Mediated Media—Anton Casta

Mediated Media: A presentation to the Canadian Chapter of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

by Anton R. Casta

May 05, 2011

Introduction

Thank you for this opportunity to reflect upon media and the new evangelization and hammer out a greater awareness for us as — parents, teachers, pastors, students, commentators, and thinkers.

On May 6th, 2000 I gave a little session on media and evangelization to the half dozen students which constituted the then entire student body of OLSWA. We spoke of the anatomy of the new media revolution, synthesis of forms,  the role of Logos, and a vibrant discussion on Thomistic research on the web.  And, it was held in OLSWA’s biggest classroom, my living room.

[chuckles all round]

Some things have certainly changed since that Y2K session but the nature and direction of modern media has not. Nor has the call to engage man and culture in the new media.

So what could be said in a short talk about such a broad topic? Too much really. So I thought I should begin by narrowing parameters with an appropriate title to help avoid the wild brain leaps that come from reading Dr. Suess for the past 12 years.

My possible working titles included:

Sociologically… Migration into e-Society; Gemeinsschaft to Gesellshaft to a Webschaft Wunderlust
Historically… Internet with a Human Face; softening the “party line” of hard coding
Biologically… Sybiosis with the great Mirror Machine, falling in love with our eco-selves
Philosophically… Slave or Master: Reflecting on the Gnosis (platonic talent) of Web
Or, Tron-McLuhan-esque… How a “USER” of Any Medium is the Content

Again, there was simply too much. So I settled on something broad and encompassing, “Mediated Media“, so I could lightly weave in and out of various disciplines, like a needle sewing  cloth together.

So tonight we’re going to look at (1) the nature of media, (2) factors that impact on the new evangelization,  (3) and some concrete steps Catholics and Catholic organizations can take to help amplify their role in the new evangelization through media.  Sprinkled within that will be the guiding insights of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

The Nature of Media

How many of you are anti-Media?

[Half the arms raise in the room; presenter grins]

That begs the question, what is Media?

To answer that we have to expand our vocabulary and push English away from its syncretic dispositions of linguistic egality — I love pizza, I love you, I “like” love that!

At first, the quickest way to expand the term “media” seemed to be to think of it in terms of noun, adjective, and verb. But as parts of speech the approach fails when I began to see that Media also has a Divine form — that is simultaneously being and becoming.  It also has a human form, part of which is the new digital media, or e-media.

Christ Our First Media

Our key definition, upon which everything else will pivot is this:

Media is most fundamentally an exchange of persons, the sharing of their material and immaterial culture. And, Christ is our First Media, the Logos (discourse/word/exchange), for he is the one who shows us the exchange of persons and the culture of love which exists within the life of the Holy Trinity.

Human Media: The Totality of Body and Soul

Likewise, we are asked to be Christ-like, little media; mediators, sharing not only of ourselves but allowing a communion with God that perfects us and elevates our exchange with others so that like leven in bread we can through Christ transform the larger body of culture and the common weal of society.  We look upward and across as little Christ-Medias. We reach out across the barbarian landscape and create inviting media spaces (virtual cathedrals) to engage the world in dialogue through beauty and truth, in what Benedict XVI calls, a new Courtyard of the Gentiles.

Media is that quality of the soul that is designed for communion, sharing, and touch. Without a media-ized soul we could not cherish story, the divine story, the eternal exchange witho our creator. We could not pray.

Nota Bene: Man is also media to himself insofar as he represents his actualized personhood imperfectly.  On a Christian level, we can comment further — man as the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, “represents” or “mediates” his charge, his divine potential, imperfectly. Christians can speak of man as image (living art), or word (living literature), or as man as media — in terms of dialogue within the universal call to evangelization and the renewed call to engage in that dialogue in the “new” media. For Pope John Paul II , the term “new” here denotes the application of the unchanging Gospel message into the world of new media.

And within this dynamic of Human-Media there is an expression of ourselves in electronic domain, I will refer to as e-media.

To all these forms of media there is an aspect of mediation, representation, and interpretation. It is there in Christ-media, Human-media, and within Human-Media, the new e-Media.  Mediation is always there in the process of “presenting” ourselves; interpretation, mis-representation is always a factor for human eyes.

A gap exists between who we are — and how we are understood and shared with one another. And there are always at least two lenses at work in mediation: the object and the subject, the viewed and the viewer. And in the end we tend to represent ourselves imperfectly. Our media, from the get-go, is a tarnished mirror.

