I’m starting to believe that the Church needs to do a better job on teaching the reasons temperance is the foundational virtue.
Almost everything in popular culture and in the modern media is sending the opposite message. Which isn’t surprising given that the economic model of the online world and much of the media is driven by the support of advertisers. And the more the consumers of your information impulsively support your advertisers, the more financial reward for the content producers. I’m guessing this is happening in an unconscious way on the part of most of the producers – but in the case of high budget, big production value creations, such a connection can’t be left to chance.
Temperance, which is at it’s simplest the ability of a mature Christian soul to control his or her urges is exactly the opposite of the instant gratification of the online world. I suppose that’s part of the reason that you won’t find much online about the concept. Most people think of the term itself as denoting an aversion to the drinking of alcohol – which is one of the implications of learning to live temperately, but does not nearly reflect the fullness of the concept.
I’m supposed to be writing an essay for our Commission on Ministry on this topic, and it’s time for me to get started. (I’ve been pushing it back because of other commitments, but I really need to have it done for the fall.)