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Empowering Adults: Guiding Children and Youth Online 2

Youpporting and guiding children and youth in the practices of the Catholic faith is critical if we expect them to become Christian disciples. Catholic moral practices, based on the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus, are formative for our children and youth. Truth-telling, self-respect, esteem for those who are different, and reverence for our bodies are just some of the Christian values ​​that are not valued or modeled on a societal level. Entertainment and communication often show values ​​that are opposed to our values ​​as Catholics.

Setting an example is expected of those who follow the Catholic faith, especially those who minister to children and youth. Our actions, words, and how we conduct ourselves are the primary way we live out our faith. Therefore, we are challenged to consider our example. Before we can help our children and youth, we need to assess where we are as adults.

Our use of technology ought to be a reflection of our love of God and neighbor. Our communication, content, and sharing should be consistent with the Gospel message of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness. But, of course, this isn’t always the case. We often fall short and do not model what we believe.

Therefore, it is essential to reflect on what we are doing and why when it comes to technology. Perhaps we may find that our perspective and motivation need some adjustment to live what we believe.

Reflect on these questions before you interact online:

  1. Motivation: Why am I engaging in this activity or using this device? Am I just passing time? Or, is there a spiritual benefit to another person or me? If so, what is it?
  2. Intention: Is my intention to be a cause of truth and goodness? Will any of my activities directly or indirectly hurt, harm, or embarrass another person?
  3. Consistency: Are my actions consistent with my Catholic faith? How would Jesus respond/act?

Jim Connell
Digital Learning and Technology Specialist

Credit: Material in this post is based on and adapted from If You Don’t Read Anything Else, Then at Least Read This and Using Technology in a Christian Way

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