There is a widespread sense of loss here, if not always of God, then at least of meaning.

Charles Taylor, in A Secular Age

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In this culture, we are a suicide machine.

No longer even able to tell when our lives are threatened, when others wish to kill us and do, drive us from the Middle East and destroy our ancient shrines.

And suicide in many forms: the assault on innocents, actual suicide – slow and sudden, drug addictions, death of families and responsible adult behavior, the fastidious fetish-like devotion to “health care” and physical appearance,  crippling Nanny-state dependence, the self-promotion of celebrity, some in the political class who too often warrant reason to be strapped to a lie detector.  Yes, the list goes not.

Beware lest you be one – captured by the invasion of the soul-snatchers.

Secularism is a prison cell of the spiritually lost. Soon enough even the likes of Christopher Hitchens will have to cry out: “Please save me, Dear God!”

How might one be free of secularism in the reign of mass communication with its constant indoctrination?  Well, break the TV habit in favor of silence.  And, read !!!

We are in need of a new, individualized monastic age – one which (like it has always) emphasizes reading.

Take the 12th century monk Peter of Celle who said this: “Reading is bound to silence … Constant and attentive reading done devoutly purifies our inner self.”

Purify your inner self!

Reading brings you back to you.  Allows you to take leave of the rampant insanity, chaos and disorder.

Take this from Saint Bede of yore who said as to reading the wisdom of the Gospels:

If we take care to hear, read, and confer with each other about these things, which need to be preserved in our hearts and bodies, we will certainly conquer the obstacles of this age as surely as if the Lord were standing by us and consoling us.

Reading feeds the soul.  Brings peace.  Builds depth and understanding. Sharpens insight. Inoculates you from culture’s nonsense. 

Reading, and a life that mimics monastic discretion and discipline, is a counter-offensive to the destructive noise of the common, carbon-copy nitwits of secularism.

I consider a room without reading to be a hell without consolidation, and instrument of torture without relief, a prison without light, a tomb without ventilation, a ditch swarming with worms, a strangling noose, the empty house of which the Gospel speaks.

Peter of Celle, in On Affliction and Reading

Sick of secularism and its destruction?  Go to your room and read.  Enjoy the silence.  Feed the soul. It keeps you whole and distinct from the lunacy that surrounds you.  Yes, be a rebel in this way.

There is something sacred in rejection of that which steals your heart and soul and leaves you lost and empty.  Fight back – read.

Shalom.

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