Guiding Questions

How can I bring silence and stillness into my hectic life as a law student? What drives me to seek this silence? How do I stay faithful to a contemplative practice when my daily life activities and obligations seem so all-consuming? What do I see in the Church? In God? Why go to Mass? These questions will change with time, as my journey progresses. This blog documents my struggle with practicing what I preach, so to speak -- my struggle to keep God in the center of my life. At times, I may fail; indeed, I often will. My hope is that both my successes and failures will lead me toward greater authenticity, understanding, and love.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Entertainment vs. Consent

I am preparing a rather lengthy post that addresses my planned preparations for the quest. While that is in the works, I have a shorter thought.

I have noticed that the more "things" I look to for entertainment, the more frantically I seek them, and the less fulfilled I become. For example, I drive my car multiple times each week, for approximately one hour each time. Whenever I listen to the radio, I find myself scanning through my pre-set stations constantly, always looking for the next song, another song, a more upbeat song, to escape a commercial break or an annoying DJ...never quite happy with where I am at that moment. Always looking for the next best thing. And on those rare occasions when I do happen on just the right song, the one I had been craving, it never lasts for more than a minute or so -- and then I am back to my restless searching.

The same holds true for email and Facebook, as well. Like a mouse pushing a bar to get a drug, I incessantly check for fresh emails and updates -- anything new, entertaining. But still, the thrill never lasts, and I am always left dissatisfied.

Once that cycle has begun, it is so difficult to put on the brakes. But when I begin my car ride by, for example, playing an audio lecture of the life of St. Augustine, the restlessness and craving never even have a chance. I bought an audio lecture series of Augustine's life two weeks ago, and have been listening to it when I drive. It has a remarkable effect on my demeanor. Not only am I acquiring knowledge, but my spirit and heart are being awakened; I think of God and my relationship to God instead of myself and my immediate desires.

I would love to live in a constant state of God-awareness. My reality is more like an orbiting ellipse between long stretches of self-centered sensation-seeking and short periods of God-centered serenity and focus. The discipline necessary to increase these periods of God-centeredness will not be mine without a struggle. However, it will come as I practice consenting to God's presence and stillness in my life.

Striving always for progress, not perfection.


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