GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
with Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

GOOD NEWS VIA WWW.

Several months ago, a friend of mine encouraged me to advertise my tapes on the Internet. A few of my other friends said to me: "Oh, Sister, be careful, Satan is on the Internet." I then heard that the Vatican itself had a Home Page there. I thought: "Well, throughout history, the Catholic Church has taken pagan things and raised them to glorify God, including former pagan temples which are now glorious Catholic places of worship. And we know that wherever evil might exist, so can God be there for the sake of His Kingdom and the salvation of souls. I joined CompuServe first and got involved with a Catholic Forum therein called Catholic Online. With the communications going to about 140 countries, I thought..."This is a great way to evangelize." I joined at the end of September and soon enough found out that I could be "evangelizing" there 24 hours a day, if I had the time.

I know what has been on the news recently about the pornography for which members of CompuServe have been an instrument around the world. I do not condone that evil, that's for sure and I am proud of Germany for its complaint and wish other governments, including our own, would make similar rejections. But CompuServe, like the Internet on a broader scale, is like one world-wide library. There may be books therein that are trash, but it doesn't mean that every book in the library is such nor that God cannot use a world wide web of information for good. Our dear Lord did say: "Go into the whole world and preach the Good News..." We Catholics and Christians must utilize the legitimate means of doing just that. Go out to the whole world and tell the Good News.

Evil exists all around us. How do we know if the companies from whom we buy our groceries, our cars, clothes, etc. are composed of sinful persons? Should we crawl into our closets, sucking our thumbs with fear of existing and working for God because there is so much sin around us? Did Our Lord run away in fear? Did the saints and founders of Religious Orders> How about bishops, priests, and laity who suffered in prisons in China for living their Catholic faith? They were surrounded by Communist thought and control...a great evil...yet worked to carry out Our Lord's command to preach the Good News.

Let us not forget that Scripture teaches us that where sin abounded...grace did more abound. Our Lord told us that the weeds must grow with the wheat. We have to live IN the world but do not have to be part OF the world that forgoes God and the things of God. It is God's Will that we use what He has given us for good.

Solid Catholic teaching must become part of this modern electronic world in which we live. We must bring God into the world wide web of fast information. Imagine being able to turn on a computer and read our Holy Father's Christmas message to the world the same evening. Imagine being able to have at your fingertips his latest statements, the documents of the Vatican Council, information about the Liturgy, past popes, Church history, the writings of any pope in history, the list of all the popes who reigned and information about them. How about reading the lives and writings of a number of saints and having quick access to the Summa Theologica?

These and millions of other facts about the Church and its teaching can be found on the Internet. As a matter of fact, as I roam through the Internet, I am almost overcome at the amount of "holy" information that is available there. I think it would be impossible for a person to read everything there in several years of reading. A library, folks. A huge library that covers the world...where access to information is faster than the speed of sound. 14,400 bits of information per second...or 28,800 bits of information per secton. How could one find information that fast in an ordinary library? Impossible.

For persons who cannot take the time nor have the funds to buy all of the spiritual reading they would like to have...well, sitting at home before the computer, may provide the rich information they desire.

In case you are worried about the cost of having access to the Internet which can be achieved by itself and apart from CompuServe, American On-line, etc., let me advise you to inquire in your local area. Look in the yellow pages in the computer section, listen to radio morning drive time spots (on your way to work or back home after Daily Mass). There may be a local company that gives you unlimited access to the Internet for a very reasonable cost. I found one here in Omaha for under $17. a month and with unlimited access.

I am pleased that A CALL TO PEACE is now available on the world wide web of the Internet. One will never know how many souls can be reached and touched by this modern means of communication.

I also hope you'll visit my Home Page, too, when it is completed. In the meantime, if you can...search the WWW for that which will aid your spiritual life and bring you closer to God. Peace and Good Will!