Do you read the newspaper? Or watch the news on TV? Or follow current events on the internet or social media? Why? What are you looking for there? Does it bring you pleasure to be informed, or do you feel somehow obliged to keep up with everything? I ask you this because I know that the obligation to be well-informed may not be as strict as we sometimes imagine, and the pleasure that comes from knowledge of current events can lead us along on a hopeless quest for contentment apart from God. This is why St. Ignatius wanted the people who made his spiritual exercises to withdraw themselves from the hustle and bustle of the news cycle.
St. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, asked that, “first of all, supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior.” We may count St. Paul’s request as at least one reason to keep abreast of current events. We should be praying for all in authority, not just political authorities, but also cultural and professional authorities. As you survey the news, then, don’t forget to pray.