by Helen Hull Hitchcock
Surrexit Christus spes mea!
Christ my hope is risen!
This exuberant phrase from the Easter Sequence expresses our joy in the victory of our Savior over evil and hatred and death our joy in His promise that nothing can separate us from His love.
In his homily on Easter day last year, Pope Benedict spoke for us all:
The Risen One goes before us and He accompanies us along the paths of the world. He is our hope, He is the true peace of the world. Amen!
You’ll notice this issue of Voices is Volume XXV No 1. I recall the trepidation with which I wrote Volume I, No 1 on our first publication a six-page newsletter composed on a typewriter, reproduced at a local print shop, and sent to every signer of the Affirmation for Catholic Women at that time.
Many things have changed in the past 25 years including the very dramatic advances in communications technology. One example: as I was writing this, I received a phone call from our ten-year-old granddaughter. She was calling (via her mother’s Blackberry) from her noisy classroom half-a-continent away, where a “Grandparents’ Day” party was underway. Our exchange of greetings had barely ended when a photo of her and her mother, taken that very minute with the Blackberry, arrived in my e-mail, and two minutes later a print of it hung in my office. Almost miraculous instant communication like this is indeed a blessing for many far-flung families today.
We have experienced a technological revolution much like our great-grandparents experienced a century ago. The difference between the typewriter I used for WFF’s first publication 25 years ago and our cyberspace publishing equipment today is not unlike going from horse-and-buggy to airplane travel in about the same period of time.
Pope Benedict, in his message for World Communications Day this year, focused “on the important and sensitive pastoral area of digital communication”, and of the importance of making “the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media” a truly effective means of conveying the truth of Christ.
“With the Gospels in our hands and in our hearts, we must reaffirm the need to continue preparing ways that lead to the Word of God, while being at the same time constantly attentive to those who continue to seek; indeed, we should encourage their seeking as a first step of evangelization”, he wrote.
“The development of the new technologies and the larger digital world represents a great resource for humanity as a whole and for every individual, and it can act as a stimulus to encounter and dialogue. But this development likewise represents a great opportunity for believers. No door can or should be closed to those who, in the name of the risen Christ, are committed to drawing near to others”.
Many of you discovered Women for Faith & Family through our web site which we launched ten years ago. Several contributors to this issue of Voices found us first in cyberspace. And, frankly, it would be impossible to publish this magazine without the ability to communicate and access information on the internet or without the advanced computer publishing equipment that we have come to depend on. It is a tremendous boon.
Our internet outreach extends to people throughout the world that we could never reach by any other means our web site currently averages more than 750,000 “hits” per month. Besides the online edition of Voices, our web site provides hundreds of pages of valuable and informative resources to deepen the faith of everyone who visits us. We constantly update our web site and we’ve very recently added Facebook and Twitter social-networking links.
The digital world is not without its downside, as we all know. And this presents a particular challenge to families, especially when so many children have their own computers and cell phones with access to the internet compounded by the hundreds of television channels available almost everywhere.
Parents usually mothers have the responsibility of guiding youngsters’ use of digital media. Our grandparents’ worries about the bad influence of comic books, radio programs and movies seem quaint in our high-tech world of the internet, video games and iPods. But the concern and the duty of parents has not changed.
Today, our obligation as Christians to bring Christ’s saving truth to the world “with the Gospels in our hands and in our hearts” and people’s need to hear it is if anything greater than in the past. Every human heart still longs for truth and beauty and love, just as throughout history. And as the Easter season reminds us, the source of our courage and strength and hope is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Thus we sing with joy the ever-ancient, ever-new song of salvation: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
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