Saturday, October 11, 2014

God, Personal Relationships, and the Internet

The other day, I read in an article that “God doesn’t come to you through your computer”, or something like that. I can’t remember who wrote the article, or where I read it (a link someone put on Face Book, I think). The article’s author made further points about people needing real contact with people, not just the contact we get through “social media” and email and whatnot.

But is it really true? I think that God can and does come to some people through the computer – through the internet. And I believe – in fact, I know – that people develop relationships with each other through the internet, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not saying that it’s enough, but I believe the internet has made a positive difference in the lives of faithful people who are seeking God and seeking friendship with like-minded faithful people.

To wit: I have a number of “friends I’ve never met” with whom I communicate via email. A couple of you read this blog! I’m grateful that the internet gave us the opportunity to know each other, and I do hope we might meet face-to-face some day. But if we don’t…well, we still have a friendship.

This was on Richard's blog this
morning, posted by his family.
One “friend I never met” was Richard Collins, whose blog was “Linen on the Hedgerow”. I communicated with Richard just a couple of times via comments and email, but I never met him. And I would never have even known about him if it weren’t for the internet, since he lived in the UK, which is a long, long way from here! Still, I felt like I “knew” him from his blog and our few personal notes to each other. My maiden name was Collins, and so we "related" to each other as fellow Collinses. And we also shared a fondness for limericks.

And so when I learned that Richard had cancer, I prayed for him as I would any other friend.

Richard Collins passed away this morning. And I mourn the loss of his internet presence. I feel very sad about this loss. Please pray for the repose of his soul. He knew what death meant. He knew that we need to pray for the dead. He knew his faith. He will appreciate your prayers very much.

Another example: my daughter and her adventure in meeting young single Catholic men via the internet; I wrote about this a while back. Without the internet, she would quite likely marry a man in our community who was not Catholic – because there are no young single Catholic men here! Really! Oh sure, I believe God could have arranged it so that a young Catholic man showed up and swept her off her feet. And I prayed for that for a long time. But then I just prayed that she would find a good Catholic husband. I stormed Heaven with my prayers, and the answer that came was an internet site for Catholics who wanted to meet other Catholics.  I encouraged her to sign up for it. Now she is especially interested in a young man who is likewise interested in her…and it was his mother who encouraged him to sign up for it! Lol! Will it work out? I don’t know. They will meet in person, face-to-face, next month. And they both know that they must have that face-to-face interaction in order to truly know each other. But they would likely not have met without their computers.

So…does God come to us through the computer? Hmm. With God, all things are possible. The computer is a tool. If we lowly humans can use it, I certainly think God can use it to even greater benefit to all of us.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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