Saturday, July 10, 2021


Have people's cell phone habits stated to seriously get on your nerves too? 

Well, there is now a word for those obnoxious habits! 


Mobile phones have become a ubiquitous part of modern life. Not only do they serve as a way to communicate, but they also act as a social network tool, personal organizer, online shopping tool, calendar, alarm clock, and mobile bank. While they are without a doubt beneficial devices, some suggest that overreliance on digital devices may be a form of behavioral addiction. 

In fact, the term nomophobia was coined fairly recently to describe the fear of being without your phone. This includes not just losing, forgetting, or breaking your phone, but also being outside of mobile phone contact. It is a growing concern in a world where always being connected seems more important than ever before. When people lose their phone, when their mobile runs out of battery, or when they are in an area with no cellular coverage, it can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety—or even feelings of fear or panic.

This fear of being without a mobile device is often considered a sign of problematic digital device use, which some experts believe may have a detrimental impact on mental health and well-being.

Frequent mobile phone use has the potential to cause short-term negative outcomes such as increased distraction, but it may also have long-term consequences such as exacerbating existing mental health issues or contributing to behavioral addictions.


Have you ever found yourself getting anxious or even panicked when you couldn't find your phone? Does the thought of being stranded in an isolated place with no cellular service fill you with a sense of dread? If so, you just might have some of the symptoms of nomophobia.

Nomophobia is an abbreviated form of "no-mobile-phone phobia." The term was first coined in a 2008 study that was commissioned by the UK Postal Office. In a sample of more than 2,100 adults, the study indicated that 53% of participants experienced nomophobia. The condition is characterized by feelings of anxiety when people lose their phones, run out of battery life, or have no cellular coverage.

The study revealed that this fear can be so powerful that many people never turn off their phones, even at night or during times that they won't be using their devices.1 When asked why they never turn off their phones, 55% cited a need to keep in touch with family and friends, 10% said they needed to be contactable for work reasons, and 9% reported that turning off their phones made them anxious.

The fear of missing out on something is perhaps what leads so many people to report that they would respond to a call or text even if they are in the middle of something else. The study revealed that people were often willing to interrupt life activities in order to respond to a call. The majority of people (80%) were willing to answer a call while watching television, 40% would respond to a call while eating a meal, and 18% would be willing to answer the phone when they were in bed with another person.

How Common Is It?

While the research on the phenomenon is still limited, the available findings suggest that nomophobia is quite common. One study of students in India found that more than 22% of participants showed signs of severe nomophobia. Around 60% of those who took part in the study had moderate signs of the condition.


A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder that is characterized by an irrational fear of an object or situation. In this instance, the fear is of being without a phone or being out of the reach of cell phone service.

While nomophobia is not a clinical diagnosis, some of the symptoms that are commonly identified as related to this fear include:

  • The inability to turn off your phone
  • Constantly checking your phone for missed messages, emails, or calls
  • Charging your battery even when your phone is almost fully charged
  • Taking your phone with you everywhere you go, even into the bathroom
  • Repeatedly checking to make sure that you have your phone
  • Fear of being without Wifi or being able to connect to a cellular data network
  • Worrying about negative things happening and not being able to call for help
  • Stress over being disconnected from one’s online presence or identity
  • Skipping activities or planned events in order to spend time on the mobile device

In addition to emotional and cognitive symptoms, people may also experience physical symptoms as well. People might breathe faster, their heart rate may increase, they may sweat more, and may shake or tremble. They may also begin to feel weak or dizzy. In severe cases, these fear symptoms can escalate into a panic attack.

Characteristics of Nomophobia

In a 2015 study, researchers identified some key dimensions of nomophobia.3 The fear of being without a phone center on:

  • Not being able to communicate with others
  • Feeling generally disconnected
  • Not being able to access information
  • Giving up a convenience

People with this phobia check their phones constantly, take their phones everywhere they go (including the shower and bathroom), spend many hours per day using their phones, and experience feelings of helplessness when they are separated from their phones.

Studies have shown that frequent or compulsive mobile phone use is connected to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Excessive phone use has been linked to a number of negative effects that include decreased grades, increased anxiety, lower life satisfaction, and a lower sense of overall well-being.

Thursday, July 8, 2021


                                                    ........NOW I KNOW!



Tuesday, July 6, 2021



Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-5

There is a constant stream of condemnation these days coming from religious leaders because of society’s “opposition to our values.” More and more religious blogs, websites and pastoral letters decry “moral relativism” and “secularism.” While most of what they say may be true, I believe that simply pumping out condemnations of others is a cheap and easy way for designated spiritual leaders to feel good about themselves. If what is being said is true, then we need to look at how we have failed our culture as spiritual leaders and quit blaming those we are called to lead.  Instead of asking “What’s wrong with you people?” I think we should be asking ourselves, “Why are we not convincing enough to change the culture? What’s wrong with our style of leadership? What is it about us that people won't listen to us? ” Jesus was right, “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light." (Luke 16:8)

Personally, I like to shift the focus from "them" to "me." “How can I improve my ability to influence this culture?” “How can I be more effective as a spiritual leader?” Why is what I am doing, and the way I am doing it, not working? Why am I not able to sell our values and convince people to buy into our message? 

I have always been moved by the words of St. Gregory the Great who wrote the classic On Pastoral Care. “Although those who have no knowledge of the power of drugs shrink from presenting themselves as physicians of the flesh, there are those who are utterly ignorant of spiritual precepts but not afraid of professing themselves to be physicians of the heart.” What he is saying is this: if we claim to be serious spiritual leaders worth listening to, then we need to be able to deliver on those claims - we need to be spiritual leaders in fact, not just in name!

When I taught future priests over at Saint Meinrad Seminary, the next generation of spiritual leaders in the forefront of the Church, I told them, over and over again, that it is not good enough for them to be personally pious, they must be able to be effective as spiritual leaders if they are to influence today’s culture. In other words, it is not enough to make sure their parishioners to see golden light coming out of their rectories, they must be able to drive through their parishes and see golden light coming out of the homes of their parishioners.

Instead of tedious and grating condemnations and criticisms of our culture, I think it would be more helpful for those of us in church leadership to step back periodically and ask ourselves where we have failed that has allowed things to have gotten this bad. Why were we not able to influence the culture more effectively? If we supposedly have “the Truth,” why do people not listen to us? The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche may have some advice for us. “Let us stop thinking so much about punishing, criticizing and improving others. Instead, let us rather raise ourselves that much higher. Let us color our own example with ever more vividness.” 

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? 

In the last 20 years, I have lectured at priest retreats, convocations and study days, usually a week at a time, in well over one hundred dioceses in ten countries. My topic is usually about the quality of our spiritual leadership and our need to get better at it. 

Maybe our biggest problem in the church today is not the sexual abuse scandal, but the failure of religious leadership that led to that scandal and the absence of credible witnesses from our leadership in general. Maybe we need to remove the beams from our own eyes, so that we can see better to remove the splinters in the eyes of those around us.








Sunday, July 4, 2021


Brother Justin Ayanou OSB on the right, Brother Gaetan Agouvi OSB  in the middle and myself on the left. 
After six years of supporting some of their personal needs while they studied for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad Archabbey through my R J MISSION PROJECTS fund, they are leaving to return to their home abbey in the country of Togo on July 8. They will be ordained to the priesthood after they get home.  We have shared many visits and meals together in the last six years as well as four or five more monks before them. I've said it once and I will say it again - one of the biggest blessings of my life in the last fifty years has been the incredible number of friends I have from all over the world. 


in the French speaking country of 
Brother Justin Ayanou OSB

Brother Gaetan Agouvi OSB

This grainy old photo was taken in August, 2015, when they first arrived at Saint Meinrad. In the middle, was Brother David who went back to their Abbey (below) to be ordained about the time Brother Justin (on the right) and Brother Gaetan (on the left) arrived to begin studies at Saint Meinrad. The language of their country is French. 

The Abbey of the Ascension
Togo, Africa