Monday, January 16, 2006

Smash the TV, Toss the stereo, and ...

He saves "the best wine for last!-sell the car and learn to walk again." Yes I am still reading "The Restoration of Christian Culture" by John Senior.

I don't agree with everything in his book, but his thrust is something I wholeheartedly endorse. And he is not afraid of saying hard things, like 'smash the TV for instance' (and yes he says it more than once or twice), or:

The third degree (of prayer) is for those in the married state (or single life) who offer a tithe of their time for prayer-about two and one-half hours per day-with eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep the remaining five and a half for recreation with the family.

Everyone will say it can't be done. That is what I meant when I said that the first thing said about prayer is that we don't have time for it....Every layman owes his tithe of time-two and one-half hours per day. (emphasis added).

This recalls for me John Paul's passage in Novo Millennio Ineunte: it would be wrong to think that ordinary Christians can be content with a shallow prayer that is unable to fill their whole life.”

I am well past the half-way point in "Restoration". I am certainly enjoying the read-because it sparks so many thoughts, and because it spawns so many ideas; it is almost like having a conversation with a like-minded friend. Although I know that there are a few in our house who are eyeing me with suspicion and concern as I go around chanting, "Smash the TV! Toss the stereo!". However, to get serious, the more things we have, the more time and money we have to spend maintaining and using them. And thus for each thing we have, we must at some level determine how this thing helps or hinders our pilgrimage. I have heard it said that the typical man in biblical and medieval times had more leisure time than we do today. Their needs were satisfied locally and their lives and holdings more simple. And leisure? The purpose of leisure is not to veg in front of the TV, but to spend time developing your spiritual life and relationships-to read, to sing, to talk about the eternal things. We are so tired from maintaining our materialistic lives that in our leisure we have only the energy to collapse on the couch...

Speaking of TV, we don't have cable or satellite, and we live so far out that it is a major production to get any meaningful picture on the tube normally. This is okay with us. Mostly we use the TV to watch videos. Friday night we watched one of my favorites and a classic, "Lives of a Bengal Lancer" starring Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone. It is a good drama with a balance of action, good dialog and humor. (One thing I noticed some years ago is that most recent dramas on the big screen don't think humor has a place in a drama, but this is so wrong as our human dramas always are laced with humor. The movie makers in the 30's knew this.) The main characters are fallen men, but they each learn lessons and act on them.

I have a bad knee which normally is just an occasional hazard, but occasionally is difficult to walk on and carries some small pain. Saturday my knee had been acting up, so I was trying to take it easy with my chores. I went out to simply board up a broken window in our feed house when a dead pine tree came down in the goat/dog pen due to the high winds. The tree broke off near the base and leaned into another tree, so it didn't come down all the way. So I got out the axe and took the tree down the rest of the way. Just as I was finishing up this, the beem which secures the roof (simply a heavy duty tarp) over our rabbits snapped in two (also wind related). S0 I had to replace this. By the time I finished this (oh yes, I spent a little time turning the compost which was long over due) I realized there was no taking it easy today.

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!

1 comment:

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