Popular Media and Catholic Prayer
If you look at my profile one of my favorite authors is Dom (Fr) Savinien Louismet, a Benedictine priest. He wrote in the 1920's and for me there is no one better on Prayer, all its conditions, all its paths, all its styles and what takes place as we move deeper and deeper through prayer into Divine Contemplation. His language is flowery but simple, very easily understood and not boring. Here is his take of those times and their media. No discerning catholic can deny it has not got any better. Reality tells us it has become even more dreadful. Then the evil magic lantern called Television with its ease of digitally editing very close not just to words but to letter by letter. Then coupling this way of making false any interviewee, we can add the basic dishonesty of the Major TV stations and their greed for both power and money influencing falsely our minds and opinions who brush aside any moral or ethical worries. Do not think for one moment I exaggerate as I was a witness to their ways, being their personally. Hers is the good father's take
"The Church makes her contemplatives read A great deal, and of course expects them to assimilate, by thoughtful consideration, what they read. The Priest with his daily breviary; the Religious with his or her choir-office; the fervent Christian, who follows in detail the development of the sacred liturgy throughout the year. What readers they are obliged to be! Into what rich soil they plunge the roots of their attention and affections! What essential juices they constantly imbibe and assimilate! Then there are the books of God, Nature, the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Crucifix, and the human heart-to be diligently conned by them. And they may add the books written by the servants of God to elucidate these books of God, What
a vast field for holy readings and thoughtful consideration is opened before us! On the other hand, the world, too, imposes a mighty deal of reading on its votaries: Periodicals without number-filled with deliberate lies, or suppression of the truth, to suit the needs of political parties; with unwholesome, poisonous, vitriolic, hellish faked history; with garbage literature of infinite variety, pandering to all the morbid appetites of an effete society;and books of demi-science, with trumpery articles on all the branches of human speculation, creating the impression that man, puny man, has solved all the riddles of the universe, fathomed all the great deeps above his head and under his feet, and weighed God in the balance and found Him wanting! Man, that thing of yesterday, whose body, tomorrow, rots in the grave, while his soul goes to its judgment!
From such mental seed what harvest can be expected but utter bewilderment, anarchy of thought, desperate materialism with its attendant evils? A plentiful crop of these evils we see ripening under our eyes, promising a terrible reaping in the near future. The horrible world war we have just gone through; the present labor unrest with its arrogant, unreasonable demands; Bolshevism rampant everywhere : what are these but the fruits of that precious so-called liberty of the Press! This is not liberty', but the most unbridled license--license to utter, declaim, print, lead, disseminate broadcast, without check or restraint, monstrous, immoral, blasphemous, subversive doctrines. A stronger social order than ours would soon suffer disintegration under such powerful dissolvents. As for the effect on the individual--it is simply frightful.
Do most people in our midst, now-a-days, know whether there is a God or whether they have an immortal soul or whether there is such a thing as moral responsibility? They are no longer quite sure of anything. They hold that it would be wrong for anyone to rob them or kill them: but it is not so clear to them that, for instance, adultery is a crime. One thing only looms big before their mental vision: they must have what they call "a good time " I they want to amuse the themselves and following out this simple program, they proceed to make a hash of their lives. And under all their dissipation, there is a sadness bordering upon despair.
If a Christian dabbles in this sort of literature, he unfits himself for divine contemplation. If he must touch it, through no choice of his own, and under pressure of circumstances, he must surround himself with every sanitary precaution that prudence can suggest, otherwise he runs mortal risk : he is like a man who would rashly handle poisonous gases or powerful acids, without putting on a mask to protect his face, or gloves to save his hands.
There are those among the educated and wealthy who think that they cannot possibly find a place in the order of their day for holy reading. Let me tell them bluntly: You do not want to; you have no relish for it. That is the plain truth.
No time for holy reading! If those same unworthy Christians would write down an enumeration of all the items of newspapers, novels, and other frivolous reading they contrive to get into a week, they would be amazed at the quantity. Now it is simply a case of this will kill that. Either holy reading or pernicious reading: it is clear that the two cannot thrive together: either holy reading and as its fruit, divine contemplation or no holy reading at all, and, as a fatal consequence,no divine contemplation (prayer) at all".
Labels: Liberty of the Press, Louismet, media, Prayer, savenien