Our sometimes-commenter Peter S. remarks over at Bruce Charlton's Miscellany:
This is the key issue: how to find or create a spiritual ‘modus vivendi’ that allows one to be ‘in the modern world but not of it’? This is the terrible spiritual position of the individual embedded in modernity, for, if a normative civilization quite naturally provides supports for the remembrance of God and the spiritual life, the modern world substitutes, in practical fact, these supports with impediments. In effect, instead of swimming with the spiritual current of a normative civilization, the individual must swim against the current of the modern world if he is to escape spiritual ruination.
As Don Colacho – whose aphorisms are available once again – critically observes, “Today the individual must gradually reconstruct inside himself the civilized universe that is disappearing around him.” [http://don-colacho.blogspot.com/2010/10/2046.html]
There is a twofold effort that is required: intellectual, in that one must see through the errors of the modern conception, and build, for oneself at least, an understanding of things that relates back to the Transcendent and to spiritual realities; operative, in that one should try, in whatever partial and intermittent manner, to orient one’s daily life toward prayer and the remembrance of God. Modern life is inherently centrifugal, scattering one’s attention to the periphery; the task before one is to return, again and again, to the Center, to quite literally ‘re-collect’ oneself before God.
As Frithjof Schuon recommends, “In short, one must live ‘in a little garden of the Holy Virgin,’ without unhealthy curiosity and without ever losing sight of the essential content and goal of life. That is ‘holy poverty’ or ‘holy childlikeness’; it is also, so to speak, ‘holy monotony’.... dominated by the proximity of the sacred, and on the margin from the uproar of this lower world.... This seems obvious, but most believers take no account of it.”