Life of Christ Lectio Divina Journal – An Antidote to Acedia
In our last e-newsletter, Sr. John Dominic addressed how lectio divina is an antidote to acedia. For a better understanding of acedia, or spiritual sloth, enjoy reading the following article by Sr. Marysia Weber, RSM, DO.
Electronic Media and the Indiscriminate Reception of Images and Information
by Sister Marysia Weber, RSM, DO
“The essence of the Internet in fact is that it provides an almost unending flood of information, much of which passes in a moment. In a culture which feeds on the ephemeral there can easily be a risk of believing that it is facts that matter, rather than values. The Internet offers extensive knowledge, but it does not teach values; and when values are disregarded, our very humanity is demeaned and man easily loses sight of his transcendent dignity. Despite its enormous potential for good, some of the degrading and damaging ways in which the Internet can be used are already obvious to all…”i
While electronic media can provide useful information, media used solely for pleasure or the reception of information can foster a posture of passivity. Indiscriminant reception of images and data dulls the mind. Bits of information are passively received, but may be difficult to integrate as knowledge. If passive reception predominates, then emotions may overcome the capacity to reason and the imagination becomes ungoverned. Maryann Wolf, a developmental psychologist from Tuft’s University, wrote that the Internet’s reading style places efficiency and immediacy above all else “weakening the capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when the printing press first came out.” “When we read online,” she explained, “we tend to become mere decoders of information.” The Internet scatters our attention and diffuses our concentration. Maryann Wolf continues by warning us: “If we lose those quiet spaces or fill them up with ‘content’ we will sacrifice something important, not only something in ourselves but also in our culture.”ii