Maybe St. Francis had a lesson to teach in Monday's woes ...
Yesterday’s Facebook network issue caused the main Facebook site to be down for hours. Other apps owned by Facebook — WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger and others — were also silent. Early reports indicate that the server problem was not the work of a security issue or hacker.
For some, the event meant that they were just interrupted from their causal scrolling and leisurely social connections. For others, the day meant a host of issues at work, since many businesses widely use Facebook and its various properties.
Here we have the opportunity to pause, however, and reflect on Monday’s events. Do they have anything significant to say in terms of the spiritual life?
Monday’s outage coincided with the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He is known by various diminutives and monikers, including “God’s fool” and “the Seraphic Doctor”; my favorite is Il poverello (“the little poor one”). Monday’s outage may well be entirely coincidental with il poverello’s feast.
But that’s not very interesting to conclude. If, however, we are willing to allow the occasion to be providential, rather than mere coincidence, we have richer fodder for our reflection.
We might think that the poor man of Assisi was encouraging us to spend less time on our phones and more time talking to God. Or we could consider that maybe Mark Zuckerberg’s loss of billions in mere hours is a moment for us to pause and realize just how quickly all our material gains can be lost. Perhaps you’ve already drawn your own conclusions…