Rays of Hope – protecting children online

Rays of Hope – protecting children online

by Sr. Margaret Anne Meyer MMM       USA       02.03.2023

Sometime ago I wrote to you about protecting our children online. The situation seems to be getting worse and so many organizations were contacting their legislators without much avail to stop this child sexual material from appearing in so many online platforms. The ages of the children affected were getting as low as 5 to 7.

Recently, on January 27th, Mother Mary seemed to answer our prayers, in sending help through a man, Russ Tuttle, whose dynamic presentations in middle schools were reaching thousands of children to explain what was going on in words they could understand. I heard him speak online with glowing passion how to encourage children to tell their parents if they found something online which made them feel uncomfortable. For the younger children to say they found a secret and needed help to deal with it. For the twelve-year-olds, Russ called it a cockroach which could be got rid of with their parents help.

The reviews of the teachers, school nurses, law enforcement officers and many students from elementary grades to high school were excellent. The presenter was able to get to the students’ level and provided a way out of despair and feelings like wanting to commit suicide. The teachers were delighted in the enthusiastic approach of the students. They were listening to the reality of the situation and wanting help from their parents to combat this horrible situation.

Russ stressed the importance of building up the self-image of a child. Many feel lonely and have a need for a friend to understand them. Any online platform that has a chat box or message system can lead to an older man posing as a young friend and luring them into a meeting place. For more information about his presentation, please look at a short video on <Stop trafficking project.com/bealert.html>
Yes, there is a ray of hope! This dreadful situation of the world we live in today makes one think that nothing like this ever happened before. Yet after the Resurrection, the apostles were gathered together in fear and Jesus came through locked doors saying “Peace be with you. “ Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, repeats the message of Jesus today in his address to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The following is taken from (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/2/2023)

“The peace of Jesus, ” which is also given to us in every Mass”, Pope Francis said in the first part of his homily, recalling the Gospel account of the first encounter of the Risen Jesus with his disciples, and read during the liturgy, “comes from the resurrection, because the Lord first had to defeat our enemies, sin and death, and reconcile the world to the Father. He had to experience our solitude and abandonment, our hell”. In this first encounter, the risen Jesus, greeting them with the words “peace be with you”, proclaims and delivers peace to his disciples even as his disciples’ hearts “were downcast”. Jesus’ peace arrived at the very moment when, suddenly and to their surprise, everything seemed to be over for them, without even a glimmer of peace. That is what the Lord does: he surprises us; he takes us by the hand when we are falling; he lifts us up when we are hitting rock bottom”. In this context, “in a world disheartened by violence and war, Christians must be like Jesus”. They keep peace in their hearts and offer it to the world, relying on what Jesus himself Pope Francis continues – points out to us as the three sources of peace: forgiveness, community, and mission.”

Yes, may families find these three sources of peace. Is this tragedy a call to a deeper sense of family life where parents and children are free to talk things over with one another? It is said that children these days never felt lonelier even though well connected by electronic devices. Is it a commitment to a deeper love and understanding of one another? -All finding a sense of purpose in life despite all the violence bombarding us from all sides. This is what the Holy Father is asking us to be “RAYS OF HOPE IN OUR TROUBLED WORLD.”