The Saints are our Catholic celebrities. They are our superheroes because they show us how to live for Christ 100%. They offer us the tools and means that they learned in their lives to live consciously and mindfully in the world.
Their perspective is the goal of heaven and they show that living a virtuous life is not restrictive or a hindrance, but is true freedom, because it frees us from the slavery to sin. The saints exemplify the virtues.
They pray for us as we journey in life. That is why they are our heavenly companions and they guide us as we live in this digital age to live mindfully. They show us how to use the media at hand for good and to be critical engagers of our media culture.
The saints offer us the means to live today— in our media age that can sometimes overwhelm us. Even though many of them did not experience the technology we now have, they give us the tools and means to be critical engagers of the media messages we encounter and consume.
They do that by:
- What they stand for—their convictions
- Their lives of holiness—virtuous living
- Their goal in life—seeking heaven
- They offer tools to guide us - ascetical practices - and how they used the media at hand
- Their being “in” the world, but not “of” the world—live mindfully in the culture
There are 16 applications to Media Mindfulness as we pray the Litany of Media Saints.
Media Mindfulness is media literacy from a faith perspective. Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and participate with the messages that the media communicate. It is about being engaged with the media culture and developing critical thinking skills.
Pope Francis recognizes the need for media literacy education, when he says: “We are living in an information-driven society which bombards us indiscriminately with data—all treated as being of equal importance—and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches critical thinking and encourages the developments of mature moral values.”
One aspect of the Media Mindfulness strategy is “praying the media.”
This is an important part of a faith and media pedagogy. We seek to help our youth integrate faith with their everyday lives, especially their entertainment experience. As we teach them to be discerning of their media choices, we also help them to become prayerful people who live a concrete relationship with Jesus.
This is the goal of religious education—to help our youth develop a profound and personal relationship with Jesus. Otherwise, religion will be easily dropped and eliminated along their journey of life.
But, how do we do that?How do we make prayer integral to life? This is not about making it “relevant” but instead making it “real” and “essential” for their lives. Pray the media means that we pray for and within our media culture—it is a MEDIA SPIRITUALITY—a spirituality for this digital age. It is one based on how St. Paul, the Apostle lived his relationship with Christ. He is the greatest apostle, the greatest evangelizer the world has known. We take our queue from him. As an apostle, St Paul’s main concern was that people come to know Jesus, who is as he defined himself, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. For Paul, this meant that he had to address the needs of the people of his time in order to present Christ as the answer to our deepest longings.
We, too, must look to the needs of humanity today. And the place to see that is in the art of the culture. Art communicates the deepest yearnings and desires of humanity, those existential questions that are not expressed in our everyday conversations. Yet, film can lead us to question, to ponder, to examine, and to respond. This is not only in regard to film, but also music and TV series.
It is a spirituality founded on the WORD and the EUCHARIST. We learn the truth from the Word who is Christ and we spend time before the Lord in the Eucharist bringing before him the needs of humanity. We are evangelizers of the WORD in a culture that uses technology to communicate swiftly and broadly. The Word of God must be present in this conversation of the culture.
Only in this way, not outside of it, do we transform the culture from within, being a presence that hears the needs of humanity in the cultural artifacts and to where we can propose the One who answers those needs.