It was one of those days — you know the kind that I mean. A family crisis had sent me reeling, and I was engulfed in a sea of worry.
In a futile effort to escape my predicament, in a moment of weakness, I turned to Facebook. And there it was: one of those quizzes to help you reveal more of yourself to your Facebook friends.
I fell for it.
As a wise Facebook friend pointed out to me, the information I had blithely revealed could lead to identity theft. I quickly saw the error of my Internet ways, and vowed to be more guarded in the future.
I believe I was guilty of the sin of wasting time—time that would have been better spent talking about my troubles with the Almighty. I felt demoralized and, let’s face it, stupid. The cyberspace escapade easily could have led me down the path of darkness.
But I have vowed to make an attempt to recover, using a five-step method I have found to be quite helpful.
- Quickly confessed my sin to God. There was no Confessional nearby, but the Lord was. The quicker I admitted to my wrongdoing, the easier it was to get past my sin.
- Prayed for the grace not to repeat my error. It is humbling to concede a mistake — especially one which violates our relationship with God. But admitting our weakness is the first step to freedom. And recognizing that we need God’s assistance to do good and avoid evil is critical to improving our ways.
- Made a pledge to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This promise can seem akin to pledging to make a trip to the dentist’s office. But there are no drills in the Confessional, and you leave feeling cleaner than you do after a meeting with your dental hygienist.
- Practice Internet virtue. Post your favorite prayer or a photo from a church you’ve recently visited. Find a way to spread good cheer through cyberspace. You may touch many hearts and enlighten many souls as a result.
- Offer an hour of Adoration for your Facebook friends. My friends love this! It’s a great feeling, when you know someone is praying for you. And intercessory prayer is an act of wonderful spiritual mercy.
I am not suggesting that wasting time is the worst sin in the world — but, in my case, it did deprive God of His due. I also sinned against myself, by revealing information that is best kept off the Internet.
It is oh so easy to commit sin online — after all, we are hiding behind a computer screen or an iPhone. The cloak of anonymity can give us a sense of bravado that is not in keeping with the Lord’s will.
But by quickly admitting where we went wrong, we can provide a powerful example to our children, who are oh-so-susceptible to online mischief. And the sense of peace we can feel after reconciling with God is better than the feeling we get posting ten smiling emojis.
Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher