September 2018 Print

Thoughts of God

by a Benedictine monk

We can choose to have bad or good thoughts. We choose the object of our thoughts which becomes our love. In the latin word diligere (to love) there is the word eligere (to elect or choose). We truly choose what we love as Our Lord says “Where your heart is, there is your treasure.” We can choose to read very good material or very bad. Our thoughts really depend upon the chosen treasure of our heart. The ultimate goal of any Catholic magazine is to supply the human mind with good thoughts. Today’s technology does the contrary by using pornography to enflame the passions of man for financial gain. The human mind is left to try and satisfy itself with the world, the flesh and the devil.

The word pornography is of Greek origin: pornographos (writing about prostitutes). Forty years ago, pornography was only available in the printed form or in films labeled with their appropriate ratings. Today’s modern society is drowning in sensuality. Images of immodest dress and behavior are essentially virtual prostitutes presented on-line. This sensuality is presented as the only means to happiness. Today’s technology makes these ideas available for the human mind via “smart-phones” found in almost everyone’s pocket including teenagers and children. The very strong passion of sensuality enslaves the soul with these images by dulling the intellect and weakening the will.

About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Zacharias seemed to explain to his readers in chapter 5 of his prophecy the dangers of today’s internet.

“...I turned and lifted up my eyes: and behold a volume flying.” A volume is a type of book containing information and this volume is flying through the air. This seems to be a good description of the information contained in today’s cyberspace.

“...and he said to me: This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the earth...” This information contains a curse within it.

“...And I said: What is it? And he said: This is a vessel going forth...this is their eye in all the earth.”

In today’s technology, we have the possibility to Skype with correspondents around the globe and with a webcam, there seems to be an eye that can penetrate even the most private places of our homes. Detailed satellite images seem to be able to see everything on the planet.

“...and behold a woman sitting in the midst of the vessel. And he said this is wickedness. And he cast her into the midst of the vessel, and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.” Could this vessel be a type of space vessel or satellite? A woman called wickedness sitting in a satellite seems to be a type of a prostitute mentioned in the book of the Apocalypse as well. She is called wickedness because by the God-given gift of her beauty, she chooses to lead others away from God for financial gain. She received something good and chooses to use it for evil.

“...and they lifted up the vessel between the earth and the heaven.” Could this be the way that the prophet explains a satellite in orbit between heaven and earth?

This modern system of communicating information seems to be explained by Zacharias. We know that the information that we receive from the internet depends upon our choice. Although we can choose good information found on the internet, the choice of the vast majority of users is pornography. The mind is saturated with bad images and thoughts.

The greatest battle of the Catholic life is to learn to choose good thoughts. John Cassian in one of his conferences, speaking of the Desert Fathers, compares our thoughts to a water mill. The paddle is always turning by the flowing river. Our thoughts, like a turning wheel are always active. The miller puts clean wheat to be ground into flour and with the flour he bakes bread in order to sustain his life. If he put poisonous seeds into the mill, he would make flour that would be baked into dangerous bread and that would indeed, if eaten, end his life. It is the same with our thoughts. If we think of noble and good thoughts, we will have good desires and accomplish good deeds. If we are occupied with an impure or any type of evil thought, our desire would be impure and as a consequence so would our actions be evil. What we think of is what we desire and what we desire is what we do.

Pornography and any other type of impure, heretical or evil literature would be like that poisonous seed of which we choose to think. As we think of that poison we finally end up desiring to do what we think. Immodesty becomes like a second nature both in dress and behavior. Like a slave addicted to these sensual thoughts, our lives are bound to our way of thinking. This is why The Angelus magazine and any other good publications are such important apostolates for the Church today. Good books and magazines furnish the Catholic mind with good thinking material. The thought forms the desire, which is put into action. May The Angelus magazine always publish good Catholic thought in order to feed our souls with the thoughts of God.