Is it ok to watch films, ever?


#1

Im not talking about innapropriate films.

Just normal films like bambi, batman, spiderman, whatever else.

That do not cause you to sin.

I feel wrong after watching any film now because i feel like i should be waiting for Christ at all moments.

Therefore, my question is, it is ever morally ok to watch a film just to enjoy it?

In Christ.

Andre.


#2

You should always wait for Jesus.

It’s OK to watch a movie while you’re waiting.


#3

Good answer, David.

My view is that you should do what helps promote Jesus and His Gospel. If that means taking an occasional break so that tomorrow you are refreshed and ready go back into battle, then so be it.

Someone once told me that you shouldn’t watch movies or listen to the radio because they couldn’t picture Jesus spending His time doing such things. I asked them if they could picture Jesus going to the bathroom. When they said, “No,” I asked if I wasn’t allowed to do that either. :wink:


#4

P.S. Also, if serving God means you spend quality time with your wife and kids, taking them to a wholesome movie might be a good way to be a good role model.


#5

Paragraph 2501 on art in the Catechism of the Catholic Church seems applicable to your question.


#6

I doubt that during the first thirty years of his life, Jesus spent all of his time at the Temple. Or even in just religious pursuits. He might have gotten in some carpentry, some recreation, some time with the family, some relaxation.


#7

MS,
You really do need to see your pastor and deal with your scupulosity. There is no sin in relaxing and enjoying your life. God gave it to you, didn’t He?
**
Psalms 117:24 This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us be glad and rejoice therein.**
Pax tecum,


#8

I’ll second what Church Militant says—Magicsilence, you need to talk to a priest about scrupulosity.

Movies CAN be a source for good: many good movies show the drama of human life, and the effect of people’s moral and immoral choices. You mention Spiderman: look at the message there–great power brings with it great responsibility, and great personal sacrifice. Think of “The Passion of the Christ”.


#9

Vanitas Vanitatum!

It is definitely not a sin, but it may be an imperfection.

A true mystic or ascetic indeed would not do such things.

If you are having such doubts, if you are feeling that nagging lack of satisfaction with the secular things of the world deep down…you may indeed be called to renounce all that, and “go out to the desert”, or “climb Mount Carmel” and have, as St. John of the Cross said, “Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, and even on the Mount, nothing.”

One seeking the highest level of holiness or perfection (which we really all should strive for) would recognize all such pursuits as “vanity of vanities, a striving after winds” and seek to detatch oneself from cleaving to all created things, all entanglements of the flesh, all this which too shall pass as we travel from dust to dust…and seek to contemplate only God. A true mystic or ascetic would recognize the vain, empty, decadence of everything except loving God and serving Him alone. Movies, music, food, even emotional consolation derived from religion…all are ashes in the wind when we should be building up treasure in heaven. Maybe you should look into mystical and ascetic spirituality more.


#10

[quote=Magicsilence]Im not talking about innapropriate films.
Just normal films like bambi, batman, spiderman, whatever else. That do not cause you to sin. I feel wrong after watching any film now because i feel like i should be waiting for Christ at all moments. Therefore, my question is, it is ever morally ok to watch a film just to enjoy it?
In Christ. Andre.
[/quote]

Andre, take a deep breath. You’re way over thinking this, unless of course watching cartoon character baby deer stirs your concupiscence. Christ was having a grand ole time at the wedding feast of Cana. What you are doing IMHO is form of pride.

Now, if you wanted to give up watching movies as a form of penence, that’s fine, but do something constructive with that time. Talk to a priest. Your faith is admirable, but I think you need a little spiritual direction. That’s a good thing. A lot of folks never get that far.

Yours in Christ


#11

[quote=batteddy]Vanitas Vanitatum!

It is definitely not a sin, but it may be an imperfection.

A true mystic or ascetic indeed would not do such things.

If you are having such doubts, if you are feeling that nagging lack of satisfaction with the secular things of the world deep down…you may indeed be called to renounce all that, and “go out to the desert”, or “climb Mount Carmel” and have, as St. John of the Cross said, “Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, and even on the Mount, nothing.”

One seeking the highest level of holiness or perfection (which we really all should strive for) would recognize all such pursuits as “vanity of vanities, a striving after winds” and seek to detatch oneself from cleaving to all created things, all entanglements of the flesh, all this which too shall pass as we travel from dust to dust…and seek to contemplate only God. A true mystic or ascetic would recognize the vain, empty, decadence of everything except loving God and serving Him alone. Movies, music, food, even emotional consolation derived from religion…all are ashes in the wind when we should be building up treasure in heaven. Maybe you should look into mystical and ascetic spirituality more.
[/quote]

Although this post is not wrong… it is not right for a person who struggles with scruples. The real trick is seeing Gods hand in all created things… movies, art, story books, food, etc… recognize that God gives man the gifts to be creative. Keep a balance… keep moderation in the front of your mind.


