Monday, February 3, 2014

In the World

A while back I immersed myself in Catholic books (along with Catholic CDs, web sites, and smoke signals). I left behind ordinary television, deciding there wasn't anything good enough to watch to be worth the level of negative influence found in the worldly experience of the shows and their commercials. I also switched to primarily listening to Christian rock instead of popular rock, or whatever I listened to before. I didn't give up movies or other forms of entertainment, but I at least picked things where I might have more control (and by the way, if you can watch five movies, all five should be Man of Steel).

These days this means I'll watch things on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube, but no broadcast TV. The flexibility and control works better with demanding children ("snack, water, snack!)", and when I'm sensible it allows me to still protect myself from the negative influences I prefer to avoid (except some violence-provoking toddler shows, which I just can't avoid).

I'm mostly happy with the setup, but there are some problems. First, I seem to have burnt out on Catholic media, and to an extent, my interest in the faith in general (though I still try to pray frequently throughout the day). I don't know if this is because the adventure of conversion is gone, and I am bored by the ordinary, or if it's because of disappointments in my experience of Catholic life and with my fellow Catholics, or something else. I do think I need to bring some of that adventure back by engaging in some ministries, maybe evangelization (because the faith is still true, whether I'm interested or not), and hopefully I can change my own heart, and also spend more time with engaging Catholics. Then, perhaps I will find a greater, more lasting, interest in the faith. I don't know.

Another problem is that by avoiding TV and radio and their commercials, I feel a greater disconnect with people. I'm slow to hear news, or discover the new shows and movies. And I don't have a liking for sports, so that's out too. In short, I don't know what people are talking about half the time (people, come on, what are you talking about??), and I get left out of conversations or I just seem weird and uninteresting (in reality, I'm weird and moderately interesting, come on!). Also, I am perhaps bothered too much by people who talk in a worldly manner, with lots of crudity, swearing, or other kinds of annoying immaturity.

In this respect am I living in the world while not being of the world, as I'm supposed to? Or am I managing, through my failings to just end up being of the world in a less common way, while avoiding my mission out in the world?

Don't answer that.

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