Have you read the Holy Father’s new Encyclical? I’ve just been able to read the summary put together by the Editorial Board here at OSV, and I’m already convicted about how I use social media and engage with people online.
The two quotes of their 25 that struck me the most are:
Dialogue is often confused with something quite different: the feverish exchange of opinions on social networks, frequently based on media information that is not always reliable. These exchanges are merely parallel monologues.
Authentic social dialogue involves the ability to respect the other’s point of view and to admit that it may include legitimate convictions and concerns.
Just these two quick paragraphs make me consider how we no longer discuss issues. Rather we seem to yell at each other and put one another down when we disagree. The Holy Father is calling us to more in our conversations. He’s calling us to have actual conversations where we dialogue, rather than arguments where we pontificate.
At both a parish and an individual level, I encourage you to seriously look at the ways we dialogue at all times, but particularly in the weeks leading up to the election. When speaking with someone, doing research on who to vote for, reading the news, watching political commentary, digging into the issue – make sure it’s bringing you both to holiness as well as a deeper understanding.
I know we want to prepare our parishioners for the upcoming election – the associate priest at my parish began a series of sermons to educate us on the issues the first weekend of August. I’m going to propose a radical idea – focus on educating your parishioners on how to be holy, how to share the truth of the message of the Gospel with others in a way that someone will hear them, and how to speak truth with kindness and grace. These three actions will help us change the whole world, no matter what happens.
Now I’m off to read more than just 25 short paragraphs of a 286 paragraph document! Won’t you Join me!