June 5, 2013
Three Big Fights: The World
St. John gives us three great enemies of the soul: the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is, therefore, always a good idea to know how to challenge these great adversaries. Here's a tip:
The world: The ever-present tempter
Now-a-days, the world has a great advantage it hasn't enjoyed in past ages: the television and the Internet. Are these things intrinsically evil? No. They are like magnifying glasses making larger and more pervasive whatever they're used for. Yet given our fallen world, it may just be that their evil uses are more prevalent and impacting. But lest you be scrupulous, I assure you, reading this is making excellent use of the Internet.
How to Combat
Two words...well, one word and a prefix: un-plug. Pay attention–this is valuable information. To unplug is to disconnect, to be off the grid, to go rogue. Now, in some ways, the world is relying more and more on the Internet, so surely one has to learn how to live with it and not in it because living all together without it is becoming less and less possible. But occasionally living without it is a great way to train yourself to become a master over it. So, for the weekend, unplug it. Turn it off. And learn how to detach from it. This exercise may extend to your cell phone and your TV–depending on how daring and radical you want to be–and let me just say, when it comes to combating sin, it is good to be very daring and very radical.
As regards television, the method is the same, but keep it off. And if you want to be a revolutionary, throw it out the window! Quit the cable plan and begin to resensitize yourself to a healthy and well-ordered understanding of entertainment. There is always something better to do in the evening than prime-time TV. And if you want to hang onto it for a family movie from time to time, feel free to do so, but only keep one and let it be in a room not necessarily orientated toward it.
You are master over yourself. These influences are very strong and quite often begin to dictate our lives, opinions, and actions. Little steps (and sometimes bigger ones) lead us to remember that the will serves the intellect, and our intellects are to be informed by Jesus Christ and his Church rather than the World and its allurements, its celebrities, and advertisements.
+ Br. Joseph Michael Fino, CFR