But as media, Human-Media, we are always in process and dialogue, called into a deeper relationship and likeness with Christ, Our First Media, the model of perfect communion and sharing with the Father.

There are new opportunities but also new obstacles that get in the way of this dialogue of persons.

(1) The very nature of e-media, (2) our new power to fuse the antonyms of intimacy and anonymity, and (3) our fallen nature or concupiscence. I’ll develop these in a moment.

So when JPII called us to make Christ seen and heard in the new media he was inviting us to begin with the apostolic call to conversion before we set sail to evangelize the new e-world. And as it is the general’s call for action, a new mobilization,  we are again faced with the ancient two front war of every authentic Christian campaign — that of personal sanctification and then the evangelization of peoples. We must be purified human-media reflecting Christ-media more perfectly so as to win souls and transform culture.

The highest form of “human-media” is to be in communio with God through unity in prayer and above all the Holy Eucharist. In this sense, media for us is eucharistic for we too are asked to leave little bread crumbs of ourselves for others — echoes of Martin Buber’s, I-Thou.  And that holds true for both (a) us as human-media and (b) for our electronic representation, or e-media.

Love and sacrifice being co-joined and perfecting when we share of ourselves freely, allows us to be “captured” and “digested”, in a sense, by another person in truth and trust. And that involves a certain arm-wide-open abandonment and the willingness to suffer for another.  That’s important as we shall see in a moment when we look at the new amalgam of anonymity and intimacy which the web now empowers its users.

When we speak of non-digital media, such as the song of live choirs, the hands on a piano, painted art, or digital media such as, TV, radio, internet, or a cell phone, we are talking about parts and extensions that make man present to man, again materially and spiritually. The danger here is maintaining authenticity of conveyance and often a degree of objectification creeps in;we begin to see parts.

Media properly understood is concerned with the transmission of the whole person or an authentic representation of the whole person.  Not just his broadcast, so-to-speak, but also his transformation in the First Media. And this is the pitfall of modern media and the new social networks such as Facebook, so duly noted by Pope Benedict XVI in his Message For the 45th World Communication Day coming this June 5th, 2011.

“As with every other fruit of human ingenuity, the new communications technologies must be placed at the service of the integral good of the individual and of the whole of humanity.”

The clear distinction between the producer and consumer of information is relativized and communication appears not only as an exchange of data, but also as a form of sharing. This dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations. On the other hand, this is contrasted with the limits typical of digital communication: the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.

Digital electronic media, e-media for short, has a pivotal role to play in the new evangelization as it offers the potential to make man more fully present to man. But the stakes are high. It also has the power to keep man computer-locked, not stepping to the next level of real relationship and communion.

E-media has a unique power to veil and distort a persons reality. This can be intentional, as when a 300 lbs. Coke guzzling male programmer chooses an avatar of a 12 year old girl. Or it can be negligence — not understanding how a channel of media needs to be fed, trimmed, counter-steered due to its inherent frailty to distort the humanity it is asked to convey (an imperfect vessel).

Sometimes, the weaknesses of a particular media channel are exploited for profit and gain. Jerry Mander in his landmark book, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, gives example of both advertising agencies and political parties (increasingly one and the same entity) deliberate misuse of the psychological perceptions of media to swing votes and sell ideas and product. And, that was back in the late 60’s. Its another clue as to media’s true nature, its weakness, that has been ignored.

Mander again speaks on of media being changed by its delivery mechanism. Here he echoes McLuhan echoing Aquinas, echoing Aristotle — that the idea that the soul in knowing, in a certain way becomes that which is know.

Mander also speaks of mediated media and environments which box people into physical and mental conditions appropriate for the emergence of autocratic control. In other words, we can lose our freedom when we submit to machine language or mediated environments, like Young Street Toronto at 2:00 am,  a man-made, man-dependent, world that is always “on”.

Electronic media, is a useful tool, in one sense a  “sacramental” in relation to us as human-media, that can serve as a sign that draws people to the thing it signifies, us. But it comes with a certain nature and limitations. It should not be allowed to become master for — it is not in nature the thing it signifies.

To build a culture of life and engage in the new evangelization we must understand thus crucial distinctions within media. We must become stewards of media, sensitive to its nature, order, and proper application.