#12

[quote=batteddy]Vanitas Vanitatum!

It is definitely not a sin, but it may be an imperfection.

A true mystic or ascetic indeed would not do such things.

If you are having such doubts, if you are feeling that nagging lack of satisfaction with the secular things of the world deep down…you may indeed be called to renounce all that, and “go out to the desert”, or “climb Mount Carmel” and have, as St. John of the Cross said, “Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, and even on the Mount, nothing.”

One seeking the highest level of holiness or perfection (which we really all should strive for) would recognize all such pursuits as “vanity of vanities, a striving after winds” and seek to detatch oneself from cleaving to all created things, all entanglements of the flesh, all this which too shall pass as we travel from dust to dust…and seek to contemplate only God. A true mystic or ascetic would recognize the vain, empty, decadence of everything except loving God and serving Him alone. Movies, music, food, even emotional consolation derived from religion…all are ashes in the wind when we should be building up treasure in heaven. Maybe you should look into mystical and ascetic spirituality more.
[/quote]

Your suggestions are safely directed at a person that is not inclined to scrupulosity. Giving up material possessions and pursuits out of love for God is one thing; abstaining from these things out of fear that they are sinful or lead to sin is quite another. Though your advice is sound enough when directed to the right sort of person, I don’t think it’s wise in this case. Magicsilence is inclined towards scrupulosity (a very painful condition) and this advice is NOT going to help him/her.


#13

[quote=Magicsilence]Im not talking about innapropriate films.
I feel wrong after watching any film now because i feel like i should be waiting for Christ at all moments.

.
[/quote]

to convince me to adopt this attitude, you would have to find where Jesus says “stand around waiting for me to come again, ignoring all the normal activities of daily life while you do it.” In fact what he did command us is to love one another, obey his commandments, feed the hungry, clothe the naked etc., take care of each other and to be always prepared for his coming again. Nowhere did he say, “Don’t move, don’t think, just sit there.”


#14

Where are people getting the idea the the OP struggles from scrupulosity? I see nothing that says that and do not have any idea why it would be assumed.


#15

I had that same question, CuriousInIL. Perhaps the OP has mentioned scruples in other threads that these people know about? In that case, I apologize…according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, those with scruples:

are to guard against the reading of ascetical books of a rigorist trend

But if the OP has not mentioned scruples in another thread, I defend my advice.

If we automatically conclude that someone has scruples just because they are inclined towards ascetic spirituality…and then say that they should not practice ascetic spirituality because they have scruples…it is clearly a logical circle that will prevent the Church from ever having any more mystics or ascetics.

abstaining from these things out of fear that they are sinful or lead to sin is quite another

Yes, but Magicsilence admits that the movies they are talking about are those “That do not cause you to sin.”

Magicsilence knows that they are not sinful per se, they just “feel wrong after watching any film now because i feel like i should be waiting for Christ at all moments.”

It doesn’t say Magicsilence feels “guilty,” just “wrong”…without explaining what “wrong” means. It is not necessarily a fear that it was sinful…perhaps just an inclination towards asceticism, a calling towards mysticism, an unsatisfaction with the things of this world, a pull towards a contemplative life waiting for Christ at all moments, a feeling that the secular life is wrong for Magicsilence and that they are called somewhere else.

Furthermore, Magicsilence has come here to ask the question “is it ever morally ok to watch a film just to enjoy it?” They have not made a conclusion yet, they are ignorant of whether it is ever morally okay, and have come here to have that question answered. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

If the source of their scruples be ignorance – for example, with regard to the obligation of some commandment – they are to be instructed, discretion being used in the imparting of the necessary information.

Sometimes, thus, the scruples are temporary and are only caused by a lack of knowledge as to what is sin and what is not. And now that Magicsilence knows that it is not a sin, perhaps they will be consoled and can go on and make a further discernment about what their feelings mean to their spirituality.

I would be cautious to jump to conclusions of scrupulosity, we are not the confessor. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

It is of great importance to be able to make a correct diagnosis of this disease. Hence especially guides of consciences should be familiar with the symptoms that betray its presence as well as with the causes which commonly give rise to it. For one thing, the confessor should not confound a delicate with a scrupulous conscience, neither should he interpret the reasonable solicitude sometimes discernible in those who are trying to emerge from a life of sin as a sign of scrupulosity. Then, too, ordinarily he ought not to hastily reach this conclusion on the very first experience of his penitent. It is true there are cases of scruples which may be recognized from the start, but this is not the rule. Some special indications that persons are really scrupulous, generally adopted by theologians are those enumerated by Lacroix. Among these is a certain rooted attachment to their own opinion which makes them unwilling to abide by the judgment of those whom they consult, even though these latter have every title to deference.

