“The best way we can prepare for Christ’s coming is by making the only space we can gather in as safe and loving as possible.”
My friend John Grosso has some stellar advice for making the most of Advent on social media:
I could easily list the many ways you can enter into this season online: You could participate in a digital rosary, attend a prayer group on Zoom or sign up for eucharistic adoration in one of the late night hours when no one is there.
You can make your creche the centerpiece of your Christmas decorations instead of your tree, you might even try a “reverse Advent calendar” for Catholic Charities. You can do all these things — and they would be fulfilling and an important way to prepare for Christmas.
But when looking at the readings for this Second Week of Advent, one can’t help but be struck by the exhortation to go and prepare the way of the Lord.
I can think of no place that needs that more than social media.
We start by changing the way we react and talk to one another on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and beyond. Remember the person on the other end of that comment is in fact, a person, with a family, with dreams, with fears.
Assume good intentions instead of acting on the impulse to attack. The best way we can prepare for Christ’s coming is by making the only space we can gather in as safe and loving as possible. We must start there, because people are watching.
Catholics can and should be the model for welcoming behavior on social media, but right now, we aren’t. Instead, the secular world looks at how we treat each other online and snickers at our alleged hypocrisy.
If we do nothing else this Advent, we are being told, loud and clear: “In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!”
Looking for some other ideas? Check out my Examination of Conscience for the Internet.