Making a dent in the pile of unread America magazaines sitting in my study, I came across a column by Peter Schineller, S.J., about recognizing God’s presence in all things. Schineller began by recalling Psalm 148, in which we praise God for all of the thing God created – sun and moon, wild beasts, birds, etc. While Schineller acknowledges that he can easily find God in the birds, grass and the trees as he wanders around Central Park in New York City, he also asks us to consider:
if David or other composers of the psalms were alive today in New York City, what might they pick out to praise the Lord? Skyscrapers or refrigerators? Might they not pray that these manufactured inventions of humankind be seen as praising and serving the Lord?
This is not an outlandish thought. As Schineller observes, Pope Paul VI wrote that “If, in the past, nature was the intermediary bewteen [God] and the human mind, why should not the work of technology be the intermediary today?” And in Gaudium et Spes the bishops of the Second Vatican Council wrote that “the triumphs of the human race are a sign of God’s greatness.”
Clearly it is not either/or. God is everywhere, which means we still all have the ability to find God in nature and all the other traditional places. But we can also find and serve God through the many works of our technological hands. “Instead of distancing or separating us from God or becoming idols, [such objects] play an important role in our journey to God, providing we use them properly.”
To paraphrase Psalm 148: Flip video, bless the Lord. iPod, bless the Lord. Cellphone, bless the Lord. Laptop, bless the Lord.
What are you giving thanks and singing God’s praises for today?