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Entertainment

“Our culture has trained people to become an audience. A theater performance, a concert, and a Church service are all of a piece. Worse than this, we are trained to be an audience that expects to be entertained….When we pray, if we expect the “miraculous” (in the modern sense), we will grow weary with the ordinariness of our experience. We imagine that we hear nothing, for we have already decided that the sound of the ordinary is nothing miraculous…The modern mind becomes bored by the so-called “ordinary,” because it has become accustomed to distractions that play to our passions. “Boredom” is what you get when you are not being entertained – it is a modern phenomenon.” (Father Stephen Freeman)


“Most of what passes for news or entertainment today is designed to inflame our passions in order to bring power and money to the sponsors, whoever they may be. We may want only to be entertained or informed, but we are surely also being shaped in ways that threaten to make us more accustomed to the darkness of serving the false gods of this world than to the brilliant light of Christ. The less that we fill our physical eyes and ears with what inflames our passions, keeps us from seeing ourselves and our neighbors as living icons of God, and otherwise weakens us spiritually, the more we will be able to open the eyes of our souls to experience and know the Lord from the depths of our hearts.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“The doorway into the silent land [the place where we find God] is a wound. Silence lays bare this wound. We do not journey far along the spiritual path before we get some sense of the wound of the human condition, and this is precisely why not a few abandon a contemplative practice like meditation as soon as it begins to expose this wound; they move on instead to some spiritual entertainment that will maintain distraction.” (Martin Laird)


“The tragedy of the contemporary man is that, just with one click, he has access to an ocean of information, but in that ocean he cannot find the one thing he has been created for: to receive the revelation, the life of God by grace in his heart. Therefore, man is now starving: ‘The days come… that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread,… but of hearing the words of the Lord’ (cf. Amos 8:11). When the Lord was tempted in the desert, His infallible mouth uttered these words: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’ (Matt. 4:4). Therefore, the word of God is the source of life, without which man’s soul is completely dried up. Even through music, entertainment, cinema or theatre, man is seeking in fact for the word of God. These substitutes give him only temporary pleasure, but can never fill the void in his soul. It is so unfortunate that he remains with these earthly pleasures, not knowing that only the word of God accompanied by prayer can elevate his life to the uncreated.” (Archimandrite Peter)


“…art and story, image and song are powerful agents of vision, revealing the life of Christ, resisting the evil of a broken world. The ancients and medievals believed that the whole world was a book, illuminating the mind and imagination of God. When they walked amidst storm and tree, great sky and mighty ocean, they understood themselves as beholding deep and true things about the Word through whom the world came into being, the same Word that took flesh in order to save us. They embodied their own knowledge of salvation in works of art that filled church and home. For centuries, Christian churches were rich in images that told the story of Christ in the crafted beauty depicting his invasion of the darkness. Image and symbol, story and song surrounded worshipers in the catacombs and churches for centuries.” (Sarah Clarkson)


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