The Cultural Revolution of Today’s Digital Media and Social Networks

Lets have a little  fun with this large topic by giving a Suessian synopsis of the internet’s history — from my vantage, and pull some lessons out of the backstory.

Born with a little UNIX body its first words were “go-go-pher” and “tel-n-net”. It was the early 1990’s and a baby ‘Internet’ had arrived through a mutual consent to establish a public network between government departments and universities.

As a history student, I remember the thrill of accessing the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library collection from a 12′” green phosphor terminal connected by the University of Waterloo’s  LAN umbilicus to the Internet. Even though the connection was an hour away by petrol propulsion, and not qwarkish light speed of charged electrons, it was a thrill. That was in 1992 and the whole convoluted password-riddled episode that let me tunnel from one library to another felt like an espionage mission. I left my library cubicle looking over my shoulder wondering if I had trespassed or done something wrong. If I would be discovered for defying the laws of library ethics, thermodynamics, or something.

That was most peoples reaction to handling the baby Internet then — we caressed it gently for fear of breaking something, and it responded to our touch. It gurgled back in strange hypnotic tones and invisible embraces.

With the development of HTTP muscles soon afterwards, hypertexting and “hot linking” became a reality — first between words to documents embedded on remote content pages and eventually to images, sounds, and video. The Internet stepped out of the cradle into larger circles. It began to walk and talk, inform, please, and entertain us.  We christened it “Web” and it continued to grow synapses and links transversing a new “cyber space” as it ambitiously became a seamless and borderless network.

It was a gifted and wealthy child. It seemed to give us back more than what we put into it.  Everything was new and exciting. We felt a sense of trajectory alongside our new companion, towards a new promised land, an e-world that was no more than a ‘blip’ on the horizon.

As it continued to grow, Web’s family multiplied exponentially as the circle of experience became more peopled, more common, and more mainstream ordinary. The academic backbone and its idyllic foundational principle of the free exchange of information, like body and soul, was still there but a larger hungrier and more omnivorous force had started to propagate and push things around.

It discovered it had legs, huge legs with Goliathan strides, and an appetite to match. And we began to feel somewhat small, like tiny parasites in a symbiotic relationship within a giant.

Where people were, business and profit scenarios grew. Where people gathered news and entertainment flourished. People began to share and communicate until they built Web itself into a place; a town square, a street, a back alley, a confessional, a church, a bank, a shopping mall, a bedroom, and a brothel. The Web became a black hole and swallowed up the horizon. We had arrived at our destination.

Web has become the imprint of life — useful, beautiful or banal, good or bad, exposing our heroic virtues and our concupiscent nature. Our modern world and its struggling cultural identity was grafted onto the giant’s body and it all became “IT”, instantly accessible through the electrons that coursed through its veins. Click-jump, click-jump, went its cavernous heart beating a million times per second as our fingers pressed down on little mousey-buttons at end terminals of its dendritic network. Our interactions were Web’s life support, keeping it alive and ever growing. In return it tickled our minds, our senses, our pocket book, and our spiritual sense of self definition.

I can’t help but liken this relationship to the ‘preposterous-ness’ one associates with a Dr. Seuss story such as,  A Fish Out of Water. What was the moral of that children’s story?

With the abstraction and dehumanization often present in modern life, especially urban life, and the lack of personable small town communities, what Ferdinand Tönnies-types call Gemeinschaft, many found a home (and a reliance or addiction) in the perceived proximity and thrill of immediacy and the promise of intimacy in this new computer mediated relationship. ‘Web’ had become company for the lonely hearted.

As it matured, Web’s UNIX skeletal structure as a public network never changed. Only we and our expectations changed and so too our patterns of use which wove a new cloth for our endearing giant — a growing garment of perceptions. We clothed Web with the fashion of perceived privacy and thereby we also covered ourselves with a rationale for our licentious public behaviour.

People increasingly began to share and exchange themselves, their culture, with others, which is the very definition of media.  An exchange of persons which can potentially build authentic community was a good thing. But what was Seussian fishy about many people’s relation to Web was how they went beyond the proportion of reality — of the difference in nature between them and it. They exchanged their private sacred selves with others in a public square as if they were immediately and really present, personal, and alone, with each other. The fashion of virtual privacy had become enough to exposes ourselves. Have we fed Web too much?

