Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Asking for a sign...

Well, I intended to write a reflection today but clearly haven't really managed... Still a few words, as I was thinking about the Gospel this morning.
In the Gospel Jesus says that the generation to whom he was talking were asking for a sign, and that non would be given...

I was wondering how that would link back to our won generation. In Jesus' time miraculous signs were seen as a manifestation of some divine power. The people were asking a sign to confirm that what Jesus was teaching was the truth, and wanted to have a sign from God to confirm this.

However, as is clear from the Gospels, Jesus whole public life was a sign, and consisting of one sign to another, one miracle to the next. These however people did not accept... So they were selective in what type of sign they wanted...

I guess the equivalence of such signs in the time of Jesus would maybe now be seen as proof by science. And I think the parallel can be drawn out to the same extend. When I can to belief in God, it was because for the first time I really looked at the signs of God in the world. The marvellous order in which everything is created and the miracle of the existence of life...

While so many people think that Science opposes God, it seems to me to be right in our face that that is not the case at all, almost making as bold to say it is contrary. Many people don't know the progress of science, the new discoveries being made in the last two decades... They might not be as contrary to God as men things...

But finally, and I think this is the important point. Science, and signs, are ultimately not that important, and that possibly is another reason Jesus refuses to give the sign the people want. Ultimately it is not about a sign to proof that God is true,ultimately it is the decision to accept that it might be true, and then humbly ask God to show you... To reveal himself to you... To show his face...

...once we open our heart and encounter God no sign is needed anymore...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

First Sunday of Lent

The first Sunday of lent is now almost over... It went by very quickly.
As hinted in my previous post, I have been working on getting a new App out to replace the iDoms Reader. There were a few hiccups in the last few days, but all is set to go now... I think...
Users of the current App might have experience a small view strange phenomena during the server upgrades earlier but all seems back to normal now...

But that is not the important thing... The important thing is how we today spent time in our preparation of Lent. Today in the Gospel we read that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days... It is like the 40 days Israel spend in the desert when coming out of Egypt, being liberated from their slavery, but purifying themselves after having rejected God when said to enter the promised land.

And this has similarities with our own journey, and it is good to be aware of this. Jesus went into the desert after His baptism. And while it was not a delivery from sin for Jesus, He was baptised so every thing was done right. For us, our baptism is a cleansing from our sin, and now we spend the time in the desert to prepare ourself to come closer to God, on a journey to find Him again after our own rejections in our own ways.

I think it is an idea to reflect on the fact that we are REALLY called to a closer communion with God. Sometimes our faith can become a bit stale, and we lose the 'wow' effect a bit. But maybe during this time of preparation, a daily 15 minute break from everything to reflect on the question 'where God is in my life' could be a good idea.

God is always close to us, but so often we put him aside. We like him to be there when we pray or are in need, but during the rest of the day there is sometimes little space available for Him. But this could imply that God is somebody for which we need to make time for to spend time with. This is true, but not the full truth, because is with us at all times. Like a husband and wife can enjoy each others company doing the daily duties and still being aware of their mutual presence.

Once we are aware of this, we can start to slowly change our habit of ignoring God, and including Him in everything we do. Then the wow effect becomes real again, once we realise how close God is to us at all times. Then we once more realise the change it makes to our lives when we keep close to Him!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lent has started... yesterday...

Well Lent has arrived... and therefore I decided that it is time again to try and revive my blog a bit. I guess the fact that I started a day late might not be a good indication of the result of my intent, but I do hope to be able to share some brief thoughts a few times a week. A lot has happened since my series of reflections on my vocation, which I wrote late in August before my solemn profession. Since I have continued with the study if Theology, but I have also invested quite a bit, possibly quite a bit too much, energy in looking at different ways of spreading the Gospel using the modern media. The fruit, although not visible yet, is among other things a new App which will hopefully be launch in the next week, replacing the iDoms Reader which was the original experiment. But this in itself is not what is important. More and more I realise the paradox in doing this type of work. On the one hand it seems important to find new ways to interact with people, using video and other modern ways of communication, but on the other hand it seems by doing so I am not deepening my relationship with the Lord as much as I should and as I want. Even though the time spend in prayer might not have differed significantly over the last few years, the quality of prayer seems diminished when ones mind is somewhat distracted by complicated data structures needed to create an iPhone App. I met a small group of fellow Dutch country men at the beginning of the week, and it really brought it back to me once more. We had some very enjoyable talks together, and I realised that my primary aim in life is to be able to spread the Good News and share it with others. But important in this that this sharing does need some direct contact, personal contact cannot be replaced with any type of technology. So I think for me personally, this Lent needs to be a time to reflect once more on the best ways to use the technology we have to bring people into an encounter with God. By necessity, this encounter needs to be personal... So the question is how to use the tools available to us in a way that will bring the people who are away from God (back) towards the joy which it is to know Him.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Saint Thomas' devotion to the Blessed Sacrament

I forgot ton post this excellent homily given by Fr. John Harris OP on the Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Fr. John talks, as the 50th Eucharistic congress is held here in Dublin this year, on Saint Thomas devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

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The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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