The Gospel via Text Message
Sr. Tiziana Mazzei speaks about her latest form of apostolate: the social media messaging app WhatsApp. Every morning Sr. Tiziana – who is currently stationed in Rome, Italy – sends a 6-7 minute voice recorded reflection on the Gospel of the day to about 2,000 of her contacts via text message. This new form of evangelization is another embodiment of the charism of the Apostles of the Interior Life which was inspired by Jesus going out of His way to meet the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus met the Samaritan woman where she was at, and Sr. Tiziana meets people where they are at: on their phone.
What inspired you to do these meditations on WhatsApp?
Sr. Simona Panico gave me the idea. [Sr. Simona is one of the Apostles of the Interior Life serving in Rome.] She was sending a WhatsApp message to the Collaborators of your Joy [the lay movement with the charism of the Apostles of the Interior Life] and found it to be fruitful. She said to me, “Why don’t you send a meditation about the Gospel of the day?” I started to do it every now and then, but I saw that people wanted something every day so that it becomes like a habit. Some people say it is like a “healthy addiction to daily meditation”. I started sending the meditations to small groups of people, like our movement. Now there are at least 2,000 people who receive it every day. I would say that it is actually more like 3,000 people because I have heard of people forwarding on the meditations to their contacts and groups. For example, a woman told me that she sends it to her prayer group.
Where do you find inspiration for every meditation?
Usually I read the passages found in the Mass/Liturgy of the day. I find a word or phrase that strikes me and from that the meditation develops. For example, Mary Magdalen who waits at the tomb and is crying; she doesn’t even recognize Jesus talking to her until Jesus calls her by name. I concentrated on how beautiful it is to be called by name by the person you love. I try to develop one idea/aspect every day.
Have you seen any fruit from your labors?
Tons of fruit: people who have gone to confession for the first time in a long time, some who have expressed renewal of their life, renewed marriages, people who were able to console their friends.
This type of apostolate is beautiful for me because I feel helpful as I see that at least once in the day someone heard the Word of God that day. But, it is also immersing me in the Word of God. I start the day with the Word of God, meditating on it throughout the day, I end the day with it, and in the middle of the night I have it at the forefront of my thoughts. Before, I was not that way. I used to read a little bit of everything, but now essentially I read the Bible. It has helped me learn more about the Sacred Scriptures. It helps me pray and remain concentrated on the Word of God.
Also, it is a good apostolate for me since I have Parkinson’s disease and it is thus hard for me to travel around, even if still I can go to various places during the year to do parish missions. This gave me a way to be in contact with so many people. Even at home I am in contact with tons of people.
This is an amazing apostolate for me that gives me strength and enthusiasm and pushes me to get to know more the Word of God and be with the Lord. I thank all the people who listen to the meditations because this also is what pushes me to grow in my love for Scriptures and in love of the Lord.