Thursday, November 25, 2010

mr. roboto

"domo arigato, Mr. Roboto...
you're wondering who i am
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
machine or mannequin
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
with parts made in Japan
(secret, secret, i've got a secret)
i am the modern man" (Styx - Mr. Roboto (video), 1983)

i heard this song - big 80's on 8, of course - on the way up to the conference on how-to-be-a-priest, how to be a good joyful priest, embracing the gift of both priesthood and celibacy. therefore, how not to be Mr. Fr. Roboto. as i'm thinking about what will be taking place, learning to fly, i'm reminded that the priest is not a robot but a human too. domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. this song blew my mind, now hearing it with new eyes.
"i've got a secret, i've been hiding under my skin
my heart is human, my blood is boiling
my brain I.B.M. [indeed, what's Mac? i've always been PC]
so if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
i'm just a man who needed someone
and somewhere to hide
to keep me alive, just keep me alive
somewhere to hide to keep me alive"
it was great to be with the brothers last week, some of whom i haven't seen in over 5years - i studied with many of them over at St. Augustine's Seminary. we gathered together to discuss challenges of the priesthood today, in 2010. we concentrated on evangelization, discouragement, relationships + priestly fraternity, balance (why does this one keep coming up?), and celibacy. we discussed the up's and down's, however, everything in the context of the joy of the priesthood. we also prayed together, morning prayer and daily Eucharist with some of the Ontario Catholic Bishops. it was a great week. it also allowed me to experience Niagara Falls, On. good times. the week helped us to refocus in our ministry and become once again anchored in Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"i'm not a robot without emotions
i'm not what you see
i've come to help you
with your problems, so we can be free
i'm not a hero, i'm not a saviour
forget what you know"
these are interesting words for a song, but powerful [prophetic?] words when applied to our lives. as a man, as a Christian, as a priest, i can only do so much. funny how i always expect more, and get disappointed when i do less. i'm just a man. but my true identity is a Christian - son of the Father, disciple of Christ, temple of the Holy Spirit. indeed, my true identity, is now as a priest of Our Lord Jesus Christ. i'm not a hero. i'm not a saviour. like everyone else, i needed Someone, and last week's conference helped me to centre my life once again on Him.
"domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
the problem's plain to see
too much technology
machines to save our lives
machines, de-humanize"
too much technology? hmmm, where have i heard this before? i'm still trying to figure out my cell phone, so sometimes i'm out of the loop. however, i remember that line when Colecovision and Atari where in! then again i heard it when i wanted my Nintendo system. of course, then computers began popular - Y2K was barking the end of the world! then, Playstation, Xbox, now iPhones, Blackberrys, iPad and what's next? there's always going to be something new! the question is not not wanting to create and imagine new horizon's, but rather to realize that all this stuff is a means to an end ... Home with JC! if anything gets in the way, then we need a reality check.

once i soaked it all up, today i run from it. however, there's a need for it within ministry. but where's the balance? sometimes i feel like i'm being sucked into emails and phone calls, like a centrifuge collecting the crap ... it keeps me from escaping, from being with people - visiting hospitals, visiting the sick, visiting schools, meetings within the parish and the diosese. "get a blackberry" many people tell me. say it ain't so!!! that won't help in writing my Sunday homily, or will it? indeed, email, phone, twitter, blogs, have their place in our lives. as Salt & Light reminds us, we need to use modern forms of communication effectively. ah, but that's the keyword - effectively. we are still learning. i'm still learning. any tips, i'd appreciate it. however, i'm still far off from starting the new language of texting. now, gotta run and work on my homily. peace out. domo arigato.

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