Monday, March 28, 2011

The Eye and the Soul

"The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is unclouded, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is dark, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!"---Matthew 6:22, 23

In a time where the image appears to be eclipsing the word even in education due to the signs and wonders of the age, the words of Jesus are an urgent reminder and warning to all of us. How many images, not all good by any means, have passed (or entered) our eyes while looking for news, researching projects, writing the children, or just passing time on the Internet or television. And the image has an immediate impact beyond words. It 'speaks' even if we are the ones who often supply what is heard.

The fathers used to speak of the "custody of the eyes" even in ages where women and men were, compared to our time, covered from head to toe. We need to hear more of this today from Church pastors, because there can be a cumulative effect even when we hardly notice it. One person half-jokingly said to me he liked to watch the news on television, but not for the news----"It's always the same old bad news," he averred---No, he said "for the babes".

A lipstick commercial comes on in the middle of a decent program. Without asking for it one is treated to puffy lips, a long air-brushed sensuous neck, beautiful hair, alluring eyes. Now multiply that tele / vision which invades the eyes a gazillion times over many years. Is it any wonder people are shocked to find themselves in a state of uninvited sexual excitement?

The "programming" has worked. And before you know it, the soul, slowly invaded by darkness is clamoring for more. Then the trouble begins. How many beautiful long necks, cleavages and eyes are we laymen expected to see before we are unconsciously affected? And what about pastors and Religious?! In our hyperreal world there is no end to it. It snowballs. So the slow slide over time turns into a spiritual crash; it is almost inevitable in some degree.

There is then a need for spiritual detoxification, a shaking-up of the soul back to consciousness and reality, a return to custody of the eyes. ICU for the soul. A determination to be very cautious about what venues we allow ourselves to visit for specific purposes and only for restricted times. Because even the "news" sites are adding more and more sensuous content in an attempt to remain "competitive" (sounds so normal, so business-like, doesn't it?). As corporate interests lay almost total stakes all over the internet, it must only get worse---until, please God, Christians force hostile takeovers and retake larger shares of the media which form our culture. Because, as Jesus said, if the light that is in us is darkness, how great is the darkness! We are being programmed. Time to change the programming---back to the Word, also words, and custody of the eyes. And we bloggers have to be more careful about where we link (no easy matter). Otherwise it will be time to junk it all.

"If you refuse grace, no amount of modern education can compensate for the radical emptiness of a life centered on one's self. If you accept grace, even when the faith is distorted, there is life. Anything a human being touches, even a bit of the Divine Life, he will distort. So this Life, this faith, can be found in nasty people, people who don't speak right or even bathe regularly, fundamentalist preachers, people who are ignorant and bull-headed. Wherever it's found, however distorted, it is the only source of life.-- Flannery O'Connor, "The Habit of Being" (Thanks to Jim Forest for this)

--->Project Censored: Radiation Detection Deception...

--->The Kill Team: How U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan murdered innocent civilians and mutilated their corpses...(click) You can view the gruesome photos here...

--->'Death Squad': Full horror emerges of how U.S. brigade murdered and mutilated innocent Afghan civilians - and kept their body parts as trophies...

--->Panopticon Sky: Private spy satellites are being used for the ostensibly benign purpose of looking for mosquitos. Just coincidently, they will see everything else in your back yard...

--->Madonna's Kabbalah Centre Said to Be Subject of Grand Jury Investigation...

--->Not all bad. Attention, Doomsayers: Global Quality of Life Is
Improving...

--->Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years...

Conversion of the Jews: There are some on the Internet who worry because Benedict believes Jews qua Jews should not be specially targeted for conversion (what other group or people in the world is so targeted as a specific group or people?) The Good News, rather, as affirmed from St. Paul to the 2000 CDF document Dominus Iesus, is addressed to all peoples. Wouldn't it be more humble and wise to worry about our own salvation and our own sins? Romans chapters 9-11, Benedict reminds us in his new book on Jesus, tells us that in God's time the Jews will know their Redeemer who is the Redeemer of the whole world, if we will only accept Him, His forgiveness and Communion by grace. Meanwhile we Hope and pray for all, the whole world, especially for ourselves in light of our own sins.

--->16 Jewish converts to Catholicism describe their incredible journeys...

--->Why I Love My Ugly Little Liturgy---by Simcha Fisher... (What a Catholic soul is shown here!)

"There are three things that remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love"---1 Cor. 13:13

"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."---Luke 6:37-38 (Wow--SH)

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