June 7, 2021 (282 words)
Many adult believers have a conversion story to tell, of how they came back to the faith after a period of doubt or outright rebellion. Now that they have returned to the fold, many exhibit a new appreciation for the strictures they once rejected. These folks are inclined to be wary of the contemporary world in all its manifestations, especially when it comes to what passes for entertainment these days.
And let’s face it, there is a lot to be to be wary of. There is a lot on television and at the movies one should keep at arm’s lengths, and approach with a great deal of caution. A discriminating eye is most definitely called for. To avoid any chance of temptation toward sin, the prudent individual may decide to steer clear and avoid all exposure. That’s certainly one way to address the situation.
But doing so keeps us from experiencing an awful lot of the world’s beauty, and of gaining an awful lot of insight into the human condition.
Yes, it’s true, renouncing television and movies can in some cases deepen one’s spiritual practice and be a path to holiness. It can even become the foundation of a religious vocation. On the other hand, sifting through the trash to find the more edifying aspects of the visual medium can lead to a greater appreciation of God’s abundant creation – a greater appreciation of God’s glory.
It all depends on one’s given disposition. And on one’s ability to consume entertainment in something other than a passive manner. When one brings an active discernment to the watching of television and movies, such activity can enhance one’s prayer life, instead of automatically undermining it.
Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
June 7, 2021