A man was in a local shop and, when it came to paying, the shop assistant asked if he wanted to use the contactless function on the debit card machine. This meant simply putting his card close to the machine and the money would be taken from his account. Walking away from the shop, he became uneasy in his spirit. He reflected on his experience over the next few days, and came to understand why he felt uneasy. It is this: society and technology at times move us to a presumption of no contact with each other- a ‘contactless society’ if you will.

Today’s society seems to be moving towards a place where our own existence and needs are of primary importance and meeting these needs can be done without contact with another live human being. Not only that, but less contact with others means less insight into the needs of others as well, and we are less able to know and care for our fellow human beings.

Chiara Lubich, president of the Focolare Movement, said “The one who is close to other people, serving them in their minutest needs – as Jesus commanded – also understands the huge problems of the human race. But the one who, lacking charity, sits at a desk from dawn till dusk, dealing with and discussing the great problems of the world, ends up not understanding those few problems that weigh down the brother or sister nearby.”

(Reflection based on the book Finding God in the Mess, Meditations for Mindful Living by Jim Deeds & Brendan McManus SJ)