It is a digital revolution. Indeed, upon reading the Pastoral Instruction on Social Communications (Aetatis Novae), I was led into an imagination of people engaging into gadgets: using cellphones now and then while using their personalized computers clicking on the mouse and tapping on keyboards. I imagine such way of life as if everything is digitized. Yet the document seemed to reawaken the conscience of every person in the modern time.
First, I was led into a paradigm shift. By mentioning “rapid revolution”, I imagined how in my early childhood days I was still able to use the typewriter and watch on the betamax, and now I can use an iTouch cellphone and work on a computer. It also reshaped my way of thinking and worldview about the world today in comparison with the world of the past. But since the concern of the Pastoral Instruction was that of the proclamation of the Good News, I realized that I cannot just remain on a worldview, but also be responsible on using these means of social communications, especially in matters of faith. It somehow “commanded” me to witness God’s love by means of digital technology.
I recalled several experiences where I myself engaged in several discussions. I found myself engaging with people from all over the world with different contexts and worldview. As I discussed with them, I realized that some people capitalize on self-consciousness so as to use media in self-expression. Upon seeing this, I feel challenged to be an effective communicator of God’s love to others by a conscientious usage of gadgets. I feel responsible, given that I am a seminarian, to be vigilant in using gadgets.
Moving further, I saw the challenges the Church is facing right now. With the rapid growth of media technology, the Church saw its consequences. Such were the challenges regarding media policies, right to information, and ethics on media. The Church has to make a response. In reading the document’s responses on media technology, I realized how important it is for the Church to inculcate the society’s conscience as they engage in media technology.
But what captivated me the most is how the Church responded to the challenges in practical ways. For me, the Church’s application of principles through the document proved to be astounding. It was astounding because it is like a reawakening of the social and individual conscience on how to be a human person while engaging in media. That is why the urgency for education of the communicators of the faith and morals are all the more encouraged in doing so. Aetatis Novae not only led me to be grounded on principles, but also to reawaken in me the conscience proper to me as a human person amidst this digital revolution. For I believe that there are Saints-in-the-making who experts of media technology yet Jesus lives in them, for they witness the same love which Jesus himself taught.