Pope exhorts us to reflect in silence during 2012 Communications Day

Pope Benedict XVI's message for the 46th annual World Communications Day has been published on the Vatican website. We learned earlier that his theme for this year is silence, and the message is brief and impactful.

One passage that stood out in my reading was the following (emphasis mine):

Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God. In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.

I think Facebook, Twitter and sites like Tumblr can be extremely helpful in giving people time for silent reflection and "authentic" questioning, when used properly. More often than not, though, people fill their timelines and follower lists with more drivel and meaningless information. We should try to combat this tendency by being reflective and loving website and service users.

If you are a content creator, it is your responsibility to not only cultivate a life of personal prayer and silent reflection (with a strong attachment to the Sacraments), but also bring that life into your content production. Don't be 'preachy' and self-righteous, but do incorporate your faith, and a dose of practical religion in what you do.

If you are a designer, make sure that what you design and architect is aesthetically pleasing, functional, but not overbearing. Use certain minimalist principles to make sure that your creations reflect the simplicity of God's love, while also reflecting the beauty of the same.

If you are a consumer/reader, discern daily whether what you read, watch and hear is fitting to a deep, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Decide whether those you follow and read online are helping you to grow as a human and as a Catholic, or whether they might be distracting you.

Read the full message for the 46th World Communications Day here ยป