and send, and the YouTube videos we share. Bless our iPad, iPod, Kindle, Nook, Game Boy, and Nintendo. Bless our keyboards and remotes, our Wii and television, our media viewing, our media sharing. Thank you for having inspired humanity to discover all the new technology that we use for conversation, friendship, family communication, work, enjoyment, education, and for our spiritual uplifting. You created everything for us, as we are for Christ. May these inventions give you glory and help bring peace to humanity.

Individual Blessing of Technology for the New Year

Loving Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus Truth, Way, and Life, bless the use of my technology. Bless my phone, the Apps I use, my text messages, my posts, my photos, and my every conversation. Bless my computer, the work done on it, the games played, the e-mail I write and send, and the YouTube videos shared. Bless my iPad, iPod, Kindle, Nook, Game Boy, and Nintendo. Bless my keyboards and remotes, my Wii and television, my media viewing, my media sharing. Thank you for having inspired humanity to discover all the new technology that we use for conversation, friendship, family communication, work, enjoyment, education, and for our spiritual uplifting. You created everything for us, as we are for Christ. May these inventions give you glory and help bring peace to humanity.

Patron Saints of Technology

  • St. Gabriel the Archangel, Patron Saint of all Audio-Visual Media (radio, telephone, etc)
  • St. Clare of Assisi, Television (remotes, cable, Wii)
  • St. Cecilia, Music (creating, listening, adding music)
  • St. Francis DeSales, writers (blogs, e-mail, text messages)
  • St. Lucy, writers (emoticons, memes, gifs)
  • St. Luke, art (Pinterest, Instagram)
  • Michael the Archangel (holiness in communication)
  • Raphael the Archangel (safety in communication)
  • St Francis De Sales, Internet
Live Christ; Give Christ

www.pauline.org

Are you looking for insights to help you integrate your life?

Live Christ; Give Christ! Prayers for the New Evangelization brings all aspects of our contemporary life to prayer for a total integration in Christ.

  • Prayers for all aspects of the New Evangelization
  • Features a spirituality for those who desire to share the faith with others
  • Includes prayers from Blessed James Alberione and contemporary Paulines
  • Prayers centered on the Eucharist and Scripture

Media Resources for your family: http://mediaapostle.com/resources/

Watch the film on the Life of Blessed James Alberione: Media Apostle

 

Photos:
Computer, Daughters of St. Paul, All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission
Sisters Using Technology, Daughters of St. Paul, All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission
Live Christ; Give Christ, Daughers of St. Paul, All Rights Reserved, Used with Permission

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Copyright 2016 Sister Margaret Kerry, fsp

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About Author

A Daughter of St. Paul for 40 years Sr. Margaret continues to pursue new ways to proclaim the Gospel: sharing the Pauline Charism with the laity, writing books (St. Anthony of Padua: Fire & Light; Strength in Darkness: John of the Cross; Prayers for the New Evangelization), & through direct evangelization. She is available for workshops on the Vocation & Mission of the Laity, Media Literacy, and The New Evangelization. [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for these prayers and suggestions for making our technology time sacred. I’m all for baptizing my technology, however for this particular baptism I will avoid a full emersion. ?

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