Lenten Reflections 3rd Friday of Lent Social Media #3 The Kingdom of Noise

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Lenten Reflections 3rd Friday of Lent Social Media #3 The Kingdom of Noise

As I was think­ing about what to write today it occurred to me there is one thing I left out con­cern­ing social media that hit me when I remem­bered this pas­sage from the Scewtape letters:

Music and silence — how I detest them both! How thank­ful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell … no square inch of infer­nal space and no moment of infer­nal time has been sur­ren­dered to either of those abom­inable forces, but all has been occu­pied by Noise— Noise, the grand dynamism, the audi­ble expres­sion of all that is exul­tant, ruth­less, and vir­ile— Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despair­ing scru­ples, and impos­si­ble desires. We will make the whole uni­verse a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in that direc­tion as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end.

C.S. Lewis the Screw­tape Letters

Is that not the per­fect descrip­tion of social media? A bunch of noise, either videos, or sounds or images or rants designed to dis­tract us and divert us from the things that mat­ter in real life?

Con­sider how many times you see on a sub­way or a restau­rant or even when out with friends, heads buried in a cell­phone com­pletely obliv­i­ous to what we’re doing or who we’re with. We take the noise, chat­ter and clut­ter of social media with us because heaven for­bid we miss something.

Con­trast that with the patience of a novena or a retreat, or the silence before the blessed sacra­ment. It’s no coin­ci­dence that Eli­jah found the voice of God in a tiny whis­per­ing soundand not in the earth­quake or the storm.

Dur­ing this lent take some time to put away the noise of the world and seek the Lord in silence. You’ll be sur­prised at what you might hear.

As I was thinking about what to write today it occurred to me there is one thing I left out concerning social media that hit me when I remembered this passage from the Scewtape letters:


Music and silence—how I detest them both! How thankful we should be that ever since our Father entered Hell … no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered to either of those abominable forces, but all has been occupied by Noise— Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile— Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples, and impossible desires.  We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in that direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. 

C.S. Lewis the Screwtape Letters

Is that not the perfect description of social media? A bunch of noise, either videos, or sounds or images or rants designed to distract us and divert us from the things that matter in real life?

Consider how many times you see on a subway or a restaurant or even when out with friends, heads buried in a cellphone completely oblivious to what we’re doing or who we’re with. We take the noise, chatter and clutter of social media with us because heaven forbid we miss something.

Contrast that with the patience of a novena or a retreat, or the silence before the blessed sacrament. It’s no coincidence that Elijah found the voice of God in a tiny whispering soundand not in the earthquake or the storm.

During this lent take some time to put away the noise of the world and seek the Lord in silence. You’ll be surprised at what you might hear.