Our countries are paralysed by the fear of ‘fake news’. Obviously, sometimes it is convenient for reigning governments to find a scapegoat country who is ‘poisoning our democracy by planting fake news’.
Then the collective trembling and desire to fight back comes. Fake news seem to be the straightforward consequence of the world becoming thousand and thousand times fragmented. The cyber-space and multi-channel communication technologies are just a good ground to increase this fragmentation when the ‘real’ becomes unscrutinizably un-real.
Whatever the source of this getting entangled with the ‘fake’, it seems that Christian’s have the ‘philosophers’ stone’. There is one thing, only one, according to our Creed, that can wash us clean from fake realities. There is only one option that unquestionably resists all reality-manipulations. This is the regular engagement with the Divine Word revealed in the Scriptures. The Benedictine lectio divina, and the ‘divine office’, the community’s regular prayers based on the Old and New Testaments - unifies the world in us as real. Outside this realm, everything else is manipulation and superficiality.
So let us read the words of the Gospel in this spirit, as the anti-dote to ‘fake news’. ‘And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? And what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. But when ye shall hear of wars and commutations, be not terrified: but the end is not by and by.’ (Luke 21,5-end)
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..