Watching television has to be one of the most perverse forms of denigration to the human mind in the modern world, a shameful waste of the freedom that the industrialized economy has afforded us, and I am glad that instead I read and write.

There are many earthly activities that are uplifting to the soul, but watching television, smoking cigarettes, factory-made food are not among them. Woe to those – culturally, politically, and spiritually – who engage in such activities whether as form of cheap entertainment in a social setting or for mere self-indulgence.

Make the most, then, of any opportunity to write. Practice the several virtues. It is no trouble for me to repeat it and it is a safeguard for you. Combined with a disciplined program of hard work – whether or not one needs to do it for a living –, free creativity, engaging in some art, is healthy for the mind and spirit, but merely engaging in art without a disciplined program of hard work is also mere self-indulgence in the majority of cases and usually does no go to the self or to others.

No matter what you do, then, take it seriously, do it for the glory of God, and do it also in the service of others, for the community of personhood, the very life the we share together with God.

That is the work of the poet, then, ποιητής, to teach us the value of creation, the role of freedom in our lives as creatures, and the economy of service. For it is through the personhood of others, chiefly of course through the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that we are who we are, and you, my friend, may have the opportunity to learn more and more who you are through your effort to educate your son. But may this first and foremost be God’s will before it is my will. For it is only by shaping our souls to justice, by shaping our will to God’s will, that we can be saved, that we can truly serve others, that we can use our creative powers for the furtherance of creation.

Advertisements