God Does Not Fit in an Occupied Heart – St. John of the Cross

Since early childhood, I have spent too many hours watching television. This sick habit has finally changed. For about six weeks now my TV has been off. Only while at college in Western Nebraska did I manage to avoid this  sinfully gluttonous waste of time.. Now that the habitual grab for the TV remote is behind me, I have to ask myself: “What were you thinking?”

The distraction from the true purpose of life does not end with just TV.  Obsessing over the NEWS was a waste of time, and emotion. What did this worry get me? Not any improvement to my lifestyle was accomplished. The anguish of watching our nation becoming more godless did not help. Maybe prayer for our nation would have been a smarter use of my time.

Then there is Facebook.  Oh my, this is an obsessive compulsive’s dream folly. How addictive can something be?  Weigh the balance of the good and the bad. On one side of the scale we have the bad and destructive represented by an elephant. On the other side of the scale we have the good and beneficial represented by a peanut.  This is a true picture of that waste of time.

Where is the harm?  I did not leave enough time or space in my heart for God. Prayer and understanding the Will of God takes time. Discernment takes concentration. Being sloppy and wasteful with our time is an invitation for Satan to sneak into our lives.

“But, as I said, I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the Devil, who has caused it, under color of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy.”  – Saint Catherine of Siena

Now I don’t know about others, but I had to read that quote twice in order to understand its meaning. Not the kind of thing I can do during a TV commercial.

“Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live.”
– M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth

“This inclination to ignore problems is once again a simple manifestation of an unwillingness to delay gratification. Confronting problems is, as I have said, painful. To willingly confront a problem early, before we are forced to confront it by circumstances, means to put aside something pleasant or less painful for something more painful. It is choosing to suffer now in the hope of future gratification rather than choosing to continue present gratification in the hope that future suffering will not be necessary.”
– M. Scott Peck

Godless distractions prevent us from properly evaluating our values and behaviors.  Distractions allow us to accept sloppy thinking as acceptable.  We must accept pain to learn.

“Those things that hurt, instruct.” – Dr.  Peck

Distractions prevent us from feeling the hurt and therefore prevent us from learning. Sloppy thinking prevents us from properly evaluating our beliefs.

“We are often most in the dark when we are the most certain, and the most enlightened when we are the most confused.”  – Dr. Peck

“Know thyself.” is wisdom.  “Be yourself”  is folly.  When one knows himself/herself one is aware of weaknesses that need to be disciplined. One cannot be lazy and know himself/herself.  Being oneself is lazy and undisciplined.  One cannot truly love another without first knowing himself/herself.

“Laziness is love’s opposite.” 
– M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth

Without so many distractions, I plan on being a better person in the Eyes of Our Lord.

 

 

Author: Robert Denoncour

God granted four loving children and sixteen grandchildren. That is a lot of gifts for which I am most grateful.

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