Adapting to the online system

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With how things are now, we just have to learn how to do things online. In my case, I now have to do most of my preaching and teaching, be it at Holy Mass, a recollection or retreat, a simple meditation or commentary on the gospel, a class, etc., online. It’s nice to know that I am developing a growing audience of listeners and viewers. I hope I can keep or even improve the pace.

Mind you, this new development has forced me to prepare things better, coming up with scripts and texts, outlines of talking points, pictures, etc., if only to facilitate the delivery as well as, hopefully, the reception. I notice that I have to blend depth with ease, substantial coverage of a topic with conciseness.

Besides, this online system can pressure us to learn how to think fast and talk smart, because no matter how prepared we may be in the online classes and conferences we are conducting, there will always be surprises to deal with. And somehow we have to be ready for them.

I’m still in the stage of discovering things. And since I consider myself as dumber than dumb in things technological, I have to seek help and advice from much younger fellows in this department. It can be a humbling experience, but I believe it’s all worthwhile. I’m learning a lot, I must say, and I am very happy.

The only thing that somehow irritates me is when I am pressured to have some facial make up before I face the camera. They say it’s necessary to block the sheen on my face. But like anything else in that category, I just offer it as a sacrifice. I really feel uncomfortable with it.

But more importantly, what should be attended to more seriously in this new development is the purity of the motive and intention for engaging in this online system. It should be for the glory of God and the good of everyone. It should never be about pride and vanity, strutting one’s stuff before a bigger world.

The temptations can be daunting in this department. Thus, it really behooves everyone to strengthen their life of prayer and piety. Otherwise, there is no way one can resist the pull of worldly pride and vanity.

Besides, I believe this online system requires a lot more of patience, since there are just so many nitty-gritty to be attended to, and the likelihood of failures, mistakes, mishandlings is quite high. We have to learn how not to be easily and overly affected by them.

Prudence, tact and discretion are also a must, since a little slip or mistake in this system can easily be magnified. The virtue of order is also important. With so many things that are made available online, we can easily get distracted and entangled along the way.
Our latent weaknesses, which till now we may not even be aware of, can be aroused and can lead us out of our proper track.

There is a great need to have a good sense of priority, otherwise we would be lost. Self-discipline and the need of self-denial as Christ has told us are indeed indispensable also. This online system has many features that can easily spoil us.

We should also see to it that the personal and human touch with our relation with others is not lost.*


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October 2020