April 3, 2017
Some of the recent headlines revolving around Pope Francis are his comments comparing the use of our cell phones to the use of our Bibles. At first I didn’t think much of this. Sure, we need to work on detachment from our phones (at least I do), but is what the Pope suggesting really the best solution? After some more thought and prayer, I discovered the deeper meaning to what he was saying.
At first glance, here are his words, “Someone said: what would happen if we treated the Bible like we treat our cell phone? If we always carried it with us; or at least the small pocket-sized Gospel, what would happen?”
He continued, “You forget your mobile phone – oh! I do not have it, I go back to look for it; if you read the messages of God contained in the Bible as we read the messages of the phone…”
I understood that the Pope was trying to get us to depend more on the Gospels, on the word of Christ, than on our cell phones. But, at the same time, it didn’t seem realistic to me to be reading a couple paragraphs of the Gospels every 10 minutes of my day.
Upon digging into this homily a little more, I see that he explained himself better than what I had grasped initially. He said, “As Christians we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and address the spiritual battle against evil with the power of the Word of God. For this, you must become familiar with the Bible, read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it.”
I saw that he was equipping us with the tools necessary to fight temptation, and this wasn’t necessarily just reading the Bible every 10 minutes, this was meditating on the Word of God and living it, every moment of every day. It means having a heart that is aware of the presence of God; more aware of God than of our phones!
As we all strive to live the life of good Christians and Catholics, keeping the word of God on our hearts and practicing the presence of God throughout our days is vital. This presence should become more consuming to us than our cell phones. Essentially, this is what Pope Francis is trying to tell us.
These words stuck me and helped me dive into the second part of Lent more focused on being aware of God’s presence in my life. Even if I can’t literally pick up a Bible every 10 minutes, I can say a quick prayer or tell God about what’s going on in my heart. I can call to mind the fact that that God is with me.
Going forward, I think that this approach will help my Holy Week and Easter celebration be more fruitful. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for me to realize the presence of God more than the presence of a cell phone. I invite you to listen to our Holy Father’s advice, and join me in this endeavor to increase our recognition of God’s presence in our daily lives.