If Magicsilence is willing to abide by our counsel that it is not sinful, and accepts it, and it satisfies them, then it was merely a matter of ignorance as to what is and is not sinful being cleared up…that should not be judged as scruples, especially not on the first experience.

But if Magicsilence has indicated scruples on other threads, I would urge them to contact a spiritual director.


#16

[quote=batteddy]I had that same question, CuriousInIL. Perhaps the OP has mentioned scruples in other threads that these people know about? In that case, I apologize…according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, those with scruples:

But if the OP has not mentioned scruples in another thread, I defend my advice.

If we automatically conclude that someone has scruples just because they are inclined towards ascetic spirituality…and then say that they should not practice ascetic spirituality because they have scruples…it is clearly a logical circle that will prevent the Church from ever having any more mystics or ascetics.

Yes, but Magicsilence admits that the movies they are talking about are those “That do not cause you to sin.”

Magicsilence knows that they are not sinful per se, they just “feel wrong after watching any film now because i feel like i should be waiting for Christ at all moments.”

It doesn’t say Magicsilence feels “guilty,” just “wrong”…without explaining what “wrong” means. It is not necessarily a fear that it was sinful…perhaps just an inclination towards asceticism, a calling towards mysticism, an unsatisfaction with the things of this world, a pull towards a contemplative life waiting for Christ at all moments, a feeling that the secular life is wrong for Magicsilence and that they are called somewhere else.

Furthermore, Magicsilence has come here to ask the question “is it ever morally ok to watch a film just to enjoy it?” They have not made a conclusion yet, they are ignorant of whether it is ever morally okay, and have come here to have that question answered. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

Sometimes, thus, the scruples are temporary and are only caused by a lack of knowledge as to what is sin and what is not. And now that Magicsilence knows that it is not a sin, perhaps they will be consoled and can go on and make a further discernment about what their feelings mean to their spirituality.

I would be cautious to jump to conclusions of scrupulosity, we are not the confessor. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:

If Magicsilence is willing to abide by our counsel that it is not sinful, and accepts it, and it satisfies them, then it was merely a matter of ignorance as to what is and is not sinful being cleared up…that should not be judged as scruples, especially not on the first experience.

But if Magicsilence has indicated scruples on other threads, I would urge them to contact a spiritual director.
[/quote]

OMG

You speak EXACTLY what i think/feel.

Though some people think i suffer from scruplosity on this thread, and i thank you for your kindness, I am just trying to be a saint, and i mean a REAL saint. When reading how the saints of this world were dead to the world completely, I feel so compelled to imitate them. And thus, I have this feeling inside me that sees how watching a movie is NOT something a saint of the Church would do (with perhaps St John Bosco as an exception).

Everytime i finish watching a movie I feel so detracted from God, im thinking about the movie for a good few minutes, and if Christ came at THAT moment (or be it during the movie), I would be so ashamed, that i had spent a second of my life doing something other than looking for Christ.

You may think im scrupulous, and, I’ll be honest, I spent a good few minutes this morning giving myself a good talking to about sin. I may have been slowly leaning towards becoming scrupulous , and through the grace of God, he pulled me out of it.

Back to the issue at hand, I am indeed only asking a question. I want to see other opinions on the subject.


#17

[quote=Magicsilence]OMG

You speak EXACTLY what i think/feel.

Though some people think i suffer from scruplosity on this thread, and i thank you for your kindness, I am just trying to be a saint, and i mean a REAL saint. When reading how the saints of this world were dead to the world completely, I feel so compelled to imitate them. And thus, I have this feeling inside me that sees how watching a movie is NOT something a saint of the Church would do (with perhaps St John Bosco as an exception).

Everytime i finish watching a movie I feel so detracted from God, im thinking about the movie for a good few minutes, and if Christ came at THAT moment (or be it during the movie), I would be so ashamed, that i had spent a second of my life doing something other than looking for Christ.

You may think im scrupulous, and, I’ll be honest, I spent a good few minutes this morning giving myself a good talking to about sin. I may have been slowly leaning towards becoming scrupulous , and through the grace of God, he pulled me out of it.

Back to the issue at hand, I am indeed only asking a question. I want to see other opinions on the subject.
[/quote]

Magicsilence and batteddy…

I applaud your desires to grow closer to God. People who struggle with scruples… do not usually recognize that they struggle with scruples. They usually need their confessor to point it out for them. Even then… most people with scruples will ignore their confessor if it is brought to light.

