Please, take it easy with screens

Rev. Ioan Istrati

I’m going to tell you something that will upset many.

The screen is a demonic construction. It is a surrogate for real encounters, an incarnation substitute, an anti-tactile sensation, a celebration of non-existence. It is a form devoid of substance, an image without essence, an illusory reconstruction of a person as a character. It is a spectacle of lights and pixels that can never replace a mother’s embrace.

I know, it’s inevitable, it’s omnipresent. No, it’s not. God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. He is the essential element.

A kiss, a touch, love, tears, whispers, smiles, the drop of heaven reflected in the eyes of a loved one, they do not pass through glass. They do not manifest in pixels. It is a huge fake, similar yet dissimilar, imperceptible. But a fake nonetheless.

The demon is the one without a face who takes on all faces, including that of a light angel, in order to deceive us. It is without substance, without form, unnatural, the unembodied, the bodiless. It is the meaningless image, the false image, the pornography of the world, the spectacle of non-existence, the ruler of nothingness.

We cannot completely give up the screen.

But we can limit our children’s and our own access to it.

We can go out into nature, breathe in the fragrance of incense in a church, kiss a saint in heaven, honor an icon of His, partake fully of God in the Eucharist. We can do a few prostrations as a sport of the soul fallen into the love of God and resurrected in the new eon. We can embrace those around us. We can gaze into the distance, at the horizon, where the hidden beauty of the world lies. We can support an elderly woman on the stairs and feel the loving humility of our ancestors. We can give a child a sweet treat and see the pure joy springing forth from the wellspring of their heart. We can escape into a forest, where we will celebrate life through the liturgy of birds and insects. We can be silent near the graves of our grandparents and listen to the breath of their souls in the leaves of the trees. We can pray from an old book and let our hearts soar beyond the chains of visual imagination.

We can.

Please, take it easy with screens.

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