The hour has come to rise from sleep! A new liturgical year begins with the time of Advent. It is a time of penance which has the purpose of preparing us for the graces of Christmas, the birth of our Savior.
It is a time when every Catholic makes sacrifices. What sacrifices are we going to make during this time of Advent? What efforts will we offer the Child Jesus so that our hearts will be ready, on December 24th, to welcome the Messias?
Here is an idea for a sacrifice: to make use of your cell phone in way that is reasonable, moderate, and limited. In other words, only to use your smartphone when it is required for your duty of state, and that’s it. The rest of the time, to put it far away from you or turn it off.
Some perhaps might say: that is too difficult a penance! I will never be able to do it. I am so obsessed, addicted and dependent on my phone that I will not be able to pull it off.
But this is precisely another reason for you to take this resolution! When one is drugged up, one has to be detoxified by progressively lowering the dosage of the drug. In the same way, when the drug is called the smartphone, you have to learn, little by little, to make minimal use of it.
A Timely Resolution
Such a resolution is very timely because when the smartphone is used excessively, it leads us to commit very many sins.
First of all, there is the loss of time. Time is not given to us by God; it is only on loan to us. We do not have the right to make bad use of it. In our last moments, the Sovereign Judge will ask us: “How did you use your time on this earth?” We are going to have to render an account of every minute that we have lost looking at useless things on our screens. It is possible for God to say to us: “You will do as much time in Purgatory as you wasted on your phone”. There are some people who spend an average of two hours a day looking at nonsense. Over a period of 30 or 40 years, the accumulated loss of time is immense! And, during that time, we are not praying, we are not reading, and we are neglecting our duty of state.
Besides the loss of time, there is the spirit of the world that fills our heart. Often, the time that we spend on our phone is not elevating for the soul, because the things that we are looking at are base. Certain videos, certain articles, certain series are not worth being looked at by a Christian. Some answer, “It relaxes me! When I get back from work and I am tired, I watch silly things and that relaxes me!” Certain forms of relaxation, though, are not worthy of a Catholic. Our Lord died on the cross to save our souls. We do not have the right to dirty those souls and contaminate them by contact with a pagan mentality. By watching nonsense, the soul degrades itself, becomes weaker, becomes lukewarm, and finishes by no longer being aware of what is offensive to the good God. It is necessary to relax, of course. Every human being has need of rest and a clearing of the mind. But a Catholic does not have a right to relax in a way as if God did not exist. There are sporting, musical and cultural activities that are legitimate and provide rest for our spirit in a way that is Christian. To take your rest with your smartphone is a diabolic temptation.
A Barrier to Prayer
Besides this, a mind that has been saturated with images, sounds and information becomes bogged down when the time comes to reflect and pray.
For some, their addiction is so bad that they cannot refrain from using their smartphone even during their meals, while they are eating; or even at nighttime in their beds, instead of sleeping. Others go so far as to look at their smartphone in the church, during Mass, something that shows a lack of respect for God.
A Conduit of Impurity
There is much to say, as well, about the impurity that is so easily accessible on the smartphone. How many souls have been killed, how many imaginations have been dirtied forever, how many innocences have been lost, how many chastities destroyed, because of this device? The devil rejoices and congratulates himself on his exploits. Lucifer acknowledges with satisfaction that, thanks to these phones, Hell is being filled up even more quickly than it used to be.
Satan does not have a smartphone. He doesn’t want one, because he has no time to lose. The use of his time is filled up; he expends all of his energy so that people will spend time on their phones. He finds that, by means of slavery to the screen, he imposes his infernal domination on the world. And he is rubbing his hands right now because his strategy is working very well and is bearing abundant fruits. Many people today are in the state of burning forever in the fires of hell because of their smartphone.
If the Blessed Virgin Mary lived in our age, how many hours would she spend on her phone each day? Would she go onto YouTube to watch stupid videos?
The saddest thing is to see that even children are affected by this plague. Many European and American studies show that certain 12- and 13-year-olds have become addicted to impurity because their parents, with a foolish naivety, have given them a smartphone, as if it were possible for them to use it reasonably at their young age. Those parents are the criminals, the ones who give such devices to their children without controlling the content on the devices. Unhealthy curiosity even exists in children who are 8 years old.
Here, then, is a good resolution to forcefully take up during this time of Advent: only to use your smartphone when there is a real need and never for relaxation. This is a meritorious sacrifice which will please the good God greatly. Then, on Christmas night, your soul will be ready to receive the Child Jesus and be filled with His graces.