Monday, May 13, 2013

Positive Alternatives

My wife and I (mainly my wife) are attempting a fitness challenge. It's only 24 days long but the eating habits it builds will last a lifetime (hopefully). It's teaching us to crave "clean food." Eating healthy food makes you feel...well...healthy. They say “you are what you eat.” Similarly, you are what you watch, listen to, talk about, and associate with. The old maxim "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" proves true.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Luke 11:34

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:16

Hollywood is infatuated with sex, greed, pride, vanity and the perversion thereof. Take a look at the movies, albums, and books that climb their way up the charts. You'll find that they are full of content that is opposed to purity and or Christianity itself. We cannot indulge in this type of entertainment and expect to remain pure men and women. It’s sad that even the “prime time” shows on the major networks have to be avoided, but they do.

You might be feeling like this is very radical. Well, we are called to be radical. Christ was radical. We are called to imitate Him. Soooo how are we to entertain ourselves in a pure way? I gave secular music up once for lent and never really went back to it. I didn’t even really miss it. This might not be a big deal to the average radio station grazer. But upon reflection it is to me.

Average Music Grazer: (av·er·age myoo-zik graz·er) Noun

a. One who has no specific taste in music
b. One who likes music because it is popular.
“I asked her what genre of music she preferred. She said, “a little of everything.” I think she is the average music grazer.

You see, the years following college turned me into a (secular) music junkie. If it were a drug addiction- music would be the stuff you had to shoot up in-between your toes. And It made me brokeeeee because my collection grew faster than the Hulk when he was angry. I could care less about Fridays but instead awkwardly anticipated Tuesday (CD release day). So if I can find total happiness with pure media- you can too!

How did I go from where I was to where I am now? Positive alternatives. How am I finding healthier food when I prefer junk food? Positive alternatives. How did I find stuff to watch when everything on cable was smut? Positive alternatives. There are great PURE forms of music, movies, books etc. -it just takes time and effort to find them. Being a music lover, I always thought that Christian music was a little corny. In fact, I still do- especially “main stream” Christian bands. It appears to me now that what we call "Christian music " is really for the most part just "Protestant music ". Now, don't get me wrong, it is far better to listen to this than any other type of music on the radio (besides classical). But that explains the dullness of it. It's missing something - like eating food without salt. It's missing something because it doesn't have the fullness of truth. Just like Protestantism doesn't have the fullness of truth which is Catholicism. Catholicism is THE religion because of three reasons: It's true. It's beautiful. It's holy. For example, check out DeMontfort Music

We've lost a sense of all three of those things. That is why we must try our best to support authentic Catholic art and media.

Why Catholic art (music, media) needs to be supported?
1. Art is a powerful tool to aid people in transcendence.
2. If #1 isn't available people find substitutes that pollute.
3. It is a strong component of the New Evangelization.
4. The character of a culture is reflected in it's art.

But here is the crux: Would I prefer great music that includes things militantly against my beliefs or would I settle for music of less caliber that is filled with a positive message? It is like saying: Would I prefer food that taste awesome, but is bad for me or food that is decent, but makes meal feel great? The logical choice for both food and entertainment is obviously going to be the healthier choice. However, there are LOTS of great quality choices for pure entertainment (including some really cool bands and neat flicks). Positive Alternatives. Here is a great website for fresh pure entertainment  It's called 'MonkRock' and their motto is "You don't have to be a monk to live like one."

Two excellent films that were released in 2012

Call it being a vegan, vegetarian, health-nut, WHATEVER- living extremely healthy and eating pure are the new fad among hipsters and athletes alike. Why can’t living pure be the new fad? It can if you and I start doing it....before it's cool. Check this out. 

Hipster JPII ;)


Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of Thy Providence, and that without Thee a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray Thee to defend, with Thy grace, chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, do Thou, Who art the Supreme Lord of all my powers, take it from me, that I may with an immaculate heart advance in Thy love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy Divinity. Amen. -St. Thomas Aquinas

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