What if Jesus came while you were:
…posting on this forum?
…eating at McDonalds?
…shopping for cloths?
…taking gym class?
…on a date with a girl/boy?
…shaving/taking a shower/going to the bathroom?
…any other day to day action that is morally acceptable to do?

I had similar questions when I was younger. I “decided” that the only way I could be close to God is if I entered monastery. I could not understand how the day to day things were going to get me to heaven.

To make a long story short:
I have struggled with scruples for a long time… (at first I did not believe it was a problem… actually thought it was a good thing, and no one could tell me any different) After many years I was treated (by my spiritual director) for scrupulosity. Part of that treatment was the priest showing me how even the most meaningless day to day task or action can bring glory to God. Even sitting down and enjoying an ice cream cone… watching a movie… reading a book… drinking a beer… etc. Even though I was “treated” I still have to be on guard against scruples.

I never did become a monk. I got married and have a family now instead. God still wants me to get to heaven, but I cannot do so by hiding from the world… I am forced to interact with it every day. Just keep things in moderation. Enjoy Bambi and Batman, and when your allowed to… enjoy the proverbial “beer”… but don’t over do it… don’t turn Gods gifts into sin. Consecrate everything you do and experience to God (preferably through His mother Mary.)

batteddy… it is dangerous to give out advice such as yours to a scrupulous person (or someone who MAY be scrupulous)… it only encourages them in there scruples. Let a priest do that work, and someday if you do become priest like your profile states… you will have the training to do so also. Many of the people here answered Magicsilence’s question… but there were also warning that he/she should talk to a priest about this because if its sensitive nature.


#18

This might sound a little nuts, but sometimes I feel like God actually spoke to me through certain movies as a child… For example, the original Star Wars films had a profound emotional impact on me (still do). They taught me about good versus evil, the beauty of friendship, and I believe may have planted the seeds of desire for mystical union with Him. This is why it’s so important to really pay attention to what children are absorbing.


#19

Has Magicsilence indicated scruples on another thread? If that is the case, I wholeheartedly agree that they should seek a trained spiritual director.

But if people are simply jumping to the conclusion that Magicsilence is scrupulous simply because of the content of the original post, then I disagree with the diagnosis entirely.

I am sad to see so many people turn away from the priestly or monastic life because a desire to become a monk or nun is seen as “scrupulous” or “escapism”! We are probably losing our best potential priests and religious that way. For some reason, zeal and fervor have come to be seen as impediments to these vocations, and having no doubts about one’s vocation is considered disordered and bad! Ridiculous!

One of the things that has both good and bad implications in the post Vatican II world is this idea that even lay people can make everyday life holy, with the resultant attitude that there is no point to go into some other vocation.

While it is certainly true that lay people can make everyday life holy, this attitude ignores the fact that the surest path to the highest levels of holiness is withdrawing from the world in the contemplative religious life.


#20

[quote=batteddy]Has Magicsilence indicated scruples on another thread? If that is the case, I wholeheartedly agree that they should seek a trained spiritual director.

But if people are simply jumping to the conclusion that Magicsilence is scrupulous simply because of the content of the original post, then I disagree with the diagnosis entirely.

[/quote]

Most people here simply recommend that Magicsilence talk to a priest about it, with a warning that it could be scrupulosity.

Who has turned away because they were accused of being scrupulous? It would seem that they had issues with pride if that is all it took to turn them away. I would also note that a scrupulous person would not make a good monk or nun. No one here is doing any turning away… I just made the comment that you should use caution if you decided to play “spiritual director.” I am not sure if you fully understand how dangerous scrupulosity is.

Hmmm… sure VII etc etc… how about… all people need to make everyday holy… this is just a fact of our faith. Besides, unless your profile is wrong… you are not a priest yet… You are 16 years old… you are still a lay person. I sure hope you are working on getting to heaven now, and not waiting till you become a priest. :wink: (I take interest here, because you remind me a lot of my young brother when he was your age.) As for those who say there is no point in going into a religious vacation… they are wrong… It is unfortunate that those people out there have those misguided ideas. During my discernment process, my spiritual director told me this… you can not truly love one vocation without loving them all. To this day I am still very attracted to the priestly vocations, and contemplative monastic vocations… I hope to instill this love into my children.

Everyone is called to not be attached to the world. Detaching yourself form worldly things is a sure path to holiness. Actually I encourage religious vocations to young people all the time… but when I sense scrupulosity I try not to fuel the fire. Do not think you have to be a contemplative in order to detach yourself from the world. AGAIN!!! >>>> Religious life is great… but people with scruples need a spiritual director… people discerning religious life would benefit from having a spiritual director too. (hint hint ;))

wow… this is off topic!


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