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Augustine and a Distracted Heart

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I’m not sure that a distracted heart can be solved by removing Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or any other platform. My right-hand causes me to sin, so I take it to the butcher block, only to find my left is causing me a bundle of problems itself! Ultimately, we may strip our lives down to nothing but the dogs and hares and find that we are still consumed with “vain stupidity.” 

I sighed deeply as I locked my phone and slid it into my pocket. I had just lost another half hour to the Twitter void. This familiar defeat to the black glass pane colored my morning reading as I pulled out Augustine’s Confessions. With this mindset, I discovered an ancient passage to be acutely pertinent to my ostensibly modern problem:

“I do not now go to the circus to see a dog chasing a hare, but should such a sight present itself to my eyes when I chance to be passing by a field, it may well divert me from some important thought to concentrate on that chase and cause me to turn aside not with the body of my mount but rather with the inclinations of my heart. And unless You be pleased on these occasions, after having shown me my weakness, quickly remind me by this sight either to aspire by some pious consideration toward You or to despise it and pass on, I stand fixed in this vain stupidity.” Book 10, Chapter 35

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