One of the highlights of my visits to Italy in recent years has been inspiring conversation with Jonah Lynch, always accompanied by beer and gelato, and even better, both. Jonah is a priest of the Fraternity of San Carlo, a theologian, writer, musician, educator and friend to many.
A couple of years ago he (US born) published a book in Italian entitled “Il Profumo dei Limone” (The Scent of Lemons). Thankfully this book, which quickly became a best-seller in Italy, was recently published in English. One reviewer comments:
In The Scent of Lemons Jonah Lynch considers if technology is stealing something essential from us in return for all it s marvellous gifts. He writes: I feel the urgent need to clarify my relationship with the technologies which in ever more elegant and hidden ways accompany our lives. – He wants to understand, starting from his own experiences, how the exercise of attention, the way we see the world and construct relationships, uses or is used by technology. Today many say: see you on Facebook, instead of see you at the usual bar, what the American writer Wendell Berry calls our lazy willingness to let machines, and the idea of the machine, prescribe the terms and conditions of the life of creatures. Every place is singular, and every person is unique, Lynch writes, and to re-learn this truth it might be necessary to do a little technological fasting. Not to eliminate our freedom, but to joyfully rediscover it.”
Even after reading only the first chapter I was captivated by one of Jonah’s key questions: “What is the difference between laughing in the company of friends, and writing ‘hahahaha’ on a chat screen?
This little book (144 pages) is a captivating, deeply reflective and challenging read. You can sample the first couple of chapters at this link. www.amazon.co.uk.