It’s only been a few weeks since Lent ended. We went through 40 days of fasting, abstinence and penance; and hopefully some of us experienced renewal in a great way. There were some who gave up sweets, or beer, or meat, and some of us decided to go hard core giving up more than one thing while promising all kinds of new resolutions for the Lenten season.
Well, I happened to decide to give up technology for the whole of Lent with exception to the necessary duties on the computer both at work and home , amongst other things. I was a mad man starting out with selling my brand-new MyTouch 4G (ouch!!), turning off data services on both my wife’s and my cell phones, turning off our digital HD fiber optic cable and buying a simple cheapy flip phone. It hurts thinking about it, but it deemed fruitful in the detachment of worldly things as the Gospel calls us to.
The last half of Lent was when I started to feel it with the allure of the people surrounding me not only talking, texting and surfing the net on their Android-powered and iOS-powered smartphones (or superphones as their now calling the latest dual-core additions), but asking for my expertise in deciding on what to get next or troubleshooting issues they were having during the learning curve. I felt like a kid in a candy store that had given up candy for Lent.
Through prayer, I began to experience not only a detachment from the absolute dependency to technology, but a great appreciation for the aid that technology gives us in our day to day life. Technology enhances that which we do on a daily basis by automating more and more mundane tasks, so we can turn our focus on those things that have greater importance. I now truly realize how to respect technology and use it wisely without taking advantage and forming a dependency on it.
The practice of detachment is an awesome teaching the Church gives us with the fruits of it immeasurable. We have to know that Jesus through sacramental life and personal prayer has to be at the core of everything that we do. Detachment can be practiced in any facet of our human life; in fact, we need moments of deep prayer and detachment from worldly things in order to realize that everything on this earth is insufficient without the promise of the heavenly reality.
Penance and detachment can only be understood fully with the Easter vision in mind. We have to look to the horizon with the sun rising to a new day, where all our sufferings and penances will no longer be. This is the day we are looking ahead to; a day that we will no longer need the things of this world. But until then, we need to continue to find solutions that make life simpler and easier to manage.
Out of this “Technological Desert”, I kept my gaze upon the horizon of the Easter Season. This preparation deemed fruitful and I was wholly renewed through the difficult experience I endured, promising never again to substitute every person or thing with a fancy Android phone or the conversation between two people with a mere text message or email.
The Easter season brought much joy from the completion of the Lenten journey while experiencing also the “Technological Resurrection” – which was not the fact that I was free once again from the abstinence of technology, but the appreciation for it that came from not having it for the 40 days of Lent. I will never look at technology the same again! May we live out the call to “reach peoples of all nations” in the New Evangelization through the modern aids that God has given us.
Blessed Pope John Paul II pray for us!