Much of the entertainment in and around the pond can arouse great “feelings” in one. The Church Fathers refer to these feelings as The Passions. They distract us from our true task – Theosis – becoming one with God.
But I thought I had found an “entertainment” that does not arouse my passions – nor that of most people who “indulge.” The mysteries of Agatha Christie as portrayed by Joan Hickson as Miss Marple and David Suchet as Hercule Poirot. There is a decidedly intellectual approach. Although a murder or two occurs in each episode, this is almost incidental to the whole enterprise. The main focus is the intellectual processes of Poirot and Marple as they solve the conundrums. Most satisfying, but hardly the makings of the passions.
But this is not the only consideration. We must also consider that anything, however non-arousing of the passions, that distracts us from our task – Theosis – is just that. A distraction. And that time which we spend distracted is time not focused on God.
For the Orthodox, even a simple, passionless distraction from the path is a fall on the path to Theosis. So, although we enjoy our calm British mysteries, we recognize that we need to view them with suspicion. Are we getting too “caught up” in them? Watching too much? Are we shorting our prayers to watch? Skipping scripture? Ignoring the writings of the Fathers of the Church? Then it is time to set aside those calm, cool British mysteries – to abstain from them, for a while and realign our lives with God in the center.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!