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Author Topic: Giving up Television to Save your Soul  (Read 90228 times)
Shin
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« on: April 01, 2011, 08:22:18 AM »

This thread is to begin a series of excerpts and comments on the spiritual benefits on giving up television, and how there can be and normally are moral requirements that this be done.

I'll be drawing from basic Catholic moral teaching, the work of Fr. Frank Poncelet, who founded Our Lady's Apostolate of No TV, and many other sources, including some recent saints as well as past.

If one expects the saints of all ages to have little to say about this matter, one would be wrong. The fundamental morality and spiritual law they express deals with it directly, and so too there is their spiritual condemnation even after their departure from this earth.. But too.. there what might not be expected, prophecies, and further..

For example, I read that Padre Pio would forbid people to have television sets.

And I have heard it said, though I have little information about this, that St. Elizabeth Ann Seton had a vision in which she saw a black box in every American home, through which the devil entered.

I think some of the people here who love these saints might appreciate knowing this.

And we'll be avoiding dealing with specific secular material on TV, for a variety of reasons, including the general immorality, but also because this is a discussion forum for spiritual topics not secular. For the holy, not the profane. So we won't be dealing with specific television shows normally, we won't be discussing them. We won't be trying to discern about this particular show or that particular show.

Letting that which is impure and immodest not so much as even be named among Christians. (cf. Ephesians 5:3)

For spiritual health, for all Catholics without regard, it's generally best to give up movies and television entirely.

To quote a priest..

"A priest's primary duty is to save souls; he is responsible for prevailing moral atttitudes in his parish and specifically for the salvation of his parishioners' souls. . . The priest, then must come to an honest recognition of the primary avenue to the destruction of souls in his Catholic homes, as that window to the world of immorality -- the television set. And he must continually point out to his parishioners that acceptance of TV entertainment is simply not compatible with the Christian life of spirituality."

"The disintegration of real Catholic culture has been a slow process begun two generations back. It happens to be co-incident with the degradation of TV fare, which began its downward slide with the inception of the medium, and accelerated that trend at a precipitous rate from the 1960s onward."

"Thanks to the constant depiction -- in an entertainment mode -- of immoral acts. . . presentations once considered scandalous, perverse, and unfit for consideration by self-respecting people, now pass for commonplace, acceptable fare even among those claiming religious convictions."

"Such programming is often criticized mildly as being crude, in bad taste, or even as awful -- but hardly ever is it called sinful."

"James Drummey, in a recent question/answer column in The Wanderer wrote "Even the best intentioned Catholics can become desensitized. . . if they watch these portrayed on televisions in a favorable light, night after night in their own homes."

"We cannot hide from basic Catholic moral laws forever. And the sins that are most easily committed, and which involve most "grievous matter" are also the sins most exploited on television -- those against chastity and purity."

Fr. Frank Poncelet

People who give up television and movies, normally see a gigantic leap forwards in their spiritual lives. People caught in ruts, spinning their wheels, making slow to no progress -- give up the television.. And grace returns.

Spiritual progress becomes possible again. And there's a reason for this.

Give it up.. replace it with something, anything good.. And you'll see results.

Our entertainment media, in all forms, is full of troubles.. We have to limit it severely, even what little of it is truly innocent. Again, Fr. Poncelet:


"The Lord's day -- not only is Mass attendance required, but other forms of religious activity must be planned. And, we might say, spiritual "togetherness" in the family is expected."

"Relaxing in the evening, hours spent in front of the "tube" are just not compatible with Our Lord's expectations from a Catholic family or an individual's home."

"For all of us, even morally permissible entertainment is expected to be limited. Leisure does not mean being constantly entertained."

"Planning is necessary in order to live each day with its spiritual relationship to God, because such promises were made at our Baptism and renewed in Confirmation."

Fr. Frank Poncelet
« Last Edit: February 27, 2019, 08:39:36 AM by Shin » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 08:25:05 AM »

Detaching from television can be very difficult, showing how it is a vice.

But it can be done, never fear!  Cheesy

To continue, basically, post by post, this thread should cover the various reasons why one should give up TV, moral, psychological, spiritual, physical, etc. giving as broad a coverage as possible to help people cross over the bridge, and shore up and bolster the progress made when it may possibly weaken or slacken.

The benefits of giving up television to the spiritual life are many and great so there is much positive reinforcement to help resist falling back into a regular television habit.

There're relatively few people on this earth who has not developed this habit, so do not fear, you are not alone in having to work to overcome it, to think through the process, and come to a greater understanding of why it is better off to do without.

This series of posts is to help support people who need help -- which is, practically, everyone.

To provide support and understanding for the sake of our souls.  crucifix
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 08:30:24 AM »

Now I know there are some people are are very selective about what they watch on television and what they allow to be watched. We'll cover this step by step, and all that factors to consider about this method as the thread progresses in time.  Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 12:49:56 PM »

Now I know there are some people are are very selective about what they watch on television and what they allow to be watched. We'll cover this step by step, and all that factors to consider about this method as the thread progresses in time.  Cheesy


Yes, other than PBS-Jane Austin movies I just like to watch Vintage (1920s-1950s) movies and Saints lives DVDs. How about those?
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 06:25:39 PM »

Before I gave up TV I started first by limiting the amount of time I watched it and which programs I viewed.
Even out of the few remaining things that I watched I began to see that these too had their flaws (and even dangers). Eg, I used to love watching wildlife documentaries and political discussion programs but the main concern with both of these was the fact that they were presented (without exception) from an atheistic perspective and I eventually came to the conclusion that the overriding purpose of all TV (even in the presentation of programs with "religious" themes) is the destruction of faith and a subtle type of brainwash that (almost without realizing it)  can/will make one become accepting of attitudes and  philosophies which are in contradiction to ones faith.

