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How Noisy the World Has Become

Christina Herath, Sri Lanka
It is easy to say that our current epoch must be the noisiest of all times.

noise pollution

A noisy world & the people in it addicted to constant background sound

One need only go outside to run an errand: the sound of honking vehicles on the road, the latest songs blaring in the supermarket, a backdrop din that invades even the elevators. Then the people themselves, all plugged into some electronic device. It seems that this generation must eternally have something playing in their ears or in the background. It was never like this in the past; and it should not be so today.

Before we continue, one might object: “Why spend time writing on something like noise and music? Are there not more important problems to deal with?”

Yes, there are, I respond. However, it is not a banal topic. As counter-revolutionaries, we must strive to please God in every way we can, and fight in every terrain that moves us away from the contemplation of Him and His Creation. The constant noise draws us away from Him, and modern music in truth directs us straight to the Devil’s den.

The world before the chaos

medieval dancing singing peasants

Medieval people created the music
they sang & danced to

The world was a quieter place before the Industrial Revolution; town and countryside alike could be mildly disturbed by a stonemason or carpenter plying his trade, the tumult of the town market or theatre – or like activities. There was also, I would add, at regular hours, the gentle hum of monastery choirs and the clanging of the blessed bells of churches.

The era of the medieval ages was a quieter, happier time, I believe. Everything, even the music, was directed in some way to God’s glory. If we listen to the songs of old, both religious and folk, we find well ordered music, with lyrics that stimulate religious and loyal sentiments of faith and devotion to country and family in the hearer.

Music had to be made by man, it demanded an effort on his part. And when he was not singing or playing an instrument, there was silence.

The silence was glorious and the music was too. Both are necessary to nourish recollection and assist in the spiritual life. For my generation (GenZ) it is hardly possible to even imagine such a world, one with music that does not deter the spirit from turning upward instead of downward, that causes health instead of anxieties, that stimulates virtue instead of vice.

Truly one can say that the music of our days is nothing more than noise, even vulgar noise.

How did we descend so far?

With the Industrial Revolution came the loud machines, locomotive whistles and steaming engines. Always more machines, more convenient and smoother, but the noisier have people become.

plugged into radio

Ladies plug into the first radio in the 1890s as a diversion; today’s youth are always plugged in

modern youth plugged in
By the 1990s the smart phones came along and society began to look like a mass of people speaking to themselves. Today, in every corner one finds some youth creating a “tik tok”, or blogging or pulling Internet pranks on others. Even when they study, the modern youth require music; for relaxation more awful pieces must be played. Always noise, never silence seems to be the rule.

With the constant noise, youth have lost the natural sense of reserve and dignity that men had in the past. They have become boisterous, bold and unafraid to say and do whatever comes to them at the moment, no matter how unbecoming it is. Of course they expect every action to be “tolerated.”

Women, who were always gentle, modest and quiet, in our days are louder than the men; they do not hesitate to scream and behave inappropriately in the name of asserting their feminist “rights.”

Children, who used to be taught to be quiet, respectful and behaved are now, seemingly, given the full freedom to say whatever they feel and whenever they choose, while the parents frantically capture the video to post on the Internet.

women then and now

From contemplation to constant roaring...

Men, who are supposed to speak loudly and firmly in defense of what is right in the world and the Church, have been silenced and treated as enemies of society. Everything is turned on its head.

Modern music so unworthy of that name, only compels its listeners to act on impulse, dance sensually and act inappropriately. The lyrics encourage revolution in the soul with either effeminate or egalitarian ideas, or outright blasphemous and satanic messages.

Considering this, one should loudly claim that he must not listen to music or else he will go mad. Music today is madness.

Music today does more than give one a headache; it warps the mind. Whether you realize it or not, the kind of music to which you listen impacts you strongly. Plato, in his Republic affirmed that music will move youth to either virtue or vice. That is why he warned the State against allowing novel, discordant music that gives the emotions free reign:“Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them.”

The need for silence

There is, then, a role for music, which can order the soul in a proper way. But there is also the need for silence.


A hermit finds peace in silence & recollection

Silence is recommended by all the Saints. It nourishes the prayerful spirit, encourages one to converse with God and causes one to reflect on transcendent truths. St. John of the Cross advises that wisdom enters through silence: “What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language He best hears is silent love.”

Maximilian Kolbe declares that “Silence is necessary, and even absolutely necessary. If silence is lacking, then grace is lacking.”

“In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture”, says Thomas a Kempis.

Our part against this

As counter-revolutionaries Catholics, we must combat this foe of constant noise by bringing back and maintaining the practise of silence and recollection, as well as by reintroducing good music. A stubborn teenager may exclaim: “Why can’t I listen to anything I want during recreation?”

Well, in the spiritual life there is the maxim that if you are not moving forward, you are automatically going backwards. Therefore, if you are listening to something that is not pushing you forward along the way of virtue, then it is doing the opposite.

our lady

Our Lady cherishes silence & solitude

If we wish to conquer the ugliness of the noise of today’s world, let parents teach their children the beauty of solitude and familiarity with God. Let Catholic homes be havens of prayer and healthy recreation, removed from the distractions of the world. Let singing and the playing of instruments be the music of the house, not constant sounds coming from speakers.

Radios and televisions add to the noise in the home and, in our time, always are pushing revolutionary agendas, therefore getting rid of them is most suitable.

The ideal Catholic home will provide sweet times of silence where the meditative spirit can develop. And when it is time for recreation and family events, good, ordered and noble music will enter. Folk songs linked to one’s ancestry and culture help to give a person the sense of who he is and where he comes from.

We should also replace the habit of listening to music when walking or driving. If you must have noise, listen to something profitable, like sermons or Catholic audio books. It is even better to practise accustoming yourself to silence. Pray and think, without the background of music.

Let us in all things imitate our blessed Mother, who cherished silence and solitude. She, the beautiful “dove in the clefts of the rock,” will teach us true silence and, by her powerful prayers, make us know how sweet it is to converse with God and, like her, to keep and ponder His words in our hearts.

dance and song medieval

Posted on February 24, 2023

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