Vera had enough. She put her paw on my leg and gave a cry bearing meow. After working all day in my home office on my work computer and a quick bite of dinner, I was again on the computer. This time it was my personal laptop as I participated in an RCIA Zoom meeting. It was almost like she was saying, “Enough Mommy! Spend some time with me!”
We are blessed with technology. This pandemic has illustrated just how useful our e-connectivity is. Even though I was a virtual worker prior to this year, being able to work from home is no longer an oddity. In addition to work, I can grocery shop, workout, and connect with friends all without leaving the home. However, the biggest blessings have been the ability to attend Mass, participate in parish and diocese functions, as well as spend time in front of the blessed sacrament. If you can’t find what you need on the internet, there may be an app for what you are searching for. The divine mercy chaplet, the rosary, an examination of conscience guide, and even Biblical bedtime stories can all be found in the app store. While some may argue that the volume of choices is enough to overwhelm a person to not choose anything at all, I love the fact that through YouTube on my TV, I can pray in adoration of the blessed sacrament located in Melbourne, Australia.
An extended workday is now the norm, since company resources have been reduced and the work still needs to get done. Yet with Zoom meetings, I can still participate in activities I’ve signed up for since I only need time to log into my laptop rather than driving to a particular location. However, all this screen time does come with a cost. It also raises expectations that you can do even more, since no traveling is involved. It also means that I’m going from laptop to laptop, TV, or mobile device. I’ve even had dreams interacting with the TV. But if we limit our screen time, it seems that we are shutting out the world, and depending on how much we are using the screens as tools of worship, turning away from God.
The Good News is that God is always present to us, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. While it is a great sacrifice to take the time to drive to a chapel for holy hour before the blessed sacrament, God is still with us even if we decide to sit on our couch, open our Bibles and read, or pray the rosary using actual rosary beads. If we still feel disconnected, we can always ask our guardian angel to pay Jesus a visit in the tabernacle of our parish. Technology provides us tools to help in our relationship with God, but should not be confused with the relationship itself. For 2,000 years, people have been able to get close to God without technology; it’s not a requirement to become a saint. It’s up to us to find the right balance of technology in our prayer life. Prudent use of the tools and setting fair expectations of ourselves can help us avoid being chained to technology.
After my Zoom meeting was over and I sat in my recliner, Vera eagerly jumped up to knead on me. I said a Glory Be in thanksgiving for such a wonderful feline friend. That genuine and heartfelt prayer along with Vera’s purring ministrations gave me the peace I needed at the end of a long day.