Skip to main content

Lent, Dopamine, and Global Christianity

February 23, 2023 3 min read
Sunrise over the planet

Unfolding divisions in the heart of the Anglican Church (also known as the Church of England) speak to larger spiritual movements in Christianity around the world. Recently, Anglican church leadership in England voted to authorize clergy to bless same-sex unions, although marriage is still defined as being between one man and one woman. This compromise seems to have left everyone unsatisfied, and the Anglican archbishops of Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria have rebuffed the decision.

For many, Europe has long been regarded as the center of Christendom, and it is the home of some of the world’s oldest and largest denominations. But as the center of the worldwide Christian population continues to shift away from the West toward regions like Africa and Asia – and as Western culture continues to forsake its founding spiritual vision – the question arises as to what the future of worldwide Christian leadership will look like. In the case of the Anglican dispute, the first hints of an answer may already be visible: the more “extended” version of this English denomination is thriving at a much higher level outside of England than within, and the demography is on the side of orthodoxy.

Father Mike Schmitz gives practical insights into how we can experience a fruitful Lent.

Pope Francis encouraged Christians to approach this Lent as a time “to take stock of ourselves, to free ourselves from the dictatorship of full schedules, crowded agendas, and superficial needs, and choose the things that truly matter.”

The season of Lent is a good time to take stock of the hold our “screens” have on us and the superficial needs they fulfill. One philosopher offers a timely reflection on the sort of unproductive morning experienced by many, where the constant use of smartphones and other electronic media drains the humanity from our day before it even begins.

Another author dives into the profound addictions many have developed to their screens, even if they are reluctant to admit it. He proposes something becoming more common in both religious and non-religious circles: a dopamine fast.

A recent essay from The Public Discourse explores a related topic: that of the virtual sex industry, which has boomed since the original Covid-19 lockdowns. Fueled by increasing loneliness and financial anxiety, this industry has distorted healthy views of self and relationships and has taught many firsthand that, the results of the sexual liberation movement have been anything but freedom.

Much of Christian life is experienced as an absence of God (Lent), a waiting for the God who is with us (Advent). Contemplating art helps to shape our vision, assisting Christians in understanding what it means to wait and the God for whom we are waiting.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Spiritual Testament – a document popes write to be released upon their deaths – addresses the relationship between faith and science (a topic frequently covered on our site.)

One scientist who used his expertise to further the cause of human dignity was the Venerable Jerome Lejeune, “The Father of Modern Genetics,” who was the first scientist to correlate a disability to a genetic anomaly.

Finally, a Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Champion comments on the role of his Catholic faith.

Recent Updates

Baptism of Augustine

The Opportunity of Our Apostolic Age

Learn more about The Opportunity of Our Apostolic Age
Benedictine monastery

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Learn more about Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary