From Father Ken's Quill

Father Ken Halbur is the Pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Parish in Ankeny, Iowa and these posts are letters written in the church’s weekly bulletin.

Is Technology Good or Evil

We live in interesting times, it is often called the Electronic or the Internet Age, because we are so connected and so attached to our electronic devices. I am one who is guilty of this as well. I rarely go anywhere without my cell phone, which means that I have access to people and the Internet almost everywhere I go. I even find myself complaining when the service is not very good. Even with that our access to technology and connectedness is not always that bad, it is just like any other tool that we have, it can be used for good, or it can be used for evil. You can use your phone to look for seedy material or to launch personal attacks on people or, you could use it to look up information on the saints or for prayer help. In many ways praying in the digital age can be easier. So, if you see me sitting in church with my phone out, I am not texting, playing games, or checking out websites, I am using it to assist my prayer life. There are many different applications that you can download that can assist you in prayer. I myself use a number of different applications on my phone or tablet to pray. One of those is called ibreviary in which I can pray the Liturgy of the Hours, which is a prayer that priests and religious promise to pray every day. I also use my phone to look at and to meditate on the Mass readings for the day and weekend with an app called imissal and another called “Laudate” this app has the Mass readings, links to the books of the bible, and hundreds of common and not so common prayers. I also have an audio version of the Bible on my phone and on long drives, I will sometimes listen to Holy Scripture instead of the radio. We often will rant against the use of technology and in some ways how it is harming our personal relationships, especially when we spend time on our electronic devices instead of talking to people, but we also have a greater ability to keep in touch with our friends and family that are far away. I have had a number of people that use either an app or a list to take into confession so that they can remember what they want to confess as they sit in the confessional. And just a side note: no, you cannot go to confession via a text well… you can confess whatever you want, however you cannot receive absolution via text. We often carry our phones with us and if we have these apps on our phones, it gives us a wonderful opportunity to pray in times and places that we don’t even think about, like in a restaurant while we are waiting for our food. As we live in such a busy society, we sometimes need to be creative in how we pray, but keep doing it!

Fr. Ken