Nobody likes to be alone…not for Christmas…not ever. There is a deeply felt, absolutely essential core thirst within us for connection. Where does it come from? This drive for being a part of a network of relationships exists within us because WE ARE in a network of relationships. It starts with the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit giving and receiving the gift of love among themselves and extending the invitation to us to participate in the divine communion.
In that awareness, I realize more and more that I am created and am at each moment sustained in life by the mercy of God. Without God thinking of me, I would not exist. Apart from God giving me life, I would be nothing. In fact, I am nothing but what God makes me to be. If I am totally dependent on God’s creating love to exist, so is everyone else. All of us are sustained in life moment by moment by the Father. If we really understood this, we would drop to our knees in reverence before our neighbor. We thirst for connection because WE ARE connected. We long to return to that primal connection at the heart of creation where we are all held in God’s hand, together, trustingly dependent on him for everything.
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and Tumblr and Pinterest and Instagramm can be mediated ways of reaching out or sharing or listening or connecting to other people…of reestablishing the deepest connections that exist among us as the Creator’s masterpieces. It’s true there is a lot of, shall we say, less than sublime posts and pins and tweets out there. But hasn’t it always been that way? As Christians attempting to live in the deeper awareness that is holiness, we will always be in the minority…a breath of fresh air the world is unknowingly waiting for.
Posting and pinning and tweeting and blogging is prayer when what we share emerges from the awareness of God at work in us and through us for others. Prayer becomes social networking when we bring the people whose posts and tweets and pins we’ve seen to God. Sometimes I just take my cell phone and hold it up to Jesus in the Tabernacle, because he knows the hearts of everyone on these social networking tools. Other times I read him some posts and ask him to help me understand how I too share the same needs as the post-er, whether I know them or not, agree with them or not, appreciate them or not. And always I lift up to him the prayer intentions of people who have shared with me and my community the special needs they are carrying in their heart. Whether I’m on Facebook or in chapel, or on Instagramm in chapel (sometimes I share a prayer after Communion with my followers on Instagramm and Facebook before I go to breakfast), I am in God, one with my brothers and sisters, connected and united, now and forever with each of them, together, in God’s most good hands.
Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP