August 6, 2014

"Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things... Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions."

Said Pope Francis, citing as futile: "chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress." Technology, he said, "should simplify and improve the quality of life" and not "distract attention away from what is really important."

60 comments:

Ron said...

We also waste too much time listening to old fuddy-duddys who wear funny hats! I'm lookin' at you Pope!

Chuck said...

Hashtag #OurProGayRightsPope

Tibore said...

He's right, but start the countdown to when he'll be misunderstood by people. As the article's quotes show, he was less criticizing technology as he was the human predisposition to waste time on dumb stuff. Technology is merely the latest tool with which to do it, and from the way he phrased his remarks, I believe he understood that.

Smilin' Jack said...

""Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things...""
Said Pope Francis, citing as futile: "chatting on the Internet or with smartphones, watching TV soap operas, and (using) the products of technological progress."


Cheer up, Popey. At least they don't go to church anymore.

Michael K said...

One of my older fraternity brothers, who had excellent grades, pointed out the time wasted by college students who spent hours watching TV or playing bridge (I was a culprit) instead of studying. That is still true.

mccullough said...

I'd rather watch NFL pre-game coverage than go to Mass. Wasted a lot of hours in church growing up. Could have worked on my golf game or read some books. Maybe sleeping in on Sunday mornings would have promoted another inch of growth. That may have been the difference between making it to AAA instead of washing out at AA.

Moose said...

...posting things on blogs about shorts...

Thorley Winston said...

I really wish that the Vatican would make transcripts of each of the Pope’s speeches available online as soon as the Pope delivers a speech. I have no idea of the context of his remarks nor do I trust the media to present his remarks in a manner other than one intended to generate controversy.

William said...

He didn't mention Internet porn. What's the world coming to when the Pope doesn't preach against Internet porn......Mussolini arranged a meeting with the Vatican to discuss outstanding issues with the Papacy. The emissary came prepared to discuss increased subsidies for seminaries and Catholic schools. What the Pope wanted to discuss was the fact that lingerie makers were showing too much skin in their ads in magazines......I devote much of my day to prayer and fasting and have little time to spend on the Internet..

traditionalguy said...

Sounds right to me about not wasting time. But wouldn't that apply also to many hours spent receiving sacraments from priests over and over and over like they didn't really work the first few hundred times a year.

Doug said...

Having addressed all the theological and spiritual issues to everyone's satisfaction, Frankie set about telling people how to live their lives. Thanks, Pope!

Nonapod said...

I hate to break it to him, but most of life is spent on "futile things". Not every waking second can be or should be meaningful.

Anonymous said...

The rancid stink is anti-Catholic bigotry is to the shame of Althouse posters. Shame on you all.

Freeman Hunt said...

He's right! I think about this a lot. There I am thinking as time keeps slipping.

rehajm said...

#LightenUpFrancis

Jason said...

The Pope has a Twitter account.

gerry said...

I am so relieved.

Most comments (as of 1:47) are critical of Pope Francis, or sarcastic, or both.

As long as that is happening, I know he is succeeding.

Fen said...

This from a man who embraces AGW theory. Silly things indeed.

rhhardin said...

Saw your smoke
Now you're Pope
Congrats

- Mary Ann Madden, Unlikely to Be Needed Cards Contest

rhhardin said...

It's about time to celebrate the Ebola Gay, incidentally.

m stone said...

Some pretty prickly comments in response to a truism.

I won't elevate the discourse or be be self-righteous, but it seems really worthwhile to be fruitful for a portion of our day, drop a few compliments, learn something new, teach someone from an experience.

Plenty of time for NFL and internet.

"Wasted" time on church and sacrements is another discussion.

jimbino said...

It's a lot better to waste time with a video game than with a rosary or in prayer.

The video game has results, while rosaries and prayer do not.

FleetUSA said...

Obviously the MSM has conditioned many to ridicule a religious leader (non-Islamic) rather than listen to the wisdom of the ages.

Carol said...

Well I get it that when you're old, you see young people wandering about staring at their iPads or phones, it's frustrating because you think of the shit they could be doing instead. It's partly regret for one's own lost time.

Old Dad said...

Whoa--comments suggest that Pope Francis struck a nerve.

Key words--"too many".

