An algorithm is “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.”

Google utilizes algorithms to predict what its visitors are searching for based on the volume of searches for a particular person, place or thing. Type a solitary letter into the search box and Google’s algorithm gives you what most people are looking for that day. I realize Google has not imported a Catholic algorithm, but I thought I would test their system with a letter by letter search. The results say much more about our culture than anyone would want to admit.

“A” is not for “apostle,” it’s for Amazon. The apostles may have gone to the four corners of the world after the Resurrection, but Amazon has morphed from a mega shopping site to a multimedia entertainment juggernaut.

“B” is not for “Bible,” but for “Bank of America.” Well, at least it seems like a grown-up kind of search.

No, “C” is not for Catholic, it’s for “craigslist.” Enough said.

“D” is not for “disciple,” but it is a close second after “Dodgers.”

“E” is not for “evangelist,” but rather, it is for “ebay.” If you are picking up a pattern of a heavy trend toward commerce, you are correct.

“F” is not for “family,” it is for Facebook, where family members fight with one another over religion and politics to no one’s satisfaction.

"G” is not for “God,” but for a false god: “Google.” And isn’t “Googling” Google an attempt at perpetual motion?

“H” is not for “holy,” but for “Home Depot.” Now, I have been accused of regular weekend pilgrimages to this home improvement store, so maybe I am a sort of pilgrim.

“I” is not for “INRI,” but for “Instagram,” another false god that has wrapped so many young people within tentacles of narcissism and worse.

“J” — and you knew this was coming — is not for “Jesus,” but Jet Blue.

“K” is not for “kingdom come,” but for Kohls, where you can get last year’s designer clothes.

“L” is not for “love,” but for “Lowes,” which I kind of love as well. (See “H”.)

“M” is not for “Mary,” but for maps — Google Maps more precisely, though the directions the Blessed Mother gives will get you where you really need to be and help you avoid the “traffic.”

“N” is not for the “Nazarene,” but for “news” — one of the very few non-commercial search terms found on Google. So, we should be grateful for little victories, I guess.

“O” is not for “obedience” to the word of the Lord, but for obedience to the fashion gods of “Old Navy.”

“P” is not for “Pharisee,” but it should be. Instead, when typing the 16th letter of the alphabet, one will be directed to “Pizza Hut.”

“Q” is not for … OK, you got me here. I couldn’t think of a theological “Q” so readers will have to send in their suggestions. If you type the letter “Q” into Google though you come up with “Quizlet,” which, from a very rudimentary search, looks like a worthwhile educational site for helping kids learn.

“R” is not for “Reformation,” but, then again, who is. On Google though, the letter will send you to actress Rose McGowan, who is a highly sought-after topic based on the scandal of the movie mogul and not very nice man Harvey Weinstein.

“S” is not for “Savior” and it should be. It is for “Southwest,” as in the airline. It may get you off the Earth, but, unlike the Savior, it can only take you to the mid-level of the stratosphere.

“T” is not for “Theotokos,” but rather for Target, where you will only find the mother of all Presidents Day sales.

“U” is not for “Universal” (as in Catholic), but for United Airlines. (See “S”.)

“V” is not for “Virgin Mary,” with her foot on the head of a snake, but for “Vans,” as in the footwear.

“W” is not for “Wotyla” (as in St. John Paul II), but for “weather,” even though St. John Paul II was a rock of the Faith, no matter which way the wind blew.

“X” is not for “Xystus I.” What, you don’t know who St. Xystus I was? He was a second century saint/pope (thank you Catholic Encyclopedia). On Google, “X” marks the “xFinity” spot, a 21st century cable company showing the kind of programming St. Xystus would probably not have approved.

“Y” is not for “Yahweh,” but for “YouTube.” Forget about burning bushes, parted seas and building a nation of chosen people from which a Savior will come. Instead, we have cat videos!

And finally, we have “Z,” which is not for “zeal” which a lot of us could use more of when it comes to our Faith, but for “Zillow,” a real estate website.

At the 2015 Christmas Midnight Mass, Pope Francis cautioned about a “society so often intoxicated by consumerism and hedonism.” The Google algorithm is that warning in electronic form. Pope Francis may not have had Google on his mind the night of his homily, but his advice to “dwell daily from the wellspring of prayer” would be quite the better alternative to Google’s cauldron.