Living Catholicism: Consuming Media As A Christian

In our spare time, are we pursuing what God calls us to do? After work, taking care of family and friends, our homes, etc., we feel we earned a moment to ourselves. So, we plop down on the couch, pick up a book or magazine or the remote to the television, with a sigh, just to unwind. How we spend that relaxing time might be a reflection of our Christian values.

I belong to a book club that likes reading “award winners.” There are a lot of book awards — Pulitzer, Pen/Falkner, National Book Award, Nobel, just to name a few. Some of the books seem “edgy” and vulgar in content and theme. I have attempted to focus more on Christ-like reading and have had great peace. My mom used to remind me to consume the right things, including vegetables. What we “consume” should be good for us. Not only broccoli, but what we read and watch. That is consumption, too.

I have read the Bible many times. The Gospels are my favorite part of the Bible. I react differently each time I break open the Word. The Holy Spirit speaks to me differently each time I read. I think that’s why they call it the “Living Word.” In addition to Scripture, other Christian books and reading about the saints deepen my understanding of faith. I like to read right before I go to sleep. As I focus on Christian reading, my sleep seems more restful.

The same applies to television. My husband and I try to find something that isn’t vulgar or violent to watch on television. It’s a challenge to find something worthwhile. Further temptation
happens on websites and social media.

The more time I spend in consuming books and television programming that help me develop spiritually, the happier I am. Trying to achieve heaven by living an honorable life is my goal.

Romans 12:2 states, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable
and perfect.”

Time on this Earth is short. I want to make the most of my spare time and increase my knowledge and faith in our Lord. So, I’ll consume what I think God wants me to read or watch. Besides, I sleep better, too.

ANN GONSALVES is a wife, mother, free-lance journalist, and volunteer for the Pilgrim Center of Hope. Living Catholicism is a regular column of this Catholic evangelization apostolate dedicated to helping persons deepen their relationship with Christ. This column was published August 2016.