People nowadays are fascinated, and even obsessed, with getting the latest version of their gadgets. They look forward to having the so-called state of the art. To a certain extent, it’s a fascination that is legitimate as long as it does not deteriorate into an obsession which is already an anomaly and also as long as their intention is pure.
That might be a quixotic condition, given the way many people are nowadays. While reasons for greater convenience and practicality are okay in having the state of the art, such reasons many times get diluted with traces of pride, vanity, envy and the like. And that is not okay.
Besides, while this state of the art offers many more conveniences and advantages, it also brings with it new dangers. That is why we have to understand that the state of the art in our technologies should also be matched with the state of the art in our spirituality and morality. We should not have the former without the latter.
Remember Christ saying that new wine should be poured into new wineskin and not the old one. (cfr. Mt 9, 14-17) We have to update the state of our spirituality and morality to flow with the new developments of the state of the art.
To exaggerate a little, we can say that we cannot apply the medieval ways of spirituality and morality to the way things are nowadays. While there are permanent and essential things in our spiritual and moral lives that should not change, we should not forget that there are also many other elements that can and should change.
We have to remember that God, whose life we share and reflect in ours, is both eternally old and new. With God, nothing is new under the sun. (cfr. Ecclesiastes 1, 9) But with him, everything is also made new. (cfr. Rev 21, 5)
We need to see to it that the new state of the art in the technologies should enhance, not undermine, our prayer, our spirit of sacrifice, our apostolic concern, our defenses against our weaknesses, temptations and sin, etc.
The new state of the art should make us get closer to God, enable us to give greater glory to him. It should help us get a more intimate knowledge of God’s will and ways in a more abiding way. It should make our heart stand still at the greatness of God and his overflowing love for us.
It should make us more fruitful and productive in our pursuit for holiness and apostolate. It should not just give us some material and temporal advantages, but rather more spiritual, supernatural and apostolic fruits. It should trigger further development of the virtues.
Also, it should sharpen our skills in waging the indispensable spiritual warfare in our life. Our ability to detect potential moral dangers should improve. Nowadays, with our much improved capacity to access things, we have to be wary of the subtle tricks of the devil whose business is none other than to lead us to sin.
Today, for example, it’s a given that a great majority of the people, especially the young ones, are addicted to pornography and many other vices. The new state of the art in our technologies should help us avoid these things by installing the appropriate warning, filtering and purifying apps and devices.
There should be some features in whatever state of the art is developed that would help us maintain presence of God while immersed in our temporal and earthly affairs. Some appropriate reminders in this regard should be made. They should help us maintain our spiritual and supernatural bearing.
A state of the art that ignores the presence of God is, simply said, never a sign of progress but rather of retrogression./WDJ