I'm sure I'm not the only one that spends just a little too much time on social media. As a positive, it's a great way to stay in touch with friends and find out what I need to know. In this study, it is reported Millennials often use social media as one of their primary sources of news, and it has made our generation pretty news-savvy, with 69% of people aged 18-34 taking in world news at least once a day.
Another way that a Facebook/Twitter/Instagram feed can enrich life is by calling us to prayer. The Catholic faith is a visual faith, as the Church uses colors and smoke, crucifixes and bread, precious metals and people gathered together to enrich our prayer. For almost the entire history of the Catholic faith, the church has used images to experience the sacred and pray. In fancy church-language, it's called visio divina.
For this week's Friday five, I offer five images that I encountered via social media this week that caused me to stop and pray.
1. Back to School
O Lord, we pray for students and teachers as they begin a new school year. Help them to learn from each other as they grow in knowledge, faith, and virtue. We pray in the name of Christ, the Great Teacher, amen.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, Pray for Us.
Almighty God, the water that we use to destroy sin and rise to new life in baptism is the same water that washed away the world in the Great Flood of Noah. While our faith tells us that what is destroyed shall return, be with your people who suffer at the hands of water. Help those of us whose homes and lives are spared to respond to your call to help our neighbor by sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and giving drink to the thirsty. May aid be swift and helpful. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Saint Florian, patron of floods, pray for us.
3. The Boy in the Ambulance
God of all Creation, you knew each of us before we were knit together within our mothers. Watch over all your children, especially those who are most in need of your protection. Send them swift aid, comfort in their sorrow, healing for their wounds, and peace in their rest. Stretch us to welcome the stranger, for your own son was born on a night that his mother was told "there is no room for you here." In showing us the greatness of your son, you have also shown us that we should welcome, shelter, and protect not only those with whom we are comfortable, but also those people whom we have never met. Change our hearts, O God.
St. Alban, patron of refugees, and Mary, Queen of Peace and patroness of war victims, pray for us.
4. The Commandments
Eternal God, you gave us a moral code when you sent the Ten Commandments from the heavens, and sent your son to show us how to live it. Help us to be responsible users of our words and our judgment, that we might always keep at the forefront of our words and actions your call to treat each other with kindness and to act in honorable and honest ways. We pray through Christ, our Lord.
Saint Isidore of Seville, patron of the internet, pray for us.
5. Present over Perfect (a book that so many I follow are reading and recommending)
God of all Wisdom, through all time you have gifted the world with prophets who speak your truth and draw us back to you in many ways and languages. Help us to hear the prophets among us today and to avoid the false prophets and idols that would have us turn against you and your kingdom of faith, hope, and love. Guide our hearts and minds towards that which calls us back to you. In Jesus' name we pray.
Saint Thomas Aquinas, patron of prophets, pray for us.
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