At first anonymity was the veil that allowed people to become uninhibited.  But as proximity breeds likeness, in time we convinced ourselves we could recapture Eden, where there was no need for law (law came as a consequence to sin Romans 5:12-19), we could be naked on the web and not be ashamed. We had fallen in love with Web’s finest attribute as the great Mirror Machine. We loved our delusion or new lawlessness and we convinced ourselves with ever-shifting fuzzy logic that the exposed public network offered us some degree of security. Not convinced? Please read this article about Google’s information harvesting and individual profiling.

The odd story of abuse, exploitation of youth, pyramid scams, the government’s keyword vacuum, profiling of web-citizens, and access to private records and banking, did little to dissuade us from our projections and wishful thinking. We turned a blind eye to Web’s rebellious teen years. It was empowering us to building our own man-made virtual garden, an e-Eden. A paradise where we could have our Gemeinsschaft (hometown intimacy) and our Gesellshaft (city cave life anonymity) and live in them both. We’ve created a new e-society for ourselves, half human and half machine — a Webschaft, where anonymous intimacy was now possible. Look no further than SecondLife.com for a prime example of machine generated culture — Webschaft!

And now millions “need” this Mirror Machine, like Narcisuss needed his watery reflection. But for Narcisuss this was a divine punishment — he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, not realizing it was merely an image, and he wasted away to death, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection. I had to double check that on Wikipedia — how ironic!

How many people now prefer a Webschaft wanderlust to real life; to ever wandering naked (as in voluntarily de-privatized persons beyond proportion of context) through the dendritic links of a virtual world? The Facebook statistics tell the tale…

– as of 2011, there are 500M active facebook users; that’s 1 in every 13 people on earth
– 48% of 18 to 34 year olds check Facebook right when they wake up
– there are 206.2 M internet users in the US; 71% are on Facebook
– 57% of people talk more online than in real life.
– 48% of young Americans said they find out about NEWS through Facebook
– a record-breaking 750M photos were uploaded to FB over New Years Weekend
– 20 min. on Facebook = 2M Friends Requests Accepted | 2.7M Photo Uploads | 2.7 Messages sent | 10.2 M Comments Made

Nota Bene: The Holy Mass is the ultimate social network uniting the Church Triumphant, the Church Militant and the Church Suffering.

And in this exposed state, those of us who have given too much of ourselves to Web, I wonder if we are not especially vulnerable, personally and culturally, to dislocation from daily human life and manipulation by those technocrats who still have power to pull the giant’s Cicso synapses — with a whirl, whizz, and whomp, a titter and a tomp. Oh yes, I forgot. There are no SYSOPS (that spells “system operators”)  who maintain the network. Most of us don’t believe they exist.

It has been commented that this is the first generation that fails to comprehend the very basics of the technology that supports their daily existence, and daily identity building. I must concur. When is the last time you replaced the heat sink paste on your over heating CPU, adjusted the VSYNC gain on your plasma television, taken apart you phone or your car’s fuel injection? Put in a dormer on your house? Trimmed an overgrown tree with a chainsaw? Cleaned a fish? Grew a potato?

“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.” — Dr. Seuss

End of our backstory.

Media Missionary Handbook

Let’s now turn for a moment to two chapters of what I’ll call a Media Missionary’s Handbook — the Internet’s Human Face, and Information Saturation and Recycling.

Internet with a Human Face

When the image and the voice of another person becomes present to us in real and tanglible ways, that is potentially a good thing.   But unless we “complete the connection” through real actions and the building of real human interaction and authentic culture outside the box of e-media, our solidarity becomes sterile — the machine, like a Soviet tank,  will churn us under its treads into oblivion.

Ultimately its our passivity to allow the machine to be master that can undermine our freedom. In Soviet Russia, film production was called the cultural industry, its actors and directors were the people’s “cultural leaders”. We should ponder that a bit in today’s climate. Who is pushing our buttons?

There’s a new face sported by many of our youth. A dislocation and synicism, the same hollowness that I saw on the faces in Prague just after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 —  the pale glow of dialectic materialism projected upon human nature.

There is a strong undertow to objectivize media, to distort humanity, to kill its soul and tarnish the living mirror. The movement is connected with societies materialistic tendencies and an infatuation with technical gadgetry that tends to focus our attention on the media-thing itself rather than the content it carries, or reduced to “pleasure”.  The gadget is the massage.

The result, media is hostile and sterile, unable and unwilling to convey man’s true nature as body and soul, individual and social.

