Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hold your fire.....

Communication is so essential to our human experience. If we are to live in communion we need to communicate, we need to share ideas, to compare and contrast them. We need to enter into dialog, listen attentively and be able to thoughtfully react to what the other person is saying really saying. Good, honest, open conversation is and should always be the preferred way of communicating. When you speak with someone in person, you can hear their words, you can see their expressions and gestures, in a way good conversation can be an incredible window into another persons heart. What a privileged place to be. In conversation we realize that there is a person, convictions and feelings behind the words shared. There is so much more than just words or concepts.

Yes, there is a person, a person loved by God, a person who deserves our respect our sister or our brother.

So here is my question...

Is email a valid way of communicating? Is it possible to converse to communicate with email? I wonder. With email it is so easy to see just a bunch of words on a page and to forget that there is a person behind those words. It is so easy to fail to ask very very important questions like... Why is she/he saying what they are saying ? How close are their words to their heart? Sometimes because email is almost instantaneous it doesn't allow us to ponder, to think, to question our own feelings or put them into perspective. It is so easy to hit the send button and fire away forgetting there is a person at the other end. Sometimes we just blast away and ask questions later.

I confess while I've gotten better sometimes my email trigger is still too quick, not calculated or thought out enough. I usually fire away when I am hit unsuspectingly, when I didn't see something coming when I feel under fire if you will. Maybe we should have a heart monitor installed on our computers which refuses to send an email if our palms are sweaty or our heart is racing too fast. That would be too easy.... maybe we (I) should just learn how to pause even when we/I feel that we/I am being ambushed not respected or even under attack. It is so difficult to "hold your fire" but I think that is was God calls us to do...

Can we communicate with email... sure... about things like "were is the meeting? where is my next class, what are we doing this weekend what movie do you want to see".... etc. Email is great for unimportant stuff..

Hold your fire indeed.... if you don't it will keep you humble. Tell me about it.


PS...
I started this blog so that I could find another way to share my life with the people of God. To let the readers see who we are and how we think, or at least who I am and what I how I think as a friar priest. Quite often I wonder if anyone really reads it or if it matters... Just when I was growing a little lax in my sharing a young man from Conaty 303 stepped up and said Fr. Bob could you write a little more in your blog? That meant so much to me... Thanks.... wild one

PPS
If anyone has any ideas for an Easter Vigil Homily I'm open for suggestions.

3 comments:

sodajunkie said...

Well, I check your blog several times a week!! Mostly because I miss your homilies and insightful words! I think more people than you know read your blog. Keep it up!!!!

Miss you!
John R.

Rev. Vaughn W. Thurston-Cox said...

To some extent you are right. As an Asbury alum, I check in regularly into their First Class e-dialogs. They tend to be political or theological in nature and elicit strong emotions. Periodically, a community member or two will step in and remind us that we converse as brothers and sisters in Christ.

I don't know if we need a heart monitor on our computer, but we need to keep a picture of that other person in our minds, their hurts and pains.

wonderer said...

I think John is right. It's been almost three years since I've heard your insights and homilies, and I'm on here every couple of weeks, and just when I need some encouragement or reminder that God is VIBRANTLY alive in this world, something you've posted touches my heart. Thanks Fr. Bob!!

~Megan