Saturday, April 21, 2012

Published on National Catholic Register!

An article I wrote on The Hunger Games has been published on the National Catholic Register website. Check it out here!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beauty vs. Technology

Truly great must be the value of human life if the Son of God has taken it up and made it the instrument of the salvation of all humanity!” – John Paul II

The human person is the summit of all creation.  You think the dazzling night skies, the beautiful seas, and the animals were awesome? We are God’s cherry on top. Everything about us, body, soul, mind and heart are unique to us alone.

Being bodily creatures, we experience and come to know things through our physical senses. We’re wired that way. The body is God’s greatest work of art and deserves nothing less than sheer wonder and awe at its beauty. Not only is it created with systems that help it function, but it is a marvel to see. Every body is beautiful, every body tells a story about the soul that lives inside it.

So often, we live two extremes: either we are so desensitized to the world’s objectification of the body that we no longer give the body the value it deserves, or we turn away from beautiful bodies to avoid temptation. There has to be a happy medium.

The first extreme shows the body is good, but doesn’t give it its proper value. The second extreme shows the body to be bad. Both are wrong. The body is good. While we should guard ourselves from temptation, we nevertheless need to recognize and appreciate beauty when we see it, especially in a person.

As shown in the Greeks' nude sculptures of bodies or the paintings in the Renaissance period, the body reflects the beauty of the divine, namely, the soul, which is made in God’s image. Simply by being human, we are transcending God Himself. We point our fellow man further to God because we are a reminder of His goodness and beauty. By becoming human Himself, He glorified our bodies even more, since He shared in our humanity, in all its beauty and weakness.  

But it doesn’t stop there! While the body is the most magnificent work of art by a Creator who inspired all other arts, the person is more than a body. He is a soul. A human person never dies, though his body will. Every soul has a purpose, and every soul has infinite value and is loved by the Creator. Generally, our culture has lost the sense of the worth of the human person.

This is evident even in what we do when we “socialize”. For example, if you go to a movie theatre and watch the crowd before the movie starts, nearly everyone has their phones out. If eyes aren’t glued to smartphones, they’re glued to a computer screen. We’ve lost touch with interpersonal relationships. We have forgotten how wonderful people are, what we can learn from them and what we can give to them. We don’t worship a golden calf per se, but we practice idolatry by sacrificing the human person on the altar of technology and progress with the way we use our time. Technology is good, if used in moderation.

By nature, man is a social being and cannot develop gifts if he lives in solitude within himself. Meaning, if he's glued to his technology, he's not developing relationships, or himself. Like the ripple affects the entire body of water, so our interactions with others affect the entire brotherhood of humanity. Once in a while, take a break from technology. Turn off that phone, close that computer and have a meaningful conversation with someone. Who can compare "stuff" with the marvelous beauty of the human person?

Case and point: BlimeyCow’s video on Smartphones and how they make us lazy. I’m afraid it’s too true.