Avoid the Online Occasion of Sin

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It seems we need our computers, phones, and iPods for every moment of the day. Recently something went wrong with my computer and it “forgot” the drivers which help it access the internet. One moment, we were connected. The next, were thrown back to the Pre-Internet Age.  We spent the next day and a half on the phone trying to fix the computer. (I had a deadline, after all.)

While technology is great for work and fun, it can cause an occasion of sin. How can our vital technological devices be an occasion of sin?  It is easy to turn them into an idol. If they become more important than God, our families, or our responsibilities, we could well be facing an occasion of sin.

They can tempt us to spend money on unnecessary things instead of the needs of the family. They can also steal time away from our families that otherwise may have been spent with them. We–or our children–may be exposed to inappropriate material.

There is always a temptation, especially on social networks, to be less than charitable with our neighbor. It happens in almost any conversation, but most often in conversations about religion and politics. It is easy to forget to evangelize online in a Christ-like way.

Having said that, we do live in a tech-savy world and our kids  are accessing the internet at younger and younger ages.

It has become a necessary part of our lives for work, school, and communication. I don’t know how many times I praised God for my family’s cell phones because I was still at work and needed to get in touch with my husband to pick up the kids.

So where can we look to for some protection and avoidance of the near occasion of sin that comes with technology and the internet?

First, I suggest asking your Guardian Angel for help. Our Guardian angel is always with us and is waiting for us to ask its help. No job is too big or too small.

Second, believe it or not, there is a patron saint of computer use. St. Isidore of Seville was a writer in the early 600s of Etymologies (types of dictionaries) which were structured like today’s databases.

The way he compiled and stored information contributed to why he is considered the patron saint of computer use and the internet. We could ask this great saint to intercede for use that we might use the internet and other technology responsibly.

Finally, in my research for this article, I found a prayer by Father Z from his blog What Does the Prayer Really Say. This is a wonderful prayer which we all can benefit from. Print it out, paste it on some colorful scrapbook paper, and post it by your computer.

Try to pray it each time you are logging on to the computer. Thank you, Father Z, for sharing this with us.

A prayer before logging onto the internet

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2012 Jennifer Gladen

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