Finding God on YouTube

At first glance that phrase sounds like an oxymoron.  Find God on arguably one of the most frivolous of websites right alongside adorable children, cute fuzzy animals, and hilarious (to us anyway) goof-ups?  Seriously?

Yes, seriously.  I was skeptical too.

I used YouTube as many do, as a relaxation tool, exploring new music, reliving old sporting events and the like.

Then, one day, I became bored with all of that.  I asked myself what I would find if I were to type Rosary into the search box.  I found so many pages of Rosary videos I hardly knew which one to click on first.

It was marvelous.  So many different types of videos.

Some used movie clips to illustrate the mysteries.  Some used pictures of stained glass windows from churches all over the world.  Some used classical religious art.

Some Rosaries are sung, some chanted, most are simply and reverently recited in just about any language you might wish.  Some add appropriate hymns and prayers.

I began to explore these videos, using a new one every day in my prayer time and quickly made a list of my favorites.  I began to search for other prayers, such as the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and incorporated them into my daily prayer routine as well.

And then great things began to happen.  Prayers that I used to have to discipline myself to stay focused on became a joy.  The images I found focused my mind on the meaning behind the words, grounding me in deeper contemplation and touching me in ways I could not have foreseen.

Day by day I began to see the sorrowful face of Christ crucified looking, not off into the distance somewhere, but directly at me.  I couldn’t get enough!

What’s so compelling about praying with video?  Why should anyone consider it?

Because some people learn by reading, some by speaking and repeating.   Some learn visually.  Most of us learn best using some combination of these techniques that is unique to the individual.

The prayer videos on YouTube mirror this combination technique.   Each individual who takes the time to create these videos does so out of devotion to and love of Our Lord.

And all these videos have the potential to either deepen the faith of a believer or reach someone who is still learning to respond to the faith buried deep inside.

These devout Catholics have quietly and systematically evangelized YouTube.  They have inspired me, challenged me, and helped me to deepen my faith.  I can hardly wait to create my own first video, to express to others the devotion and love I feel.

Copyright © 2012, Carol Ann Chybowski

Carol Ann Chybowski

Carol Ann Chybowski

Carol Ann Chybowski is a long time member of the Catholic Writers Guild. She has published book reviews at various websites and appears in two volumes of A Community of Voices: An Anthology of Santa Barbara. When not busy about her parish, Carol Ann can be found knitting, gardening, or on horseback.

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