As mass communications become more efficient and social media becomes ever more popular, the devil has found more effective ways to distract us. In the past, the devil had to pull out all sorts of ideas from his bag of tricks to lead us down the path of sins and drive us farther away from God. Now, the devil doesn't even have to lift a finger to separate us from God. The devil often occupies our minds with chaotic thoughts and fantastical ideas, leaving us no space for contemplating things that belong to God and no time for prayers. We've become so preoccupied that we can't even quiet down to hear God's voice.
The devil often tempts us with glamour that dazzles us. For instance, social media facilitates connections with friends, helps us to be informed about current issues, to learn new things, and to expand our horizons; or perhaps, the internet can be a source of relaxation and entertainment, opening us to a world of new knowledge through films or endless video links. These activities seem harmless enough on the surface; however, when we fail to moderate ourselves, we may fall into addiction and waste our life away. When we invest our time in trivialities, we are neglecting the most important thing.
Further, when we are overloaded with too much information, we become easily distracted. Such is the very ingredient that diverts our attention from what we need to do: to care for the needy and to spend quality time with God.
In today's society, when we ask how each other is doing, most will respond in unison, "Very busy!" / "Too busy!", as if those who are not busy are anomalous, losers, or worthless! Even retirees would claim that they are busier than before their retirement. However, when asked about what makes them so busy, most would say, "I don't really know! Time just flies!" Such is Satan's deceit, tricking us into wasting our time on frivolous things. During the pandemic, many Catholics have been spending more time on the internet, browsing through religious materials and participating in religious studies online. Their daily schedule is, indeed, jam-packed! They may feel intellectually satisfied; however, they may be filled with a spiritual emptiness that is devoid of peace and stalls their relationship with God. We are reminded that knowing and being close to God is not about quantity but quality.
If we hope to have a high-quality encounter with God, we need to let go of the "many things" that distract us, so that we may attend to God's voice and receive His love that is revealed to us in silence.
Unfortunately, in today's world, what separates us from the love of Christ are our cell phones, social media, as well as our attention deficit!
When you're busy, do you feel that you are more worthy, confident and respected?
Would you admit that you have been distracted by the devil and have fallen into the trap of neglecting the more important things?
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
While I am not enslaved by my cell phone, I must admit that I do spend more time on it during the pandemic. When one trick does not work, Satan can always find another Archilles’ heel from me. There has always been a wrestle with the devils and on occasions I do forget that God is always with me to fight the battle. God, please help me to stay focused on You and give me perseverance to gaze on things that draw me closer to You!