The full realization of this (for me) only occurred when I gave up the box completely. I truly believe that it is impossible to progress in ones spiritual life while being exposed to a totally worldly perception of reality.
One will reach a certain level of spiritual growth from which there can be no further advance because this growth in the right direction will constantly be checked by the irreligion of those who have the power of deciding what we should watch.

The most difficult obstacle (I found) to overcome is the thought of, "My, how boring life will be without TV," but this too is only another lie of the evil one. Life is much better without TV, much more serene, much more conducive to prayer, causes far less moodiness, makes one think more clearly on all issues, gives one more hours in the day for better things, stops the hankering after material things, allows one to live more easily in the awareness of the presence of God, neutralizes the enemies most potent weapon, makes ones sleep more peaceful, allows one to progress more easily in the moderating of other appetites and this is to mention only a few.  Cheesy

I often wonder how I ever survived while watching TV. I have no hesitation in calling it the curse of the 20th/21st century and I know now why in our time we don't have the saints we had in the past. But we will, when everyone gets wise to the counter saint machine which is the television.
So come on everyone. Jump on-board. There's absolutely nothing to loose but all to gain.  angel bell
Haha.. I'm beginning to sound like one of those TV evangelists.  Grin

Signed,
Ex TV lover.  cheers 

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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 07:31:20 PM »

Well, basically Brigid, what Martin said.  Cheesy  cheers  Grin

I tried instead of giving up television, to only go to the oldies. . I think that's actually a normal step.  

But the culture of the TV was not the Catholic culture, and all its worldview, reactions, etc. sink in.. and change us, and prevent us from changing..

And too I remember running into problems on religious television programs and movies. Problems which I had been desensitized to before.. but which in the giving up process I began to see had been included in these works.

And I am convinced that what I saw were problems was only a part of the problems there.. I could not find and see it all..

There's also the medium itself and issues with the viewing habit in and of itself..

Step by step hopefully we'll give comprehensive coverage here to help..   Cheesy

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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 11:24:51 PM »

The only TV I watch is sports with my dad.  Sometimes I am tempted to watch the news but I can't stand to watch it for very long--it's really negative most of the time.

Drama shows? I haven't watched one in years, probably not since the late 90s.
Comedy? It's all dumb and trashy now.
Game shows? I used to really like those but now they're all either cheap American Gladiators ripoffs or else so soaked in schaudenfreude that they are toxic.
News? Like I said--it's either sad or vicious. This past week the local 10 o clock news had a piece in which a doctor started talking about a female surgical operation on the air. And he brought out a model. Not even the local programs are safe anymore.
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 02:32:19 AM »

If only there were more good news out there.. But then rather than going to TV to find good news.. finding it in life, living out the good news.. that's really something.

 Grin
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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2011, 07:24:01 AM »

My eyes have been shifting away from this thread for a while now. Today, Sunday, I could not avoid it any longer and so have read it, prayerfully. I can honestly say that I feel like it was directed at me!
I see only too clearly the need to give up television entertainments and movies.  I will  give them all up. I have no idea how but I know that with prayers all things are possible. I want to really thank you Shin for starting this thread. May God reward you abundantly crucifix
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2011, 07:29:37 AM »

God bless you I pray and keep you odhiambo!

You will be in my regular prayer intentions for this cause!

It's a struggle I know, but the cleanness of the life different truly helps one hold onto the new way of living as you adjust to it.

Eucharistic Adoration helps with it.. even online on the computer, adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament is a great source of grace for changes.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2011, 04:44:38 PM »

O my goodness, that vision of St. Elizabeth Seton rattled me.  I actually once had a scary dream, a couple years ago, that the devil was on my television screen.  I don't watch much - Jeopardy (you learn things), occasional mysteries, and checking the weather (I'm a weather/storm watcher.)  I don't know if I can give this up completely in spite of everything, but going to work on it.     
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2011, 11:32:16 PM »

Remember not to simply try, it's so easy to get caught up in trying -- but to simply -- do!

That's the true step forwards, the clean break!

Praying for you Susanna!

God give you strength! The Lord keep you! Heaven help you, Our Lady and the angels and the saints.  Cheesy
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 06:11:54 AM »

Thank you so much Shin, the great encourager!  NO tv today, Monday.   Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 09:17:54 AM »

One day at a time. Cheesy

Each day, successfully, no-TV is a triumph!

And day by day it gets easier and you find other things to do with your time.
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 10:12:31 PM »

When do you guys have time to watch TV?   Huh?
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2011, 10:16:01 PM »

When do you guys have time to watch TV?   Huh?

 happy roll  rotfl rotfl blue
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