Today's reading: Psalms 97-102 (98-103)
"I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless." Psalm 100/101:3
Today's Psalm reminds us that during the time of the Great Fast we not only refrain from certain foods, but that we should put additional effort into striving for holiness in all areas of our lives. One of the most important things for us to be watchful of during Lent, and throughout our lives, is what we "ingest" visually. We are now being constantly bombarded by visual stimuli. One digital marketing firm estimates that most Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads every day! Just as not every food is healthy, so many of the images we take in on a daily basis, whether purposefully or not, are not good for us. Much of what is available to be seen on the internet ranges from "worthless," as the Psalmist says, to deplorable.
We need to take special care when it comes to what we see, because what we take in visually is very quickly stored in our memory, and what is stored in our memory goes a long way in determining the kind of thoughts that we have. According to Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, author of Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, "Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility." Therefore, let us be especially watchful of what we set before our eyes during these last two weeks of Lent.