Should I get a flip phone?
From last week…“ I am going to spend this season through Lent looking at what I am called to sacrifice to follow Christ. What is taking me from the love of God? What is causing me to lose sight of the miracle we witnessed at that manger in Bethlehem? What identifies me more with the Pharisees and less with Christ and His saints? Can I support all the companies and institutions that are guiding society towards perdition?”
I’ll be honest, I hate this part. Everyone sees pastors come into parishes and change things. They probably figure that pastors just love to change; they do not. Or at least this one does not. I get comfortable and I just want to stay where I am. If I am uprooted for whatever reason, my focus is how I can get back to what is “normal” for me.
Society has changed. The Anglican Church I grew up in certainly changed. My heart told me that I would have been happiest if everything stayed the same! I know now, after all this change, years of it, that I am happier than ever in the Catholic Church. Interesting how our heart can lie to us.
But there is a constant, only one in the universe, God. God does not change. If I were resting in God, truly being a good Christian, all the change around me would not matter, other than my concerns for other souls caught in the chaos. I would be calm, I would be focused, and I would be saving souls who were caught in the current of the fore mentioned change. Instead, I am angry that all my apple carts got turned over. I am mad that the world and creation, that scripture tells us is ever changing and fading towards its demise, changed. How ridiculous of me!
I am tired of change, and I need to find that place where I can be unchanged. Should I move to the mountains and live off grid? Should I buy a sailboat and live my years finding desolate islands untouched by corrupt mankind? No, I should find God.
We, as good Catholics, see God weekly…even daily, in the blessed sacrament. We stay in a state of grace through confession. I am with God a lot in my life, why do I need to find Him? Maybe I should re-phrase then, I need to find my rest in God. What prevents me from that rest?
Teleology, or the study of the purpose of the universe, tells us that God made all we see, and He keeps a close eye on His creation, interacting with it on a regular basis. One such interaction is the Christ event, when Jesus came to save all creation. If God made all creation, would it not stand to reason that all of creation something we should enjoy? Because of original sin, no. There are parts of creation that have been distorted by mankind and are very dangerous to us. One such example is taking sex as a thing only to be enjoyed, removed from its original purpose of procreation. There are many forms of lust (sex, broken by original sin), such as pornography, that can be devastating to man, and we should stay as far away from it as possible.
Well I have set the extremes, from the ultimate good in Jesus, to the ultimate bad in pornography (and many other of the deadly sins…not just to pick on one). There is a lot of broken creation in-between. Our question is where is the line that separates good from bad creation?
Is my iPhone bad? Certainly if it causes me to sin, yes. Now to be clear the iPhone is inanimate, and has neither good nor bad qualities, but how I use it may create a circumstance where it becomes the tool by which I become bad.
Matthew 18: 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
Catholic Biblical Association (Great Britain). (1994). The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition (Mt 18:8–9). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA.
If I have an object in my life that causes me to not have hope, I should discard it. All the news and social decay comes across my phone minute by minute, and it is causing me issues in keeping a hopeful outlook. So should I discard it? Well I need the phone for work, so I cannot discard that part of the iPhone. Maybe a flip phone? Of course, like others, I use my phone as a Maspco (paper map, for those younger readers), I use it as a jukebox (just google it if you don’t recognize the reference), I use it as a copy machine, (OK, I’m old…like all my references) I use it for all sorts of good effects. If I got a flip, I would lose all these things.
So I came up with a crazy thought, how about if I control it, as opposed to it controlling me. How about if I get rid of 3/4’s of the apps, how about if I don’t let it notify me of every little news story? Somewhere along the line we became such avid consumers that we allowed the product to take over our life. The answer is not to discard, but to control. Creation is to be subdued…and that means your iPhone.
Next week lets talk about consumerism.