Humility and Relationships
Humility is one those virtues as Catholic Christians we just can’t do without. Pride is the baseline sin that creeps into all of our lives at one time or another. Humility is the ability to allow God’s love to overcome our hearts and minds so we can see other people’s needs and sorrows. It enables us to let go of our self-absorbed ways and reach out to others. Within our own families, humility is needed in the day-to-day moments of living. We need good listening ears and a willingness to be attentive. Humility is certainly a gift right from God in our interactions. Humility is for all ages. It is especially important to develop this virtue in the teen years through young adulthood. We carry this grace with us through life.
Social Media and Self-Absorption
I’m a child of the ’70s and ’80s. Memories of the house phone and no computers are still vivid. For those of us in that age category, we remember how face-to face communication was common. Phones were used just for talking or relaying a message not for entertainment. I say that with a smile on my face, because today in 2017, I love my phone! I love its apps, texting, checking my emails and social media. In fact, my family loves their phones too. When it comes to social media, we have found balance something of importance. Balance against self-absorption and even “showing off” when it comes to sharing our lives on social media.
I am on just about all of the social media outlets. I find it fun to see photos of family and friends and it keeps the dialogue going between acquaintances. My daughters enjoy this aspect, as well. In our observations, sometimes the photos we see look glamorizing and borderline self-absorbed. As nice as it is to see photos of our close contacts, it’s sad when social media becomes competitive. Bullying can also happen when the competitive-edge is at hand.
It’s great to see smiles and fun places on posts. Sharing our happiness with others is a gift. However, an observation can be made that sometimes photos and posts are inappropriate for our eyes. When humility is lost in social media, the wrong impression may be displayed for all to see. This is where we need to search our hearts to remember virtues such as humility and modesty. Dressing nicely and looking great is a good thing, but caution must be made to keep God in the picture. Comments on photos are also an area to pay attention to our virtue. Over-congratulatory comments on posts may also feed into pride. The downside is that all of this begins to seem like a contest. The Lord provides guidance.
Finding Balance with the Lord’s Help
God is our guide when it comes to finding humility in today’s world. The example we give our kids in how we handle social media and interactions is crucial. They learn more by what we do not as much by what we say. Our Lord and Our Lady give us great examples of humility. Through their lives of suffering, acceptance and in listening to the voice of God, they lead us. Balance is found in our prayer life. God gives us the answers in the gifts He has given us. The Sacraments of our Church are awesome. They give us strength to have virtue in weak moments.
The Example of Our Holy Father
Another great example of living faith is through the life our Holy Father Pope Francis. Through his prayers and faith, he is showing us the way of Jesus daily. His meditations and Godly advice can be found on social media. Francis is on all of the social media outlets, most notably Twitter and Instagram. I enjoy seeing photos of him in action spreading the faith to all people including youth and young adults.
Wisdom from Francis
“Wisdom is precisely this: to see the world, to see situations, circumstances, problems, everything through God’s eyes”. -homily of Pope Francis
Wisdom is found through Christ and through prayer! All of Heaven intercedes for us if we ask for God’s help. Jesus and Mary are with us along with the angels and saints. The Holy Father points out to us that Our Lord is with us always. When we see things through the eyes of God, we see more clearly. We can take our time when we decide to post photos on social media or respond to others. We can ask for humility. Social media can be used for good. As parents we can teach our kids how important it is to have wisdom when they share their lives publicly with others.
Passing on Humility to Our Kids
Passing on the virtue of humility to our families is a beautiful thing. I have found this to be a moment to moment process that continues through life. My own prayer is to use social media for good. I hope to share it with balance and to share special insights. I hope to hold onto this virtue in all of my social media interactions. Keeping myself close to God is how this can be accomplished. With face-to-face dialogue less frequent, it is monumental to our lives to keep God close. Especially as social media grows even larger, this is critical. Our kids need our prayers and our help to do the right thing, too.
“With God All Things Are Possible”
Raising families today is not an easy task. God’s grace and prayer make it possible! My prayer for you and all is connection with the Holy Spirit to guide us in raising our children. We pray they will love Him and serve Him. With God and God alone it is not only possible, it will happen! Blessings to you and your families.
Copyright 2017 Anne DeSantis