We can not build culture of life on a contraceptive mentality. Nor can we allow ourselves to be forced into a media condom of sterile and futile gestures. We must bear fruit — our labours must flow from a true spirit of caritas. We must be willing to share and suffer, two synonyms that stand in opposition and offer a remedy to the twinned phenomena of intimacy-anonymity.

Information Saturation and Recycling

In terms of our second point, information saturation, the web is a littered place.  A sense of hopelessness can pervade in a mountain of garbage, and we never throw anything away on the web.

Seldom is “content”, in the braodest sese of the word, edited or trimmed. It is never retired or unpublished, thrown in the waste bin or shredded.

In fact, near nothing is ever thrown away be it a grand insight or a trivial comment. It comes up equally well despite our best googlishious efforts to harness the mysterious sifting mechanism of our search engines whose prime directive is to capture meta keywords and present to the browser a hierarchy of valued and requested  information.

In such a schema, the good is often buried by the bad. Have we taken recycling too far? Has creating an artificial closed ecology of communication become the new e-pollution that hinders the new evanglization? Does it muddle thinking and misinform more than inform the intellect as it continually precipitates to the bottom of our streams clogging the rivers of knowledge which are meant to flow to wisdom.

And, what does the constant stream of data do to a person’s sense of value, culture, historical identity, and self awareness?

People in social networks are increasingly skimming reality — sharing trivial experience rather than the deeper layers of who they are and what they are. Through the constant churning of meaningless activity we demonstrate both our natural need to commune with others as humans and the limited fashion in which we communicate — the bitbyte trivialness of our current forms of trans-migrant electronic communication which does little to satisfy our natural desire/predisposition to connect with real people.

And when everything is moving where is stillness and silence. The kind of interior space and reflective active liesure that T.S Eliot, Joseph Pieper, and John Paul II say are essential for the building of authentic “human” culture?

Has web process become a substitute for democratic process, authentic action, like a good torch and pitchfork march on the old parliament buildings, eh? Click-voting and mouse-poll democracy lulls people into a false sense of democratic action when in fact nothing has materialized outside of confined cyber world except perhaps a sense of consensus, a little thread of connecting “yeahs”? And what is that in a sea of pink EMF noise?

If we begin to flatten the earth and our place in it, what have we lost? The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus might answer, we have lost our ability to listen to the essence of things. Not only is our “ratio” (reason) becoming limited but so is “intellectus” or reflection and contemplation of the works of the mind.

What Can We Do?

Become living stones, in virtual cathedrals, built on the highways of new media, new paths for where little medias, packets of personality, pings of culture,  walk, talk, and have their being.

Expect suffering and persecution. Expect to be ground down in the mill of false media — slander, civil/legal persecution, exclusion from the public square.

But remember, Media is our inheritance. It is the garden of the exchange of persons. If we cling to Christ, our First Media, we will save souls.

Media and Mediocrity

We must set up sign posts, sacramental-like, that lead to a fuller relationship with Christ, through our little-Media. We must engage the youth and its culture. Look to projects such as i-confess.com by the Archdiocese of New York, and even the National Film Board of Canada’s Holy Mountain web site, an interactive work of art in tribute to St. Joseph’s Oratory and Saint Andre. Note it was the NFB and not the Arch-Diocese of Montreal that built that site.

Do not underestimate the value of beauty in your work, visual and otherwise. Our culture is hyper-sensitive to it and you won’t even appear on the radar screen if like most Catholics out there you’ve had your design gene removed and you think that content is good enough.

The internet is the new Gutenburg Highway and village. I ask you to people it with living media, people who work to bridge and witness to the world the cause of our joy.

Again, as Christ manifests himself to mankind in many ways we too are asked to leave little breadcrumbs of ourselves for people to commune with. When we conform ourselves with Christ so that our media gives Christ’s perfect media to shine, his voice and image will be seen and heard.

And we can’t do this with mediocrity.

We should be up in arms about the fact — that secular media has taken the lead in defining beauty in media. Excellence and professionalism is evident everywhere they work and mediate, most often opposed to Christ.

This Monday May 2nd, 2011, Barbara Nicolosi of Act One in Hollywood addressed students at Christendom College.  She asked: “Why do we love the movies so much? The movies are the combination of the four classical art forms: literature, performance, music, and composition. They are the art form of our time.” That’s a good insight and part of the reason I work in this field today.