His advice is certainly consistent with Catholic morality, but it's also just common sense.

How much is "too much"? What's the golden mean? Your call.

JPS said...

The Pope's words remind me a lot of a passage I loved in Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny (book, not movie). Dr. Keith, who had hid his illness from his son, writes in his final letter:

"Remember this, if you can: There is nothing, nothing more precious than time. You probably feel you have a measureless supply of it, but you haven't. Wasted hours destroy your life just as surely at the beginning as at the end, only at the end it's more noticeable. Use your time while you have it, in making something of yourself."

Marc Puckett said...

Thorley Winston at 1:10pm, The remarks are taken from the Holy Father's address, yesterday, to the national pilgrimage of German altar servers to Rome. The full text is online (as such things always are) at the Holy See's website [ http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html ]; granted, in this case, there is, in addition to the original German-language text, only an Italian translation. By 'such things' I mean formal, prepared allocutions-- it is a different matter, informal or impromptu remarks e.g or the daily homilies in the pontifical chapel.

While I am far from being a defender of the Vatican's communications operations and true that they score own goals often enough, it's a fact that the news media will always selectively report any act done by the Pope, according to their varying time constraints or prejudices.

MRG said...

Sleeping, looking for food, reproducing, and fighting over territory are the meaningful things God's creatures do.

John Constantius said...

One of my older fraternity brothers, who had excellent grades, pointed out the time wasted by college students who spent hours watching TV or playing bridge (I was a culprit) instead of studying. That is still true.

I had excellent grades (a 4.0 back when that was actually the highest you could get). I spent vast amounts of time watching TV, drinking, partying, gambling and rock climbing. I spent very little time studying but was very efficient/effective with the little time I did spend hitting the books. Is it possible your frat brother wasn't actually good at studying and so had to budget unnecessary hours that could otherwise have been used on things that were more enjoyable?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I spent some moments in quiet contemplation and all I could come up with is this:

"Is the Pope Francis?"

traditionalguy said...

It seems that the internet devices are linking real time social activities that form their own morality of sorts. They do lack deference to authority and only accept a temporary semi-authority from their own thoughts expressed without fear of ex-communications, inquisitions, shunnings, and penance punishment applied by Religions to submitted men and women.

Now that individual freedom stuff should scare any Religious Institution, whether Jewish, Catholic, Reformed, or Muslim. But it probably doesn't scare Pentecostals who have always accepted a direct connectivity from practice of the Spiritual gifts.

Drago said...

jimbino is one of those atheists who appears to be very very upset at God for not existing.

Mark said...

I really wish that the Vatican would make transcripts of each of the Pope’s speeches available online as soon as the Pope delivers a speech.

They do. It most often is put up at the Vatican website almost immediately in Italian, with an English translation a day or two later. However, Vatican Radio will put them up quicker often times, with a quicker unofficial English translation. Meanwhile, places like ZENIT news put out translations quicker.

Here is ZENIT's English translation --
All individuals in society have the task to put themselves at the service of the common good, offering the things that are necessary for existence: food, clothes, medical care, education, information, justice …We, the Lord’s disciples, have an added mission: to be “channels” that transmit the love of Jesus. And in this mission, you youngsters and young people have a particular role: you are called to speak of Jesus to your contemporaries, not only in the parish community or in your association, but especially outside. This is a commitment reserved especially for you, because with your courage, your enthusiasm, your spontaneity and ease of encounter you can reach more easily the minds and hearts of those who are estranged from the Lord. So many youngsters and young people of your age have an immense need of someone who with his or her own life tells them that Jesus knows us, that Jesus loves us, that Jesus forgives us, that He shares our difficulties with us and supports us with His grace. . . .
I understand your difficulties in combining the commitment of serving the Church with your various activities, necessary for your human and cultural growth. It is necessary to organize oneself a bit, to plan things in a balanced way … but you are German, and this comes easily to you! Our life is made up of time and time is a gift of God; hence, it must be used in good and fruitful actions. Perhaps many youngsters and young people waste too many hours in futile things: chatting on the Internet or on mobile phones, watching “soap-operas,” -- products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve one’s quality of life, but sometimes turn attention away from what is really important. Among the many things to do in our daily routine, one of the priorities must be to remind ourselves of our Creator who makes it possible for us to live, who loves us and accompanies us on our way.

