Monday, March 10, 2008

Television and Virtue - Or lack thereof.....

Some time ago, I began to shun prime-time TV only to discover when I would later attempt to relax and watch one of my old time favorites, that it was not a God-pleasing use of my time. In fact, I can't say I know of a sitcom or drama on prime-time television that isn't God-displeasing in it's promotion of anything but Christian virtue. Most reality programs, outside of those I've seen, for example on the food network, are terribly immoral.

Nearly two years ago, I completely stopped watching those programs because even the best crime shows (you know, the good guy stuff) were based on highly disordered behaviors in criminals - the kind of things I would be better off not knowing about. Most of these programs are permissive to, and even justify SSA and other things contrary to natural law, and God's law.

This says nothing of placing ourselves in the near occasion of sin. It is sinful to willfully place yourself in a position of temptation. What else but lustful thoughts can come from watching any program where cleavage rules and body parts which typically attract the opposite sex, are highlighted in skin-tight clothing?

I am amazed that Catholics or Christians of any denomination can justify watching programs like Desperate Housewives, or Sex in the City. How many people watching these programs consider whether the things they enjoy project values that offend the Ten Commandments? Then again, in today's relativistic society, they are merely trampled on as the "Ten Suggestions".

I don't sit and watch TV because I don't have time. Rather, when it is on, I am mainly listening to it as I work. This means, EWTN gets much of my attention. Alternatively, the cooking channel gets my attention, as well.

We must always ask ourselves: If something is not bad, is it necessarily good?

In other words, too much of something good can result in something bad, such as lack of moderation. Do we spend 2 hours daily watching TV and only 15 minutes in prayer, or merely go to Mass on Sunday with no daily prayer? A good test is to count the hours you spend on TV or even the Internet in a week, on average, and compare that to the amount of time you give God in prayer.

With this time away from TV, what does one do when winding down at night?

The answer: Set aside the remote and spend some time reading a good Catholic book. OK, so you did it for Lent, but what prevents you from keeping the habit up year-round?

The biographies and writings of any saint are great for nighttime reading and lessons will work on you through the night, doing the opposite of what worldly programs will do. Such reading keeps us out of the near occasion of sin, and propels us into virtuous living.

This is how I decided to read the 1954 book, Dominic Savio - Teenage Saint, upon which my "9 Days with Dominic Savio" blog post series was initiated.

A few suggestions - mainly lives of saints, the blessed and venerable, many of which you can get at the Assumption Grotto Gift shop. Otherwise, follow the links below....

And, for young readers:

Always good reading for parents!!!

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