This time of year it seems we can’t get enough of disgusting and fearful images. One only has to flip channels on your TV to be bombarded with images that play on our fears of the unknown supernatural realm. However, more and more it seems that media involving the supernatural is no longer reserved for the occasional movie, now we have year round TV series as well.
Believing that we are both physical and spiritual beings, makes me wonder what happens to us physically and spiritually as we watch fearful, disgusting and horrific images.
I believe that our initial instinct to find certain images ‘scary’ or ‘gross’ is a warning sign for us to avoid these images. Many of us ignore that warning. What happens then? The rush caused by the chemical release in our brain becomes the reason we stay and laugh at the images or at our startled reaction. Psychologists say there is a release of adrenaline when we watch fearful images. This adrenaline is to give us the energy to fight or flight. Instead we sit and continue watching.
When we are done with that movie or show we want to watch another because we want that rush again and again. We will want to re-visit the scene that elicited the ‘rush’. We will recall the scene in our minds or talk about it to others. When we think about it or talk about the scene we feel the same chemical release. We enjoy the rush again.
I am more concerned with what happens to us spiritually when we watch horror movies. In this two-part post I will share with you four things I propose happens spiritually.
Most of us can remember the cartoon image of a person who has an angel on one shoulder and demon on the other. The demon is trying to tempt the person to make an immoral choice. The angel reminds us of the consequences and persuades us to choose the good. This image is closer to reality than we may realize. Our Guardian Angel has been given to us by God, to help us battle evil and protect us from harm. When we make the free will choice to watch horror movies, in a sense, we tie our Guardian Angels hands. We force our Guardian Angel to step back while we feed the demon. When we pray to our Guardian Angel we ask him to ‘rule and guard, light and guide.” In that moment that we choose to feed the demon we are welcoming darkness, stopping our Guardian Angel from ruling and guarding and allowing the demon to be our guide instead.
Secondly, I propose we are ruining our relationship with our Blessed Mother. Jesus gave us his mother as a gift. She helps us come to know her son, and she wants to be close to us. Through her purity, beauty and love she has the power to “crush the head of the serpent.” Yet, when we choose to watch horrific images we are saying, “Mother Mary, don’t crush the serpent’s head just yet, I want to feed him for a bit, let him be my pet.”
What is the danger in that? We all know the longer we own a pet the more affection we have for the animal. The more difficult it is for us to detach from it. In this case, the serpent becomes stronger and hungrier. Soon it becomes the master and we it’s slave. We naïvely think we will be strong enough to put it down before that time comes. The serpent is cunning. He knows we need Mother Mary, our Guardian Angel and especially Christ to put him down for us.
Tomorrow I will share how we damage our relationship with Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.
Have a safe and happy “All Hallows Eve” and remember to pray to your Guardian Angel today.
Read Part 2 here.