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Internet: a place

Back from a session on "the media", organized by CORREF, the Conference for religious men and women in France, which took place in Paris on 11-12 February 2017, I hastened, as I often do, to go and see what was on, on the site of our Congregation:  2809 pages of our site had been visited on 10/02 by 2677 computers and 1361 pages by 1243 on 11/02. Concerning the three articles recently published: “The Washington women’s March” had received 251 visitors up to now, “Marie Balavenne, a woman for today”: 139 visitors, “Ten years already”! 170 visitors… The reason is that, we, the 40 religious men and women who had come from all over France to take part in these two days’ meeting, are all much interested in managing the website of our respective institutes as best we can, in learning again and again how to communicate in truth, how to improve the language (written and visual), how to reveal our identity to today’s world through a right relationship to our history.

With bright and joyful conviction, Father Amar, author of the book “Internet  a novel presbytery, a way to assemble one’s sheep by means of “a mouse”, presented Internet as a place, a space, a continent, a world permanently wide open, an ambient milieu – and not only as a mean! -  He reminded us that virtual does not mean unreal and that this virtual is crammed with “night visitors” like Nicodemus (Jn 3, 1-21)… Recalling to us the fact that sharing, exchanging, communicating is not new in human history, he emphasized the temporal and geographical extraordinary expansion of communication thanks to the digital device, an immense library whose door never closes!

“Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in Him, returned to Galilee, and his reputation spread throughout the countryside” (Luke.4.14). Evangelical rumor of the Gospels written by the Apostles, which has not ceased spreading on to every country, every culture, which allows us to hear of Him up to the present day and seek to meet Him! There is a kind of “by word of mouth Internet”… So we can look at Internet as an “icon” which gives access to another dimension, as a “window” which opens up on to the invisible. Challenges which call us to conversions: to take time to get to domains such as the beautiful, the good, the true; time to encounter whoever comes our way which makes us pass from the absent-present to the present-present; pass from the pride that a publication may give… on to our innermost self, the way Jesus himself did in the face of rumor.

Mornings of “spiritual” reflections and afternoons of workshops, techniques, tool handling. By way of the picture of a tree whose deep roots allow a beautiful expanse of its branches and leaves, the input by Brother Jean Alexandre, a Carmelite: “The spiritual resources of a Web Apostle 2.0”, invited us to interiority, to discernment… reminding us that communication implies the gift of self, that silence is part and parcel of communication and that prayer is the hub of relationship which gives Christ prime of place! Starting from a filmed talk “Ted”, Father Grégoire Le Bel, a Jesuit, gave us 13 guidelines that explained his talk in detail “Conversation and attention to the digital age”… And what about coming to learn anew how to exchange? The workshops were efficient means to come to know one another and exchange among one another: Media training, security and reputation on Internet, discovery of social networks, video 2/2…

Two days of study and reflection on how to communicate in daily life knowing that the digital device is not life! However, given the maximum number since the beginning of this month: 2809 visitors through 2677 computors, may we as a Family, and through this place, open up paths that lead us to encounter the other, the others and… the Other!

Marie-Thérèse Héliès, FSE – Published on 13/02/2017 - Email popup

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