Epiphany is traditionally the day to bless homes with chalk blessed by a priest. Perhaps along with our homes we might also consider blessing our cell phones! From an article at www.thecatholicthing.org by Ines Murzaku:
“A blessed smartphone or tablet? Yes. Parishioners at St. Matthew’s Church in Marsala (Sicily) were asked by Fr. Alessandro Palermo, a 30-year-old parish priest, to bring their smartphones and tablets to church for a special benediction this year before Christmas on the feast of St. Lucy: ‘
Indeed, as we well know, the eyes of young and old, from elementary school students to grandparents, are glued to these devices. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell predicted this ominous development. Big Brother says: ‘The people will not revolt. They will not look up from their screens long enough to notice what’s happening.’ Cardinal Robert Sarah calls such distraction ‘the dictatorship of noise’ – overuse and abuse of technology, especially smartphones, and the inability of people to discern good from evil, hurtful from beneficial…
Misuse of a cell phone or smartphone can result in a number of physical problems…
But worse than physical damage, misuse of technology can cause moral damage. ‘Eyes and sight must be educated, protected, trained even when we look at the screen of our mobile phone. It is not a question of health (staring too much with your eyes on a screen can hurt people’s vision), but it is also a moral issue,’ explains Fr. Palermo.
In other words, smartphones can tempt us to evil thoughts through evil sight, so the eyes of the person who uses technology need protection and benediction. The tragedies caused by misuse of smartphones have ruined lives and have caused even death. ‘That is why a blessing can do good, not to the phone but to the people who use it,’ said Fr. Palermo.
The Church has long urged people to reflect on the moderate and moral use of technology. Inter Mirifica (‘The Means of Social Communication’), the Second Vatican Council’s decree promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI on December 4, 1963, addressed concerns and problems associated with the media…
‘Those who make use of the media of communications, especially the young, should take steps to accustom themselves to moderation and self-control in their regard. They should, moreover, endeavor to deepen their understanding of what they see, hear or read. They should discuss these matters with their teachers and experts, and learn to pass sound judgments on them. Parents should remember that they have a most serious duty to guard carefully lest shows, publications, and other things of this sort, which may be morally harmful, enter their homes or affect their children under other circumstances.’
This amounts to applying ancient virtues to modern circumstances: Moderation and responsibility, a beneficial use of the media, being on guard about what is harmful to the Church and its evangelizing mission.”
Coronation may have a smartphone blessing soon or around the feast of St. Lucy next year. May St. Lucy help us to see from Heaven how to better use technology for the glory of God and our well-being and virtue.