Goodness in, Goodness out.

Certainly you’ve heard the adage “you are what you eat.” And our computer geeks are fond of saying “garbage in, garbage out.” The point being in both of these sayings . . something becomes the sum of what was put into it. Good health comes from a good diet. A dependable computer program requires good data input. (The bible was on to this when 3,000 years ago it said, “You reap what you sow.”)

It works like that with our spiritual life too. We are greatly shaped by what we think and hear, see and touch. What we allow to enter through our senses creates the raw data for the kind of person we become.

So for example:

  • Child psychologists tell us that hours spent watching violent images on television elevates the likeliness of children acting out violently.
  • Constant attention to a hand held computer game or Ipod inhibits a young person’s ability to interact with real people.
  • Non-stop images of negative, argumentative relation- ships create the impression that this is how people naturally interact. Yelling, whining, cursing, name calling becomes the norm. Talk Radio is full of this stuff.
  • Pretty much any television called “reality TV” has little grasp of what’s really real.
  • Yet love of music, theatre, intelligent discussion, Downton Abbey(!), great sport, creates an openness to a healthy psyche.

So why not put a stop to the “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome? Why not dedicate ourselves to “Goodness in, Goodness out”?

What does this mean? It means putting a guard over what we let our eyes see and ears hear. I’m being literal here. Change the channel or turn off the TV when it becomes crass or trashy. Walk away from conversations that are only meant to hurt others reputations. Put away the elec- tronic games or instruments when people are present to talk to.

Guarding what you let in through the senses creates an interior sense of order and goodness. St. Paul points to the governing of the senses by the Holy Spirit. It brings about the fruits of “Peace , Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Purity . . ..”

Compare that to how you feel after watching a fighting cage match on TV? Spending 4 hours on some Play Station war game? Going from one porn site to another on your computer? Reading what gossip is out there on the internet about your friends and enemies?

Let’s be honest here. There’s a dark pleasure in these things (why else would millions of people go there?). But deep down we know this is not who we are. We’re all junked up. It feels dark and smarmy.

There’s a simple remedy. Go somewhere else. Some place that puts good stuff in. You decide. Good music. Entertainment. Books. Fishing! Friends. Travel. Nature. Wine making. Conversation. Prayer. Look around. God made a whole bunch of stuff to capture our interest.

Are there any dark places that feed your senses in a way that hurts your soul? I bet you’ve tried to avoid them but fallen back. Try again. Keep trying. Ask God to help you find another way. God will answer that prayer.

Fr. Tim


Well that was some picnic last week! And some Rum- mage Sale for Hope House!! My sincerest thanks to the hundreds of volunteers that made last week at Holy Trinity a great place of fellowship and helping others.