The Godfather said...

I was going to disagree with Pope Francis, until I realized that I've just proved his point.

(But I'm not alone.)

AJ Lynch said...

Fatherless senior citizen opining about today's yutes.

With no disrespect meant to the Pope, I think this makes him sound as out of touch as Larry Bowa [clueless old grumpy Phils coach] when Bowa whines about today's players.

furious_a said...

Case in point...my daughter curled on the softa playing one of those 'animal care' games on the DS where she adopts and cares for virtual puppies.

Meanwhile sitting on the floor looking up at her is her actual new Beagle Christmas puppy.

(The DS was mom's idea)

furious_a said...

If Catholics resumed the practice of burning heretics at the stake, much like Muslims do now with their dull swords and internet snuff films and suicide bombers at Shi'ite shrines, maybe the Pope's critics would just the hell up.

Freeman Hunt said...

"They do lack deference to authority and only accept a temporary semi-authority from their own thoughts expressed without fear of ex-communications, inquisitions, shunnings, and penance punishment applied by Religions to submitted men and women."

Are you on social media? It's all the ex-communication, shunning, penance, and the rest without any deep contemplation, understanding, or consistent conception of morality. It's mob rather than institutional morality. Social media evinces a lot of things but individuality isn't one.

phx said...

Great Pope. Deep respect.

mccullough said...

When Obama spouts off like this, people call him on it. The Pope deserves the same. They are both economic illiterates and moral prigs.

CWJ said...

Drago @ 4:27,

This is a time in which I'm in full agreement with you.

The earliest comments in this thread seemed to be more motivated by sharing the authors' snark rather than their wisdom.

CWJ said...

Phx,

Not as much a fan of Francis as I am of Benedict and JP2 for different reasons. But I agree with you. Hell freezes over.

rhhardin said...

Kliban Wasted and Useful Lives.

Lydia said...

Full text of the Pope's remarks here. Important to note that he was speaking to young altar servers, who had come to Rome for spiritual guidance. With that in mind, here's more context for the bit Althouse highlighted:

You ask what you can do to be greater protagonists in the Church and what the Christian community expects from its altar servers. First of all, let us remind ourselves that the world is in need of persons who witness to others that God loves us, that He is our Father. All individuals in society have the task to put themselves at the service of the common good, offering the things that are necessary for existence: food, clothes, medical care, education, information, justice …We, the Lord’s disciples, have an added mission: to be “channels” that transmit the love of Jesus. And in this mission, you youngsters and young people have a particular role: you are called to speak of Jesus to your contemporaries, not only in the parish community or in your association, but especially outside. This is a commitment reserved especially for you, because with your courage, your enthusiasm, your spontaneity and ease of encounter you can reach more easily the minds and hearts of those who are estranged from the Lord. So many youngsters and young people of your age have an immense need of someone who with his or her own life tells them that Jesus knows us, that Jesus loves us, that Jesus forgives us, that He shares our difficulties with us and supports us with His grace.

However, to speak to others of Jesus, one must know and love Him, experience Him in prayer, in listening to His word. You are facilitated in this by your liturgical service, which enables you to be close to Jesus, Word and Bread of life. I will give you a piece of advice: re-read personally, in silence, the Gospel you hear in the liturgy, and apply it to your life, and, with the love of Christ received in Holy Communion, you will be able to put it into practice. The Lord calls each one of you to work in his field; He calls you to be joyful protagonists in His Church, ready to communicate to your friends what He has communicated to you, especially His mercy.

I understand your difficulties in combining the commitment of serving the Church with your various activities, necessary for your human and cultural growth. It is necessary to organize oneself a bit, to plan things in a balanced way … but you are German, and this comes easily to you! Our life is made up of time and time is a gift of God; hence, it must be used in good and fruitful actions. Perhaps many youngsters and young people waste too many hours in futile things: chatting on the Internet or on mobile phones, watching “soap-operas,” -- products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve one’s quality of life, but sometimes turn attention away from what is really important. Among the many things to do in our daily routine, one of the priorities must be to remind ourselves of our Creator who makes it possible for us to live, who loves us and accompanies us on our way.


Love the nod to German efficiency.

rhhardin said...

