Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Media Literacy & Spiritual Literacy

Atlantic Magazine
In a recent Advertising Age article "Our un-social media: taking our relationships to the next level." Pete Blackshaw wrote: "What we also have here, amid our endless connections, is a failure to communicate -- and we barely know it. Conversational discontinuities are everywhere. Few people these days ever look up in public spaces -- on planes, on elevators, in restaurants, even while walking down the street. We're perpetually looking down or escaping into our wireless devices. Heck, "Bowling Alone" seems more social than neckless social-media cocooning. Welcome to Generation Heads Down!"

Once we start reflecting on the new technology and its meaning in our world the search for our soul in it begins. It is for this reason that I also blog about communication's spirituality.  A media spirituality does exist and can be found within the Pauline charism (http://communicationspirituality.blogspot.com/).Connected here are blogs of Paulines who specifically and consitantly reflect on the media, communication, and media literacy.

Here are some other sites that can give pause for reflection on the social media and media in general:

Teach Media Literacy Last month, The Atlantic Magazine published a special report calling for the "pressing need" to teach media literacy in the schools. Readers commented, deepening the debate surrounding media literacy education. To read the full article and comments [click here]

Media Literacy and the Common Core  Last month the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) debuted the Common Core Standards for what American school children should learn. But to what extent is media literacy included? [learn more][download the standards]

Monday, July 19, 2010

Update from the "Office" of Pauline Laity

I have completed summer sessions at Boston College. Both Richard Rohr, OFM and Joan Chittister, OSB, stretched my world view. As they stretched my spirituality the Pauline spirituality took on a new transparency that overlay the Signs of the Times. There are major trasitions taking place in the society we live in - in case you haven't noticed. Each of us may come at these from a different direction. As bearers of the Pauline charism we can find unity in this diversity through our spirituality. During  this time of "no classes" I will be working on a few things. The first is a Pauline view of suffering and kenosis. I will use the multitude of books piled up from this summer's sessions and Pastoral Counciling class from the Spring.  Kenosis is what Paul writes about "large" as he prays the ancient Christian hymn: "Though he was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at but humbled himself....and God highly exalted him" (Phil. 2:6-11). This led Paul to announce: :"It is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). So what does it mean to announce Christ in this way! I am exploring this. I have a feeling it means being open to the suffering and joys of our world and being part of these sufferings in joys so that we "fill up in our bodies the suffering of Christ" (Col. 1:24). Richard Rohr reminded me that great love equals great suffering. There is only one way to avoid suffering and that is to avoid loving. As Paulines we follow Paul who wrote the treatise on love (1 Cor. 13) and we know that the "greatest of these is love."

This summer I will also meet with local Pauline Cooperators, prepare for the September retreat with Sr Sharon, Sr Mary Lea, Sr Susan John and Sr Sophie, ready the Pilgrimage to Italy in October, continue updating the Pauline Lay Formation Program, publish the Cooperator Magazine (10th year - second issue), attend events with my sisters in Christ, meet with Rae and Marie regarding their project in Delaware, possibly! visit the NJ, NY, PA Cooperator groups (I hope!) and get ready for the Fall semester at School of Theology and Ministry. On the local level we may begin film nights (as per my paper for Richard Rohr's course - see previous blog), hold a Social Media Workshop for Archdiocesan Catechists (planned for November), and work with the Catechist mentor program for media literacy, exhibits and mentoring.

Sr Margaret Joseph is in Texas with Sr Rose presenting Media Literacy and Social Media Workshops. She called me yesterday and hopes to revive the Pauline Parish Media Centers. We may look into this again and renew the program or offer the Pauline charismatic expression of Parish Media Centers and pastoral presence.

That is it for now. Prayerfully present to you before the tabernacle,
Sr Margaret

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cinema, Contemplation and Community

Cinema, contemplation and community is the sub-title of the reflection I am writing for my class with Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. (Everything Belongs, The Naked Now). Not everyone feels comfortable reading Rohr's books or listening to his audio tapes. I think that is the point. Paul reminded the early Christians: "Do you not know that you died?" I don't think that was a very good vocation ad for Christianity - or was it?

In this course I am finding out that our heart seeks kenosis even as we try to avoid suffering and awakening to a full life in Christ. It is easier to give small gifts to false gods through the day keeping "them" placated. Full worship of God in Spirit and Truth is challenging. The reason is that we can't pull it off, we can't turn on the faucet of grace. Grace flows freely. We can't control it. False-gods at least give me something back when I perform certain tasks, even if "they" are never placated and always want more. My heart seeks falling fearlessly into a great love. At the heart of Jesus wisdom teaching is that losing our life saves our life. This losing is an act of surrender - not something to do. The journey to transformation is our baptismal gift -"It is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20).

Even if we can't really "make" contemplation and transformation happen - is there a  way to jump start our surrender? Centering Prayer and Contemplative practice witness to surrender. In my paper (since I am a Pauline this is a media-take on the Benedictine prayer from) I propose that Cinema Divina (from Lectio Divina) may help us awaken the eyes of our heart. Coming together to read scripture, to mediate and contemplate - to then re-reading this scripture through contemporary films (incarnating the Word in contemporary human situations) followed by prayerful sharing - may lead us into a deeper contemplative experience and surrender.

Cinema Divina can also become an invitaion to integrate parts of our contempoary life that don't seem to mix, technology and spirituality - like oil and water. Blessed Alberione reminds us that the natural becomes supernatural through consecration: “Water (and oil) for baptism must be natural and, as much as possible, pure and readied with a special blessing: and it serves as matter for producing supernatural effects."

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 11th Annual National Film Retreat
Fri. Jul.16th-Sun.Jul.18th, 2010
View and discuss four dramatic films to mine human and spiritual insights on the theme of peace.Suitable for anyone who loves movies.
  • Departures
  • The Lives of Others
  • Marvin’s Room
  • King of Hearts
Retreat Directors:
  • Frank Frost, Frank Frost Productions
  • Fr. Greg Freidman, OFM, St. Anthony Messenger
  • Sr. Hosea Rupprecht, FSP, Pauline Center for Media Studies
Registration Fee: $235.00
Includes room & board
To register contact:

Spiritual Life Center
1320 Route 9, Garrison, NY 10524
(845)424-3671 X2111