by Br. Alexis Bugnolo
When I was but a boy, there were about 8 channels on television. I did not grow up listening to the radio, as that was turned on only if the family was in the car traveling somewhere.
When I became a teen there was maybe 15 channels on television. That was all we could receive with the antenna on the roof.
But when I moved to Florida in the start of the third year of High School, we had satellite tv, and there were so many channels and no TV guide to tell you what was on.
The internet made the number of channels and sources of information explode to the infinite. Today, on any topic whatsoever one can find more information than one has time to read, listen to or even understand.
And most people get lost in all of that.
But our mind only has one channel, and if we don’t use it well, we have lived in vain.
This one channel is the source of information and understanding that can change our life, if we use it.
First of all, this channel is superior to all the others, since this one can talk to God, the Saints and the Angels. This one can receive understanding that will change our life for the better. This one, is the only one, too, which can give us true information about ourselves.
Indeed, if we do not turn this channel on, we are living in a fog, and are not in contact with reality, as much as we might think otherwise.
The one problem with this channel, is that if we turn its attention to any of the other channels available, we are actually using it at the lowest level of its capacity. For just as if we always look at what is on the sidewalk, we might miss the most important meetings and appointments of life; or just as if we went to sea only looking at the waves, and never at the weather or the stars in heaven, we would be constant danger of being dashed in the most terrible misfortunes; so in life, if we do not direct the one channel of our soul to the highest things which it can consider, we are living dangerously and foolishly.
Unlike all these other channels on television or social media, this one channel of the soul can obtain for us the truth about life and the world to come and how to get there. And if we fail to use it, we won’t just ruin our life in this world, we will end up making the worst possible eternal choice: that of indifference, which is punished with eternal horrors.
This wondrous capacity of our souls requires, however, one thing only: that we keep the attention of our minds on the Way, the Truth and the Life, that is, on Jesus Christ, who gave us this channel of the mind, so that we could come to know and believe in Him, and follow Him out of the shipwreck of this world, to the land of abiding safety and salvation.
Finally, this is the only channel where with prayer, meditation and a good and abundant dose of repentance, we can begin to unlock and open the shutter of our soul, clean off the window, and come to understand that where Jesus and His Saints are, is the true reality, and the true only worthwhile destination.
Lent is a time for prayer, reflection, repentance and contemplation. And the best way to start is to turn off all the other channels, and begin to consider how you have wasted your entire life attending to them, and not using the full capacity of the one channel of your soul and mind, to come to know Jesus and follow after Him.