"Father, I have helped an old lady across the street. I found a home for a stray cat I found starving in an alley," I began in one such typical appearance, in the shadowy arbor, at the age of eleven or twelve. "I did my homework without being told, and I returned a dime I found in the schoolyard to a boy I knew it belonged to. Instead of keeping it." That was the week that was.

There is a rustle beyond the lattice work, as of the cloth getting a firm grip on itself. At last the whispered response: "And now you are puffed up about these things. Spiritually vain."

"I suppose. I put part of the dough I made at the parish bowling alley in the poor box, and let's see, what else? I don't have pimples from impure thoughts, even though I'm old enough to be thinking about girls. My complexion is clear. All that is pretty well under control, Father. Things are in pretty good shape. In fact apple-pie order."

Another rustle in the ecclesiastical half of the arbor, and this time the answer coming quickly and sharply.

"If you wish to confess the sin of pride, then do so without the commercial if you please. Because I'm busy and there are others waiting. Two Hail Marys."

Peter deVries _The Vale of Laughter_

Anonymous said...

He left out the part about how that "music" they listen to is nothing but noise.

Revenant said...

Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things...

If people didn't spend their time on futile things, priests would be out of work.

traditionalguy said...

@Freeman...Of course you are right as usual. I overlooked that some young people wither away from hostile words directed at them from collective strangers.

But at Churches the targeting seems to be more accurate.

Fen said...

"products of technological progress, which should simplify and improve one’s quality of life, but sometimes turn attention away from what is really important."

Thanks Lydia for posting that speech in full so we could get the context.

Ann Althouse said...

Fen thanks Lydia for context that was in the original post!

LOL.

CStanley said...

He's right, of course, and it hits a nerve for me too, though I'm no longer young. Thank you, Papa, for the gentle reminder.

CStanley said...

Heh. I am returning though, to also thank Prof. Althouse for posting it, and the irony hit me.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds right to me about not wasting time. But wouldn't that apply also to many hours spent receiving sacraments from priests over and over and over like they didn't really work the first few hundred times a year."

Alas, catholics are bible believers. Not like some protestants who pull something out of their arse and then vote on it.

Anonymous said...

"Now that individual freedom stuff should scare any Religious Institution, whether Jewish, Catholic, Reformed, or Muslim. But it probably doesn't scare Pentecostals who have always accepted a direct connectivity from practice of the Spiritual gifts"


Case in point of making your stuff up. And the writer propably calls himself a "bible believer".


Btw, you're wrong about the muslims. they don't have a central authority. They can make stuff up like they want. As shown by their fatwa's.

sinz52 said...

Someone should remind the Pope that there are wonderful Bible apps for smartphones.

For example, for Android smartphones, you can get the entire Bible in dozens of different versions in dozens of different languages (King James, Revised Standard, etc.), along with learning plans for specific topics (coping with illness, learning about sin, etc.).

That Bible app is installed on tens of millions of smartphones worldwide.

And with social media, you and your friends can study the Bible together. Friends who could be located on the other side of the world.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sirma.mobile.bible.android&hl=en

[Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with that app or its vendor in any way]

Fen said...

Ann Althouse: Fen thanks Lydia for context that was in the original post!

LOL.



Yes, I got better context from reading the entire speech than from the snippet you chose.

I know where your snark is coming from, but ya gotta ask: why are you letting me in your head? It just makes you look silly.

Thorley Winston said...

Thank you Mark, Marc Puckett, and Lydia for providing links to and the actual full text of his remarks. Reading the entire thing took less time and was more enlightening than the article with the except which seemed to completely missed the point of the Pope’s remarks. Glad that I know where to go the next time someone posts a story about the Pope’s remarks so that I can get the full story of what actually happened.

I too loved the joke about German efficiency. Even when translated the humor came across pretty well and in my mind’s eye I pictured a speaker relaxed and confident as he connected with a much young audience. And I’d be willing to bet that he smiled rather than scowled throughout his speech which is not the impression you’d get from the article.

Just Mike said...

It is not a trivial remark. looking back on my life there are many hours wasted that I wish I could recoup. But get this - I still waste plenty of time on trivial things, procrastiantion etc. A bug in our programming (DNA)?

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Freeman Hunt said...

Spell casting spam! That's new. And in a Pope thread!

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