Nicolosi went on to say, that Hollywood has become the modern patron of the arts, a role once held by the Church. An so, she encouraged the students to get involved in the cinematic world, to “be one of the people — out of compassion and creativity — talking to the people of your time.”

She observed, “The art made by Christians today is not only not beautiful, but tends to be among the ugliest art that mankind is producing.”

Strive for media excellence; create well built bridges, an “inviting” “place where people of good will can dialogue with us as little Christs, little mediators of the Father’s love, so they can see the cause of our joy.

Who feels at home in a disordered house, a messy living room,  a confusing talk, a film with a predicatble plot and stale acting, a web site which affronts the visual senses or is laced with mixed fonts, illegible text, little sense of hierarchical structure, and one long scrolling page? Have you seen the venerable Christus Rex?

Again, content is not enough! We must understant media and its emphasis on visual language if we are to build “place” for dialogue.

The Holy Canadian Martyrs’ were French nobility, princes with high education and clear grasp of first principles. But they delivered their media through cultural modes, the native Huron peoples could understand — song, story, hard work, beauty of their buildings, the technology of their skilled craftsmen, their love (caritas) that radiated down through the ends of their little media finger tips.

The courtyard of the gentiles must be a beautiful warm inviting place. It must be where ever we build and collaborate on the building of virtual cathedrals!

That raises another issue — we need to work together in solidarity and to call and support tge finest craftsmen from around the globe to help us build these outposts of the culture of life. The bishops of old didn’t build the cathedrals themselves but they hired the best.

Some of my forefathers were church builders from Moravia, artisans and stone masons. They were perpetually on-call for the church, medieval minute men! They celebrated when their was work. They starved (and drank) when there was not — the two can often go together.

[Speaker asks host for a drink in a mug]

Our media professionals and artist are starving today. Where is our Church, our bishops, our Catholic lay organizations, where are they building cathedrals? I invite them too, to re-sponsor the arts — for in negligence they teeter on a modern form of iconoclasm.

Often in media, we as individuals take it upon ourselves to fulfill the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Its a skinny venture — an ‘apostolic’ scenario, many of you are familiar with. But suffering and love are companions, we persevere and carry our crosses. And we make appeals…

We need to cultivate the arts support our artists, traditional and new media. Rely on their expertice, be open to their input.

For many years I’d receive call from artists and media professionals called to leave their morally compromised jobs — and there was nothing for them. So in my small way I tried to help by building an online sodality called Media Cova, a community of artists building Catholic culture.

I ask you to remain open to that small voice.

A Classic Liberal Arts education is concerned with the development of the whole man. So why is media, so fundamentally the genetic code to the new evangelization, not made manifest in curriculums as both an essential aspect of philosophy, theology, literature, history, art — and as its carrier? We are ever in a two front war — personal sanctification and evangelization. A proper understanding of media is essential to both fronts.  A proper use of media’s tools is essential to both fronts.

Some Closing Comments

The Dawsonian historian, Bohdan Chudoba (who’s name in Czech literally means God gives Poverty), in his landmark book, The Meaning of Civilization, stresses the reality that man is the agent of history,  not movements and not forces.  In other words, there is a profound ripple effect emanating from one person when they say “no” or “yes”.

Bishop, now Saint Pavel Goidic (who shared a communist prison with my father), Cardinal Mindszenty, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the solidarilty movement in Poland, all tell us how to become the “living media” of truth against which the power of false media and lies becomes powerless. Communion and Liberation!

But we begin this journey into the new e-world with prayer to butress the small media outpost which is ourself. Prayer is a channel of grace through which God can effect change in us.

Prayer, is a high form of media, as the means and communion with God.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Christ delighted in prayer to his Father. This relationship of God the Son to the Father is the source not only of Christ’s prayer but of all Christian prayer at all times. (CCC2599).

In closing, we really  do need to expand our vocabulary when we speak of the new e-media phenomena. But we should also see it within the context of a continuation of the evangelical call.  We can use the internet for humanizing as Pope JPII noted. But first we must put out into the deep and that means first catching the golden fish of personal sanctification to make our media light shine.

I ask all of you within your own station to become Media Missionaries and to witness to the gospel by perfecting the media at your disposal and within your academic disciplines.

Today there are countless new villages popping up on the new digital frontier. Shall we not send digital black robes to make Christ present to them?

Our Lady, Mother of Media, pray for us!

Thank you.

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Anton Casta’s work can be viewed at his websites:

http://mission2films.com/site/

http://mediacova.com