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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

“The righteous cry out, the LORD hears and he rescues them from all their afflictions. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.” (Psalm 34: 18-19)

There are a lot of things wrong with our digital age. People are bullied online, and every thought can be shared with the world instantly. However, there are a lot of things that are wonderful about the digital world. Beautiful images can help to shape opinions and open people's minds to a different perspective.

This past week I was reminded that the Internet can be a blessing. The photo of Pope Francis kissing a disfigured man caused a viral sensation. I'm sure neither the Pope nor the man suffering from a genetic condition that causes tumors all over the body thought their embrace would cause a worldwide frenzy. That is what made is so lovely. Pope Francis was simply living his faith. This act of kindness has touched hearts worldwide and started a new conversation about religion, kindness to the poor and sick, and the example that Pope Francis is setting.

This Psalm reads, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves." Pope Francis' namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, devoted his life to the poor and marginalized. Pope Francis has definitely lived up to his namesake through kind acts and his modest lifestyle. The Pope has said, "If money and material things become the center of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves." He's also has stated, "We need courage if we are to be faithful to the Gospel." You may be surprised to learn that these quotes from this humble Pope are from his Twitter account. In 140 characters or less, the Pope shares thoughts on faith and life with more than 10 million Twitter followers daily.

In this digital age the mass media focuses on many bad aspects. It's important to remember that there are also many new possibilities through social media. TIME online this week shared the photo of Pope Francis to millions of readers with a quote from Matthew's Gospel. The internet is a new frontier for communication and a way to connect people of all faiths and all walks of life to work together to share the message of God. 

 If you missed the story on Pope Francis:

Father, let us bless You at all times.

Help us to always live in Your image,

and to never forget the brokenhearted, the sick and the marginalized.


Lindsey Meyers
Director of Communications, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

WISDOM 2:23–3:9 • PSALM 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19 ● LUKE 17:7-10

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