Monday, May 28, 2012

it's a small world

Rovio's Angry Birds
it's a small app world after all
it's a small app world after all
it's a small app world after all
it's a small app, small app world (Disney via Sherman Brothers - It's a Small World, 1966)
another post promoting all things IEC2012 in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

do you know that feeling, when you've heard a song one too many times?  bingo!  this was one of them for me, until i changed one of the words - app!  i'm awesome.  you see i just crossed one word out, and put another in.  cool, eh?  anywho, enough of that.

just a quick update on how it is truly an app world after all.  since getting my smartphone, my whole world changed.  a slight exageration, however, my routines have been affected.  i now drink my coffee with Google Reader and Tweetdeck.  upload a few pics using Instagram.  entering into Ordinary Time with Angry Birds.  the app list goes on and on.  indeed, i often see Top 10 Apps for this and that, thrown around by mashable.  apps are taking over this world, and again, one has to be careful on how they are used (Martha + Mary).  why do people get smartphones?  not to call people, but to play Angry Birds, and use apps.  it's true, really.

for example, last week i came across a list of must-have summer apps!  one of them was Touchnote - take a picture, send a postcard!  wow!  i was all over that one.  since i am 1 week 5 days (and counting) away from Dublin, i am planning to send postcards.  i like this app - even before using it - because it will save time in looking for postcards while away, finding necessary stamps, and minimizing writing down addresses and message.  this app is awesome!  look for a postcard near you.

anywho, speaking of Dublin, and the next 50th International Eucharistic Congress, you can follow me (and group) during the week, using - what else - their app!  peace.
CONGRESS COUNTDOWN: 1 WEEKS 5 DAYS 22 HOURS 18 MINUTES 43 SECONDS. The 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) will feature the unveiling of a Healing Stone during the Opening Ceremony in the Royal Dublin Society on June 10th. Please continue to pray for our pilgrims at Sunday Mass (possible prayer for intercessions): For our pilgrims, preparing for the next International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, and all of us, that we continue to deepen our faith in the Mystery of the Eucharist: communion with Christ, communion with one another, we pray ...  
1, 2, 3, on y va: COMPTE À REBOURS AU CONGRÈS: 1 SEMAINE 5 JOURS 22 HEURES 18 MINUTE 43 SECONDES! Le 50ième Congrès Eucharistique Internationale débutera par le dévoilement d’une pierre appelée Healing Stone durant la célébration d’ouverture qui se tiendra dans le grand centre de rassemblement, le 10 juin prochain - cela en signe de soutien pour les enfants qui ont été victimes d'abus par des membres du clergé. Cette pierre a été choisie comme symbole de ce Congrès eucharistique après consultation avec plusieurs personnes dont les victimes. L'abbé Kevin Doran, secrétaire générale du Congrès, dit ceci: La pierre nous parle de permanence. La pierre nous parle de notre désir ferme de guérison et de renouvellement. Dans la tradition chrétienne, la pierre roulée au tombeau de Jésus est symbole de la fin de sa vie terrestre et du commencement de quelque chose de nouveau, la Résurrection. Nous sommes conscients du fait que pour plusieurs personnes, ainsi que pour les membres de leurs familles, les abus dont elles ont été victimes leurs paraissent encore comme autant de pierres qui pèsent lourd dans leur coeur. Nous devons les aider, tous ensemble, à rouler cette pierre afin qu'elles puissent en être guéries et libérées. SVP continuez de prier pour nos pèlerins aux messes dominicales et pour chacun, chacune d’entre nous afin que nous puissions continuer d’approfondir notre foi dans le Mystère de l'Eucharistie et vivre en communion avec nos frères et sœurs dans le Christ.
update:  of course, as @elisiasq reminds me, the first app i downloaded was iBreviary for Android, followed by the Bible.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

we didn't start the fire

we didn't start the fire it was always burning
since the world's been turning
we didn't start the fire no we didn't light it
but we tried to fight it. (Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire, 1989)
happy birthday!  today is the Solemnity of Pentecost, the Church's birthday, and ours!  party hard.  pray harder.  Come Holy Spirit!  indeed, i just can't get enough!
"like when it was born, today the Church still gathers with Mary and prays: 'Veni Sancte Spiritus! - Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!'" (Pope BXVI via Whispers in the Loggia)
today, we continue to be open to the promptings, stirrings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, hearts, faithful to our mission:  proclamation of God in our Lord Jesus Christ.  we do this, as St. Francis says, "always, using words when necessary".  sometimes we have difficulty with this, as Billy Joel reminds us.  but we continue to struggle with the bad, in order to do the good.

last week, celebrating World Communications Day, we know that the Good News must be spread using new technologies as well.  there is an old saying by Karl Barth on preaching, theology, evangelization, life, that i love, summarized as:  one should always have the Bible in one hand, the newspaper in the other, (and blogs in the other).  hmm, ... wait a second, we only have two hands!  yes, and?  but you mentioned three?  let's not worry about details today!  the point being is that though Christians have their heads in the clouds, we walk with are feet on the ground, in reality.  and i add the bit about blogs, because many of us get our news from these primary sources.

for example, a sign of the Holy Spirit is that more and more people are speaking in the language that people today will understand - à la Internet, social media, etc.  i love it, and i'm trying to get my A's and B's strait too. Fr. Denis is following this journey too, good times.  then, i hear last week, that another brother priest of mine - abbé Julien - is deciding to quit the whole blogging thing.  is it one or the other?  this makes me think of last week's World Communications Day message on word + silence.  not either or, but both, and!  regarding Fr. Denis and abbé Julien, i will say what one of my ol' theology professors used to say:  "he is right, but you are not wrong".

what?!  indeed, Come Holy Spirit, help me understand.  the stirrings, promptings, are helping Fr. Denis find his voice online (and now twitter too), and i do indeed enjoy his writing, thoughts, ideas, etc.  on the other hand, abbé Julien is not wrong to stop concentrating on his blog.  his ministry is asking something else of him at the moment.  therefore, both are right, eh?  the Good News is not meant to be proclaimed only through social media at the expense of the pulpit!  the Word continues to be about relationships, community, and we can never neglect the personal relationships!  there is always a personal aspect to preaching the Gospel, there has to be!  we can blog, play, chat online, but something will be missing if that's it.  happy birthday!  party hard, pray harder.  peace.
"like when it was born, today the Church still gathers with Mary and prays: 'Veni Sancte Spiritus! - Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love!'" (Pope BXVI via Whispers in the Loggia)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

bohemian rhapsody

Brothers Grimm' Snow White
+ the magic mirror, 1812
is this the real life?
is this just fantasy?
caught in a landslide
no escape from reality
open your eyes
look up to the skies and see (Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody, 1975)

another post promoting all things IEC2012 in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

i went to see the movie Mirror Mirror last week.  be careful which mirror you look into, ... you might just see yourself.  in fact, mirrors often distort the truth.  we see what we want to see.  life ceases to be life and becomes fantasy.  let us raise our eyes to things that are above.

today is World Communications Day (taken from the Ordo, book on the Liturgical Calendar):
today Catholics are invited to reflect upon the media of social communication (films, radio, television, newspapers, audiovisuals) and how these influences our lives.  the media can promote values that lead to a more fully human society.  the Church's ministry is twofold.  the media can be used to help promote the Gospel.  at the same time, as receivers of the materials presented by the media, the faithful have a duty to support and promote worthwhile presentations on media and reject those which promote values contrary to spiritual growth. 
journée mondial des moyens de communication sociale:  en cette journée de réflexion et de prière sur le rôle et l'importance des médias dans la société, une attention toute spéciale est accordée aux artisans des grands moyens de communication sociale, notamment aux chrétiens qui y oeuvrent à titre professionnel.  pour l'Église, les médias sont à la fois un lieu privilégié de dialogue avec la culture moderne et une nouvelle place publique pour la proclamation de l'Évangile.
social media like google+, twitter, facebook blogs, and runkeeper, you mean?  of course, Christians should be using new media to proclaim the joy of the Gospel, some just do it better than others.  the movie last week reminded me of a course i took on psychoanalysis during my seminary days.  i wrote a paper on this so called magic mirror.  the problem with mirrors, is that we see what we want, and forget about 99% of everything else.  what are true mirrors?  that, of course, is you!  as in God, the Bible, and you.  in fact, i need you, to be me (à la Martin Buber's I & Thou).

for example, facebook.  i tried to separate myself from this concoction for sometime.  i have a blog with links on it ... why then, do i need another space for links (this is not 1994 where GeoCities is king)?  surely  facebook is more than links?  yet, welcome to the Internet ... just another place to be ignored.  ok, a bit harsh, but even  facebook helps us understand reality - nothing new under the sun (also depicted through their recent IPO).  people's profiles are like icebergs:  we only see what is above the surface.  everyone knows that 95% of the real person is hidden, inside.  there are reasons why you only show so much on the Internet, why there are so much talk about privacy laws.

and so, facebook and the mirror analogy align.  social media is good to proclaim the truth.  i had a good time last week posting links and having discussions because of them - difficult discussions, nonetheless.  why is it that today people are afraid (ashamed) of their virginity, while others see no problems, no worries in coming out?  there was much to do about the secular case against same-sex marriage vs. Zach Wahls.  don't our children need both a mother and a father?  at one point, our culture was centered on the child.  today, not so much.  there is an exhibit at Ottawa's Science and Technology Museum that is causing much controversy.  this lead into the resulting discussion centered on childhood (againstfor).   facebooktwitter, and all other types of social media can help with our discussions, which allow us to focus on others rather than self.  the  magic mirror, like this controversial exhibit, puts the focus on the self, and we have already seen how distorted the self can really get.  what do i see when i look in the mirror?  who do i see when i look into facebook (with no dialogue)?

anything that helps us out of our cliques (turned in on self) - be they in school, at work, in the parish, social media, or in our hearts, is good for us.  if we are centered on our self we will not grow.  we are meant to be in community, and dialogue is healing.

i need you (family, reader, social media, etc.), to be me.  please continue to pray for our pilgrims on their way to Dublin for the next International Eucharistic Congress 2012 (in 2 weeks, 6 days).  in the mystery of the Eucharist, i see who i am.  child of God.  son of the Father.  disciple of Christ.  temple of the Holy Spirit.  peace.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

turn to you

Mom + me, May 2009 in Saint John, NB
(i was just ordained, shiny and new)
"then you found the Lord,
you gave your life to Him,
and you could not ignore,
the love He had for you, ...
i still turn to You." (Justin Bieber - Turn to You, 2012)
happy Mother's Day!  some children give cards, flowers, clean their rooms, etc.  Justin, sings a new song, and i can create a new blog post!

happy Mother's Day maman, i love you!

i heard of this song this week, via CFRA preaching the Gospel.  not to be outdone by my classmate, Fr. Frank, i needed to blog again about Justin Bieber.  i'm happy to see he is doing ok, after cutting his hair that is!  keep it up!

during the week, all priests pray, reflect, sometimes procrastinate to finish the Sunday homily.  i had an idea of what i wanted to say on this 6th Sunday of Easter, end of March for Life, and  Mother's Day.  and then, on Friday, i hear the good news - Justin's new song to his mother - thanking her for choosing life.  beautiful!

happy Mother's Day to all.  enjoy this beautiful day.  also, let us continue to seek her, Holy Mother Church, who always gives us life by helping us know, love and follow her son, God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

the only place

He is the vine.  we are the branches.
Prince Edward County, May 2012
"why would you live anywhere else?
why would you live anywhere else?
got the sun, we've got the waves
this is the only place for me" (Best Coast - The Only Place, 2012)

the only place for me is Holy Mother Church, i love Her.  speaking of marching for life, i enjoyed the monthly luncheon of all the ministers in our regions, this past week!  i was happy to be invited, and hope to attend often!  after almost a year in the area, i seem to be finding somewhat of a groove.

a few could not make it, but the Catholic Church, Presbyterian, United and Anglican were present: Phyllis Dietrich, Heather Meyer, James Douglas, pastor of Presbyterian Church in Vankleek Hill, Dana Fisher, abbé Gilles Marcil, avec Claire Diamond, Michael McKillop, Julia Douglas and me. (more links when i get them)  it was an ecumenical gathering, luncheon, over at Nicko's restaurant.  i enjoyed  it ... a glimpse of unity - that they all may be one!  stayed tuned for different events happening in the region.

our time together gave me another glimpse of the theme to the next International Eucharistic Congres:  The Eucharist:  communion with Christ, communion with one another.  how can i have communion with my brothers and sisters, without communion with God in Our Lord Jesus Christ?  then i pondered Madonna House's (after seeing Fr. Denis at the March For Life), "i am third!"  (don't forget the 'h' as a friend of mine used to say).    God is first.  neighbour is second.  i am third.  indeed, God in Our Lord Jesus Christ wants to be first in our lives.  without Him, without being in communion with His grace and His Church, how can we have any unity with our brothers and sisters?  this is the only place for me!

there was unity on the Hill this past Thursday - everyone was marching for Life.  however, there are always a few against life, on the other side.  i saw a few, read many more things via twitter, and yet, ... we are all called to unity.  we all have something to say in the conversation over Life.  some people, though, would rather not participate.  the issue is not on how many people there were.  the issue is Life.  let us pray that all may be one.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

bust a move

March For Life 2012, @ Parliament Hill
"bust a move." (Young MC - Bust a Move, 1989)
another post promoting all things IEC2012 in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.

i love today's Gospel reading (John 15:9-11) - it is the reading that marks the back of my priestly ordination card, three years ago now.  it was also the Gospel that was proclaimed on this very important day.  the last verse - "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete." - is what we did today, ... march for life!  marching for life gave me great joy today!

as i mentioned earlier on twitter, the day began with mass at the Cathedral, presided by His Grace, Archbishop Prendergast, and his young MC, me.  i just didn't stand there, i bust[ed] a move - half a dozen bishops, almost 50 priests, and a Cathedral that was busting at the seams - i'd say 1500 people (1, 2) - celebrated the central mystery of our faith, and then joined the almost 20000 on Parliament Hill to begin the March For Life, and to open the conversation!

let's keep this joy going! don't forget about the Diocesan Feast Day, June 7th @ 1930, and of course, the next International Eucharistic Congress, in Dublin!  bust a move!
Congress countdown: 4 WEEKS 3 DAYS 3 HOURS 18 MINUTES 43 SECONDS. Our group, accompanied by His Grace, totals 26 pilgrims! Currently, there are 940 Canadians registered, among the almost 15,000 registered for the week! There will be Canadian activities taking place at the hotel where the Ottawa pilgrims are staying. Please continue to pray for the success of the next International Eucharistic Congress. Please visit the weekly program.
1, 2, 3, on y va: COMPTE À REBOURS AU CONGRÈS: 4 SEMAINES 3 JOURS 3 HEURES 18 MINUTE 43 SECONDES! Nous sommes presque là! Nous sommes 26 pèlerins, accompagnés par notre Archevêque! En ce moment, il y a 940 canadiens parmi les presque 15000 pèlerins. Il y a des activités spéciales de prévues pour les Canadiens. Svp continuez de prier pour le succès du Congrès Eucharistique Internationale! Le programme de la semaine.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

i do, i do, i do, i do, i do

Norman Rockwell -
Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon, 1926
"love me or leave me, make Your choice but believe me
i love You
i do, i do, i do, i do, i do
i can't conceal it, don't You see, can't You feel it?
don't You too?
i do, i do, i do, i do, i do" (ABBA - I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, 1975)
three years ago, i said my I Do's, to God and to you, the People of God - i was ordained to the holy priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  the terrible two's are now over, and now, ... a whole new world.

imagine.  boy meets girl.  boy falls in love.  boy says "i love you."  and the girl says, ... (pause), thanks?!.  awwwwwwwwwwkward!  indeed, this happens all the time.  love is a funny thing.  however, everything changes, when both are at the point of saying, "i love you", and, of course, i do, i do, i do, i do, i do!

last Sunday - as part of the Pastoral Vocations committee - i attended prayer and adoration at the Cathedral, for all vocations in the Archdiocese of Ottawa.  it was beautiful.  many different types of vocations were present, and some gave their witness - a sister, a brother, a married couple expecting their first child, and a friend continuing to listen to God's voice in her life.  all their joy reminded me of the one vocation - to know better, to love more, and to follow more closely God in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  we all experience at one point the boy-meets-girl dilemma!  someone says "i love you" first, and the other is not quite ready.  that's our life with God!  "I love you", He says to me.  hmmm, ... thank you?!  awkward!  we get uncomfortable.  we look around to see if anyone else is looking.  what do i say, or what do we do now?  our vocation begins even before birth,
"before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)
and, finally the vocation really begins, when we can say in return, "i love You too."

that point for me was late 2002, in December, early 2003.  much has happened to help me grow - the good.  the bad.  the ugly.  and at every turn, i hear Our Lord asking, "do you love me?" (Gospel of John 21) things are less awkward now, because i am now in a conversation with Him.  the question is nothing like boy-meets-girl wondering do you love me yet, ... do you love me yet, ... do you love me yet?  Our Lord knows our hearts, He does know that I love Him (that we love Him).  but He asks Peter the same thing, "do you love me", three times.  Peter says "yes, i do", three times.  the third time, however, it is not awkwardness he feels, but rather, sadness.  Peter knows Our Lord is asking more of Him, which he is not quite ready to do (but eventually will).  Peter loves Him as a friend, but much more is asked of him, of me, of you.

thank you for all your prayers throughout these years!  continue to pray for me that i may grow to know Him better, love Him more, and to follow Him more closely.  i pray for all of you as well.  indeed, "i love you", because you are my family, my brothers and sisters in the Lord.  peace.