St. Theophan the Recluse and Anime

To apply the content to oneself is the purpose and fruit of reading. If you read without applying what is read to yourself, nothing good will come of it, and even harm may result. Theories will accumulate in the head, leading you to criticize others instead of improving your own life.1

– St. Theophan the Recluse

Though St. Theophan is speaking of spiritual readings, such as the Philokalia, in this passage, one can easily see how this applies with anything we watch or read. This hearkens back to St. Basil, that we should take that which edifies and leave the rest. The reading (or in this case watching) without applying no doubts echoes Paul’s own warning that “knowledge puffeth up” without its application of charity (1 Cor 8:1). Perhaps we should be careful watching shows merely for the sake of watching them, for merely being entertained (though, even entertainment has its place in our lives). More importantly, we should take that which comports with our views and apply it to our lives. So we shouldn’t act like Zuko when he was like this:

But rather when he was like this:

…Which of course reminded everyone of this:


1Igumen Chariton of Valamo, trans. E. Kadloubovsky & E.M. Palmer E. M., Ed. T. Ware. The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology. NY: Faber and Faber, Inc., 1966. pg. 130

Picture References

1I can’t seem to find the exact link I used, by I do know it is by the hand of the Pachomian brothers from Mt. Athos

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