Lead Us Not into Media Temptation

A remedy to media temptation
(A remedy to media temptation) by Reinhardhauke (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) , via WikimediaCommons”

Some time ago, I was at the St.Pius X Priory in Caussade, France, when a Franciscan brother celebrated Mass. In his homily, he spoke of the importance of prayer in times of temptation. Of how we, as children of God, become like babies in such times, and as such, need to cry to our parent God for help in combatting these urges.

I am thinking of this, on this morning, as I look at a British newspaper, The Guardian.

For as I look at the paper, I feel bombarded. I feel ‘preached’ at. Preached at in a way that is relatively subtle. This is not tabloid journalism or the gutter press. Nonetheless the choice of headlines, photographs and text tries to direct, even manipulate my attention in certain ways, perhaps towards specific agendas.

As though this newspaper is telling me what is important – for example economic speculations or the death of a celebrity – and yet I find very little of that which it espouses is of real importance.

I am disturbed by many of the values it proclaims. And its means of communication, hurts my heart. For I experience it enticing me into a seductive world. Enticing me to fall into its words as though they are ‘truths’. Words that are crafted to carry a particular message. One that many take as gospel.

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In fact I have often been told by people things from the newspapers, as though they were simply true. That “they say this” or “they say that”, as though “they” were somehow authoritative. And I wonder why …

And all of this seems so opposed to the values of the Sacred Heart of Our Lord. Values vital to our salvation.

And yet something in me is drawn to read this newspaper and many would say that I would be better off for doing so. I would be better informed as to what is going on in the world. But would I? Is this newspaper showing me what is really going on in the world?

For this newspaper says nothing of the supernatural forces of evil in the world, in perpetual combat with good. It says nothing of our fallen predicament, and our need for the Church and Her Sacraments.

When presented with this newspaper, I actually feel a need to call upon the words of that humble Franciscan brother and priest, and say, “Lord, lead me not into temptation”.

As I experience these things this morning, on the feast of St Pius X, I am very aware of the dangers of temptation in the modern world. That like the newspaper, this world we live in is constantly giving orders and shouting commands. It is trying to seduce us, whether it is saying ‘do this’, ‘think that’, ‘buy such and such’, ‘look this way’, `live like this’.

And all the time, He is saying something different. He is saying, “Follow ME”.

And to follow Him, is to avoid temptation. It is to acknowledge that we are like tiny babies, whose salvation is dependant on our humbling before our parent God and crying through prayer for help. “Lord, lead me not into temptation.”

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  1. […] at her weblog here, my beloved wrote about her reaction to The Guardian, a high quality British daily […]