By Fr. Pawel Wyszkowski, OMI, The Delegation Superior of Ukraine
I hesitated for a long time regarding the creation of a personal Facebook profile. I asked God and consulted people. I was convinced (and I am!) that I should be more on my knees praying than hanging out with Facebook, as it eats up a lot of time.
When the world heard about the greatness of Divine Mercy, a sudden inspiration struck me – to spread the Good News about God, His love and mercy, particularly through the Internet, the best way to communicate with believers in these times of trouble.
Here in Ukraine we are united with people through broadcasts of the Holy Mass and other prayers. Furthermore, it also became a means to be united with the East, where blood continues to be shed, a region we have somehow forgotten because of the coronavirus. Ukrainian Catholic Television EWTN is watched in Russia as well, and they pray with us. This is a very strong testimony and one of the ways of overcoming war and hostility. Prayer unites us, and it reminds us that the most important language is the language of the heart, the language of love.
The digital world has become a global space in which the faithful can take part in the Eucharist, adoration, pray the Rosary together, listen to catechisms and deepen their faith, in spite of the pandemic.
Within a week, more than a thousand people wanted to join me on Facebook. Many of them wanted to engage in some useful conversation, and at times even confession, although clearly it’s not done through Facebook!
This shows that we all need a community, at least a virtual one, in this difficult time. But most of all we need Jesus. He alone gives life. He unites us. Jesus wants us to join Him, to be His “friends”, not on Facebook, but in real, everyday life. I reasoned that my communication with others through Facebook would somehow help them to become friends of Jesus in their own lives. My heart is filled with the humble desire that many people get in touch with Jesus through my online sermons, recollections, and other posts.
In my life this has not happened yet, but in the life of saints – yes. After the first sermon of St. Peter, 5000 people were converted! If this incorporeal Facebook has become such a powerful channel between us and God, and between us mutually, then how powerful a tool of God can we be ourselves – real people, when the Spirit of God dwells in us.
It was a pleasure to read greetings or comments from people from different parts of Ukraine and the world whom I had met in school, in church, somewhere on missions, or at meetings. Many thanks! However, my goal is not my own personal popularity. I do not want to receive ‘likes’ or be bombarded with compliments. I am here to evangelize, so I will share with others how I personally experience God in His Divine Word. My wish and prayer is that together we will be an unconquerable instrument of God, and that our life and all virtual space becomes truly God’s.