Filtering News

The “news” comes to us as heaps of raw facts and feelings. It continually massages our values, aims, and purposes. If we let it come into our souls raw and unfiltered, the “news” can burden us and even do us real damage.

We hear about another politician convicted of taking bribes to pass or block some legislation. We see the horror of a civil war driving Christians from their home of a thousand years and then destroying their patrimony. We feel the anger of a mother whose son was killed in one of our weekly mass shootings.

Now we can judge the politician in our hearts a fool. We can hate the murderous rebels destroying peoples’ lives. We can aim our fury at either the NRA or its opponents, depending on our stance.

But our faith is clear: we judge no one a fool. We do not hate, but pray for our enemies. Instead of lashing out in fury, we want to have peace of heart and live with wisdom.

How can this be done? The first filter of raw and hurtful news has to be the family because the family is, in reality, the first filter of culture to each of us. Where are we to start meeting this rather vague duty?

Perhaps with the Good News. Perhaps with reading the Word of God every day, even as a family action. Instead of “grace before meals,” why not a reading of the gospel of the day, which is available on line and in a dozen little publications.

But this will not happen until each parent has committed to a daily reading and pondering of God’s Word. This would seem a fairly niggardly response to God’s choice to tell us about Himself. We tell Him about ourselves in response, beginning with our thoughts and feelings about the concrete “news” that is affecting our hearts and minds.