As I was travelling to work this morning on the train, there was the usual [now almost daily] announcement by the conductor that delays were possible because of “signal failure.” Then when we approached one of the major junctions leading in to central London, he gleefully announced that the signal awaiting our incoming train was “proceed aspect” which I take as meaning – a green light. It got me thinking of how often our day to day lives are full of all sorts of different and differering types of signs, signals and indicators; to do this, go there, avoid that, act on this, respond to that and on and on. It seems endless especially amidst the constant hubbub of demanding, attention-grabbing social media. (which I’ve spoken about before).
So for the last two weeks of Lent – that is to say Passiontide, I for one am going to try and seriously cut down on the amount of “traffic” I’m allowing to sift through my mental capacity so as to try and leave significantly more space for THE sign, the most crucial (and remember ‘crucial’ is derived from Latin crux, meaning, cross) SIGN of all in our lives – the sign of contradiction – the Sign at the “crossroads” of all time and space for all eternity, the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So if you feel sometimes a bit like the chap in the picture below, then take a pledge to try and un-plug, switch off and check out of as much social media, internet and email etc as you possibly can over the next fortnight, and encourage your loved ones to do likewise as one last final sacrificial gift of mortification to offer to the Lord to prepare your heart, mind, soul and body for the Great Week and Holy Pasch, so that it is His voice and His voice alone that will be heard over and above all others, saying… “peace now, be still”, just as He did at the calming of the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
And if sometimes you feel even the Church is victim to, and protagonist, in the 24/7 media culture we live in, here’s a little gem to keep us all going until and through Holy Week and Easter. In other words, let’s just try to be ourselves more – men, women and children made in the image and likeness of God, brothers and sisters to one another –without the gadgets and technocracy.
“The continuous course of history requires an endless stream of new apostles to announce the Gospel and live in the heart of temporal life like yeast in dough. The new apostles will be fervent disciples of Jesus Christ completely integrated into their own times. They will be Christians deeply engaged in the apostolic movement that is best suited to their social and professional status. In all cases they represent a treasure for the unity of the Church and her mission.”
St. John Paul II