I’ve started reading Peter Kreeft’s The Angels and the Ants again (didn’t finish it the first time). I’m not Catholic (Kreeft is), but I like the way this guy thinks; this is the most useful book about combining sanctity with daily living that I have ever found. One chapter is entitled, How to Become a Saint While Changing Diapers. I’ll probably share some excerpts from that one later.
I started typing this excerpt to respond to another blog, and decided to include it here (in a more complete/expanded form), since I was writing it up already.


From the chapter entitled:


Every serious social problem that is tearing our society, our families, and our lives apart today– drugs, promiscuity, violence, infidelity, divorce– can be explained by this motive…

Here is an amazing fact: “The word boredom did not enter the language until the eighteenth century. No one knows its etymology,” according to the acclaimed novelist Walker Percy in Lost in the Cosmos.

Almost the same thing can be said of atheism: it hardly existed at all before the eighteenth century.

The relation between the two is evident: Only God and the attributes of God– Love, wisdom, beauty, joy holiness– are infinite and inexhaustible; therefore, without God everything is eventually boring.

Weren’t people bored before the eighteenth century? They got tired of cutting wood for ten hours, but they didn’t get tired of everything. That’s what boredom means.

The only possible explanation for this modern madness is this: It is not the world that is boring, but the self. Since it simply isn’t true that everything real, everything in objective reality, is boring, therefore the source of boredom must be within. The bored self projecting it’s own inner emptiness onto reality…. It reduces the big world to a small world by projecting its own littleness onto its world…

Heaven is not boring. In fact, only heaven (and heaven’s colonies on earth) is not boring…

The alternative to boredom, the cure for boredom and the cure for all the ills of the modern world that are rooted in boredom– is sanctity.

Sanctity– a relationship with God– is essentially letting God be present, letting heaven rule its colonies, establishing the kingdom of heaven on earth, in human hearts and human lives. Sanctity is essentially “the practice of the presence of God,” as Br. Lawrence put it in the title of his little classic.

Saints “do all for the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Sanctity is not only willing to do God’s will, it is also thinking God’s thoughts. We are to love God with our whole mind as well as our whole heart (Mt 22:37). Sanctity means seeing everything has a purpose– in fact, that everything has the same purpose, that “all things work together for good” (Rom 8:28); and that that purpose is the most joy-filled, glory-weighted purpose any heart has ever imagined: receiving and giving back infinite, absolute, unconditional divine love forever.

~end of excerpt~

This is definitely a challenge to examine ourselves before we complain of our environment.

4 thoughts on “Boredom

  1. I just read your comment about boredom on Sallie’s blog and popped over here to say I thought it was excellent.

    I honestly can’t remember EVER being bored! (I’m sure I had a few moments when I was a kid, of saying, “Mom, I’m so boooored…” but they didn’t last long – if nothing else, there’s always a new book to read!) Especially since being married. There are always so many things to do, projects to work on…Matthew and I are so entreprenurial that we’re always working on new things.

  2. Pingback: Untangling Tales » Blog Archive » How Much Mystery…?

  3. Thank you for this wonderful insight. I think it will be the biggest help in beating boredom this summer. It’s not about what we are “doing” or not “doing” it’s about our view…self or God. Thank you again!

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