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During the Christmas season, try to mute the digital noise

Interesting story: YouTube channel Census Fidelium That was an important part of my return to the faith. As a YouTube addict who has been frequenting YouTube for years in search of unorthodox political commentary, I was honored to discover this channel of his in 2018. This discovery ignited my interest in liturgy and my desire to start a family, both of which ultimately led us to make the cross-border move to join a traditional parish in North Carolina in 2020. I took it. Only a few months later, it was discovered that the man who founded the channel was a member of the diocese. Shout out to Steve.

Last week, the beginning of a new liturgical season and the first day of Advent, I began a series of reflections on Advent by Census Fidelium.I found This one, about the spiritual importance of silence, is remarkable. Silence, the speaker says, is a necessary prerequisite for communion with God. It is the “guardian and protector of spiritual life.”

This is also the reality that Cardinal Robert Sala addresses in his book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise. The book is a lengthy interview with French journalist Nicolas Diat, in which Sarah denounces the “worldly powers that seek to shape modern man” “by doing so systematically.”[ing] Please be silent and leave. ” For Sarah, noise is a “drug.” [man] I have become dependent on it. … Excitement becomes a tranquilizer, a sedative, a morphine pump, a kind of fantasy, a world of disjointed dreams. ”

At a natural level, we can intuit that silence has a kind of cathartic effect. The recent proliferation of secular silence retreats, Internet detox programs, and the resurgence of “dumb phones” demonstrate that, at the most basic level, humans are uncomfortable with addiction. Even if it feels impossible, even if we know we will fail, we still want to get out of it.

Roger Scruton's criticize It's similar to Sara's work on the oppression of pop music, but even more beautifully written.

Today, in almost every public place, the ears are bombarded with the sounds of pop music. In shopping malls, public housing, restaurants, hotels, and elevators, the ambient sound is not human speech, but music spewed into the air by speakers. Speakers are usually invisible and inaccessible, and their brashness cannot be punished. But most of the time, popular music is shockingly banal, and it's there because it's not really there. It is the background of the business of consuming things, the nothingness around which we scribble our desires. The entire civic space of our society is now policed ​​by this sound, distracting anyone with even the slightest interest in music and, for many of us, making a visit to the pub or a meal in a restaurant a chore. It is certain that you have lost any remaining meaning. . These are no longer social events, but experiments in patience, shouting at each other over deadly noise.

How can one fast from noise if it is omnipresent? How can you fast from noise without completely sacrificing your public life? The only thing more antisocial than noise itself is noise-cancelling headphones. Moreover, how can we fast from the noise of the regime, using the regime's own tools? Aren’t wholesome baths and silent retreats just fixtures of the “wellness industry” that serve as a seamless pressure release valve against an ever-expanding anti-human hegemony?

Silence has an outer and an inner component. External components typically enable internal components. Ultimately, both elements, communion with God and meditation on God, are properly commanded to God. A rigorous pursuit of external silence is necessary but insufficient, even if commanded toward inner silence. It is incomplete and does not incorporate true telos.

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