Materialism

If Jesus says we are to be in the world but not of it and that we are to live on Him alone, how does the Church respond to secular materialism such as video games, secular music and movies, secular books, etc.?

From experience, the more we follow Jesus Christ, the more our lives will conform to Him. So, the more Christlike we will become, and the less worldly we will be.

I don't think that any of these things are immoral or wrong, and the Church says the same thing. But, as we come to know Jesus Christ more, the less fulfilling these things come.

I know that if I'm watching a movie that have absolutely nothing to do with faith and our relationship with God, I'm certainly less interested in them than films that are.

As for "living on God alone"... we certainly can't get our identity from music or video games. That's why the Apostles often refer to each other as ____, a servant of Christ. Hopefully that applies to us as well. You would be jcunningham, a servant of Christ. And not jcunningham, servant of Christ, avid video game player, music listener, movie critic, prominent scholar... etc.

It's not that these things can't be part of our lives. But, our lives can't be devoted to them, not even partially. Our lives should be fully devoted only to Jesus Christ and the Triune God.

JMJ

I agree completely, Semper Zelare. The underlying principle is perhaps where our treasure is stored: store not for yourselves treasure on earth (cf. Mt 6:19-21). We definitely need material things in order to live, but we must prevent outselves from becoming attached to them, especially if they distract from our service to God. If I’m reading a cheap dime novel when I could be reading the lives of the Saints, I should recheck my reading list. If I’m playing video games instead of going to Sunday Mass, then I should recheck my priorities. But if I spend adequate time in prayer (this is determined by you and your spiritual director), and if the “secular” activities are wholesome (that is, you’re not playing violent and gory shooter video games, or watching movies with questionable content), there’s nothing wrong with enjoying one every once and a while.

God love you!

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