T he cyberspace is becoming a busy communication highway in the modern technology of the internet and wireless communications. Considering all the advantages this means provide to a growing busy men ranging from “Googling” for important facts and information to sending emails in a second across the globe (postmen are getting laid off), it has a lot of disadvantages as well. As a matter of fact, the disadvantages on the moral and spiritual level are so prevalent that the Pontifical Council for Social Communications issued on February 22, 2002 a document entitled “Ethics in the Internet.
The main concern that was recurring in this document is the tendency to depersonalize the very means which should uniquely characterize a human person–communication. This might sound an anachronistic claim when the majority in fact, would agree that there is a high volume of communications taking place in the cyberworld of the internet. That of course would be true if communication is reduced to “quantity” of communication but not “quality.” Or to put along the lines of the thinking of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who inferred that an activity qualifies the character of being humane only when oriented towards integral human development (see Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate).
Communication is a property that flows from human nature. It involves union of persons for only a person can externalize what is interior to him and make it present in the interiority of another. The “verbalization” of one’s thought is a means through which another thought can be united. It utilizes what is material (e.g. St. Thomas explains sounds by way of percussions in the air- Commentarius De Animae) and thus concept which is invisible becomes visible or audible when it makes use of anything material. In this regard, the material functions as medium through which the immaterial, namely the person can communicate. No wonder, that human intimacy between husband and wife is always compared to human knowledge. John Paul II in his Theology of the Body always see the human body not as sexual expressions but “personal” expressions of the interior man. The material in human person, therefore, has always an ethical content.
All abuse of communication began in a moral choice.
In Mary, the divine communication in the Incarnate Word becomes personal, for it involves her freedom. It is characteristically maternal for it involves her motherhood. It certainly presupposes the reality of mediation, as all communication makes use of languages.
All abuse of communication began in a moral choice. Adam and Eve shut down their capacity for true communication when they chose to disobey God. Eve, the woman became an object of lust and domination-a tragic reality which manifests in the proliferation of pornography in the cyberspace-the prostitution of the human person. It is precisely because man lost the originality of his innocence in space and in time, that God chose to restore and recreate human existence, also in space and in time. St. John knew that communication is the means through which we can be saved and thus began his great Prologue of his Gospel: “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Eternal God whose great plan for man was only known before through shadows (Old Testament), is now revealed to us when His Son became flesh (the Christ). Divine communication, therefore, is the primordial foundation whereby all communications must refer to if they are to be authentic and truly beneficial to man. Hence, it also took place in space and in time. Who is the key that unlocks this divine communication? St. Paul answers: “In the fullness time, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.” (Gal. 4:4) Pope John Paul II says: “In Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, time becomes a dimension of God, who is himself eternal. (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, n. 10)
How many bad languages and idle words have been spoken in the cyberspace? How many pages in the internet were viewed that lead to occasions of sins. Only in the perspective of eternity one can fully understand the moral consequences of the many “clicks” one made.
In this regard, God wills to communicate to us in the Incarnation through a woman, i.e., through Mary. And He still continues to communicate to us through the Church whose type is Mary (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 53). In Mary, the divine communication in the Incarnate Word becomes personal, for it involves her freedom. It is characteristically maternal for it involves her motherhood. It certainly presupposes the reality of mediation, as all communication makes use of languages. As the mode of the Incarnation is essentially Marian, so the mode of divine communication whereby we are elevated to grace must also be Marian. A greeting of Mary to St. Elizabeth brought about transformation in her person and in the child in her womb. On the contrary, a lot of internet sites transform its visitors to something unworthy of God’s grace. How many bad languages and idle words have been spoken in the cyberspace? How many pages in the internet were viewed that lead to occasions of sins.
It is precisely, in view of this that we are re-launching an online format of PROMARIA Magazine. It has typically Marian and missionary oriented articles ranging from her doctrines and devotion, spirituality and missions to the field of culture and arts. The conviction that cyberspace, like all spatial dimensions must be marianized in order to be fully constructive according to the divine design of communication, is the underpinning apostolic and theological principle of this publication. If Mary, literally allowed herself to be God’s instrument to make public (to “publicize”) the divine revelation, we certainly derive from her the examples of what it means to communicate through cyberspace; for the greatest communication that will continue to inspire human hearts for all time is the divine utterance that God made through Mary: “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” and we may add–THROUGH HER. God loves you.