Facebook and a Franciscan (St. Clare of Assisi)

Earlier this year, many people gave up using Facebook during Lent. They’d concluded that they were spending way too much time posting, sharing, tagging, poking, and whatever else is done on Facebook!

Facebook is one of the many new vehicles of social communication that have emerged in the past few years. All in all, they’re a good thing! They bring people together and can be effective tools in spreading the gospel. Just visit the website of the Archdiocese of Washington: we’re on Twitter, You Tube, Facebook, and we have podcasts and a daily blog.

At the same time, these things have their downside too. They can become an obsession, keeping us from work and family. And they certainly spread a lot of material this is, at the very least least, at odds with our faith.

I say all this because today is the feast day of St. Clare of Assisi. We know her as a friend and disciple of St. Francis, and she cared for him in his final days.  She was so inspired by his witness that she founded a religious order for women, known today as the Poor Clares, who lived a life of work and prayer within their monasteries.

When Clare was elderly and no longer able to attend Mass with her sisters, they posted a picture of the Mass on the wall of her room, so when they were gathered in chapel, she could gaze at her picture and be with them in Spirit. It was because of this that in 1958 she was named the patron saint of television, which at that time was the “cutting edge” new media.

As we use the new media available to us in our day, we can be challenged by St. Clare to use them only in ways that are consistent with our faith: in moderation, bringing friends and family together, spreading good news, and building up the kingdom of God.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons