Sunday, August 29, 2010

I should be ashamed...

So apparently, (don't ask me for references, this was a comment made to me by someone), the pope has banned vuvuzelas.

Huh?

Yeah, all the journalists were saying, at least he's letting us keep our chairs.  (This said in a smug tone, with a smirk)

So I am supposed to be ashamed to be Catholic now, because the pope has banned vuvuzelas?

1.  I doubt the pope banned them himself, I suspect that the people who work with him to organize public audiences probably banned them.

2.  Technically, I'm sure vuvuzelas haven't been banned per se, not in general as the first comment seemed to suggest.  Catholics may still blow vuvuzelas at soccer games without having to visit a confessional afterwards.  They've probably just been disallowed from public audiences with the pope, because...

3.  ... as hard as this may be for some people out there to understand, some of the catholics (I'd even hazard a guess that most of the catholics) going to see the pope in a public audience, actually, amazingly want to hear what he has to say.  Let's put this into perspective shall we?  Your favourite stand-up comedian, of international success and a great following is having a free outdoor show.  You show up, ready to be entertained and laugh your pants off.  Right behind you is a group of young people who are just excited to be there, and to see this great guy, and don't seem to care about the jokes.  Their vuvuzelas drown out the best ones.  You are going to be okay with this?

4.  There are seats in churches and noone brings a vuvuzela to mass.  I am not ashamed to be a catholic, but if journalists are as stupid as the second comment suggest, I would definitely be ashamed to be a journalist.  Either they a) have never been to a mass, where they both get to sit and do not get to bring a vuvuzela, or b) are not smart enough to recognize that one cannot exactly class chairs and vuvuzelas in the same category of objects.  I suspect it is both a) and b).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

RECITUUM JEANNINIUM

Ou l’Expérience de Juana la Cubana (1)


Écrit: le13 novembre 1993 (C'est un travail qui devait être fait dans le style d'un récit biblique et remis à l'accompagnateur/prêtre du groupe qui avait été au Paraguay.  Cela faisait parti de notre intégration au retour du Paraguay.)

Édité: le 24 août 2010

La suite de l’Évangile… Jésus guérit une mère célibataire.


La parole de Dieu fut adressée à Jeanne, fille de Jean-Nil, dans sa vingtième année sous la forme d’une parabole. C’était dans la neuvième année du règne de Brian Mulroney et elle se trouvait dans le ville de Québec, étudiant la théologie. L’Esprit lui dit :
Voilà qu’un malheureux bédouin qui se plaignait de sa misère exceptionnelle, s’est mis en route à travers le monde pour voir, ce qui lui paraissait impossible, s’il existait au monde un plus pauvre que lui.


Finalement en plein désert, il rencontre un vieillard tellement abandonné qu’il est ému de pitié devant ce dénuement incomparable. Il lui dit : « Tu es plus démuni que moi. Qui es-tu ? » L’autre répondit : « Je n’ai plus rien. Je suis Dieu. Je suis pauvre. En créant l’univers, j’ai tout donné. (2)
 Cette parole de Dieu l’inspira, et Jeanne décida de tout laisser à la recherche de la pauvreté. Elle se joignit à un groupe de jeunes chrétiens allant au Paraguay.

Mais un jour, Jeanne connut un homme et eu une relation avec lui, sans être mariée. Elle pria Dieu dans le fond de son coeur : « Seigneur, je voulais tellement vivre une expérience de pauvreté. Cela a été au delà de mes attentes, je me suis retrouvée très pauvre. J’ai réalisé que moi aussi, je peux tomber. Je suis imparfaite.»

« Seigneur, ce que j’ai vécu a valu la peine si j’ai compris ceci : Je suis pauvre et aujourd’hui cela a un sens plus profond qu’auparavant. Tout a valu la peine, mes déceptions, mes faiblesse, mes chutes ; tout cela me fait cheminer, me fait grandir, me fait connaître ta grande miséricorde. »

« Seigneur, je n’ai plus la même vision qu’avant. Dans ma pauvreté, je vois davantage ta grandeur, ta puissance. Comment puis-je oublier ton amour, ta miséricorde et ta grandeur lorsque je vois mes manques et ma pauvreté ? »

Jeanne vit un petit garçon. Il voulait aller à la chapelle. « Vamos a la capilla Juana. » (3) plaidait-il. Il avait été frappé par la beauté de ce lieu. L’Esprit lui parlait dans la beauté et il venait partager son expérience avec Jeanne.

N’est-ce pas que la maison de Dieu est notre maison ? C’est la maison des pauvres et des petits. Dieu nous y invite. À travers ce garçon Dieu interpella Jeanne à venir dans sa maison. Il est écrit : « Un petit les instruira, un enfant les guidera. »

Le Seigneur écouta la prière de Jeanne et l’envoya le plus beau cadeau qu’il y a sur terre, un enfant.

La parole de Dieu fut encore adressée à Jeanne et l’Esprit lui dit : « Tout pouvoir m’a été donnée au ciel et sur la terre. Va donc de toutes les nations, leur partageant la pauvreté du cœur et la miséricorde de Dieu. »

Le Seigneur resta avec Jeanne et couvrit sa honte de joie.

(1) Surnom que les enfants de Don Bosco Roga m'ont donné
(2) Daniel Foucher, “Bonheur et pauvreté de Dieu”, Réponses aux questions, No. 17, Éditions Anne Sigier 1988, p.15 et l’arrière de la couverture
(3) « Allons à la chappelle Jeanne. »

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I could have written this myself

And it's amazing
How lost inside you feel
When you look fine on the outside
You're screaming, "Someone take the wheel!"
And it's amazing
Yeah, they think you've got it all
But it might just be a pebble
That's gonna make you fall


... oh wait, I have.

If you refer to pages 151-2 of my book Be Not Afraid, this is what one of the characters, Maria, has to say:

"You seem to be feeling better." I remarked to Maria, after a bit.She regarded me intently, with the same green eyes as her sister.
"It's amazing really, how we humans can continue to live life as if nothing were wrong."  She replied, "How we can walk around and do ordinary things as if we weren't torn up insisde, as if weren't regretting all the little mistakes and wrong decisions that lead us to places we don't want to be anymore, but are not free to leave."
She sighed, "I feel like I am two people.  On one level, I laugh and joke and have fun.  I go round the house doing all the same things I always do.  Nothing seems to have changed.  But deep inside, I feel so empty.  I can forget for awhile, push it away, but the feeling is always there."
Erin and I were silent for awhile, wiping dishes and putting them away.
"Human capacity, human strength is amazing."  I said finally, "I am always amazed at the ability we have, to do what is right, to search for the truth, to put others first, to sacrifice ourselves, to get up from a fall and to keep walking."

The above was actually originally posted here: Amazing Really, and sets the tone for a lot of the other posts from that time. (Late 2004 - early 2005) It was not a very joyful time in my life.In case you do go and read some of that stuff, (and unless you are depressed, I don't recommend it), things are much better in general. 

There is still the emptiness, but it is much easier to push aside.  I am no longer in mourning for the different kind of life I could possibly have had.  (The kind of life for which there is no guarantee I would have had, even if I had made different decisions) The regret is gone.  The ceaseless telling myself how stupid I was is gone.  A lot of the conflict I was in at the time is gone.  It was never resolved, but it is no longer relevant.

It made me a stronger person.  I could have taken the easy way out.  I didn't.  I think I like myself better for it.

Monday, August 02, 2010

I didn't want a PS3 player

However, we got money for Christmas, and my husband was thinking about a Wii.  I didn't want a Wii either, not even for the sports stuff, because what is the point of playing sports on a Wii when you can just go out and play real sports?  But the kids all wanted a PS3 instead.  And since a PS3 is also a blu-ray dvd player, I eventually gave in, thinking we could just control how often they used the games.

I used to let them take turns with the controls then hide the controls, but that wasn't a good idea, because with no controls, you can't watch movies either.  So I got smart recently, and took away the games instead.

We had two controls so they could play either with or against each other, but still, the problem is you limit them on how much time they spend playing, but they all have to take turns, so they still end up sitting in front of the thing for 6 - 8 hours, watching the others' turns. 

We have recently solved that problem.  The boys wanted to buy two more controls, and as superfluous as that sounds, it has solved the problem.  They now all have their turn at the same time, play for a couple of hours and then I take the game away again, and everyone's turn is over at the same time.  Time to do something else.