The light of the world
In The Benedict Option, Rod Dreher tells of going to meet with monks. One of the premises of his book is that for Christians to truly light the world in the days to come, we must re-learn our ancient faith and increasingly seek intimacy with Jesus through trusted biblical community in our churches. So he traveled to Italy, to the out-of-the-way town of Norcia, where 21st century monks are seeking to follow the way of St. Benedict through..
The section on community in chapter three that describes the Rule of St. Benedict stuck out to me as being particularly and powerfully relevant/convicting. He quotes Father Martin Bernhard, a 32 year-old monk, in the Monastery of St. Benedict.
"When the light in most people's faces comes from the glow of the laptop, the smartphone, or the television screen, we are living in a Dark Age."
The quote struck me. That's exactly what I'm guilty of too often... whiling away minutes that when added up, are hours in a screen.
The church of Jesus is the light of the world because Jesus Himself is the light of the world. (John 1:9, John 8:12, Matthew 5:14) We are the light because He is. We reflect His luminosity. Jesus shines brightly in our dark world. How can the world be lit when our faces are buried in our screens and only reflect a pale LCD glow?
"They are missing that fundamental light meant to shine forth in a human person through social interaction. Love can only come from that. Without real contact with other persons, there is no love. We've never seen a Dark Age like this," said Father Martin.
Governmental responses to COVID corralled humanity inside for absurd lengths of time. Before the pandemic, parents bemoaned how many hours kids spent on screens. During the pandemic, it was the only way to connect with people for most. Zoom calls, classroom instructions, doctors visits, and even holidays were spent behind screens.
Let's rethink screens. And let's rethink what it means to be a light for the world and what is being reflected from us.