Well the conversation this morning went fine; in fact, it was an awful lot of fun! Sure, there were certainly plenty of butterflies in my stomach as I waited for the phone to ring from New York, but I calmed down nicely, I think -- that's due to the host's (Gus Lloyd's) ability to put his listeners, callers and guests at ease due to his extraordinarily pleasant demeanor. As early as his introduction, Gus made mention that I am a loyal listener to his program; I also did my part to congratulate him on his apologetic CDs and urged others to tap into his wellspring of Catholic Intellectualism. Please, please check out what he has to offer at http://www.guslloyd.com/. You will be blown away by his clarity of thought and spiritual vision.
No contracts for my own program were signed -- as if you or I ever wondered!!! -- but I did promise that I'd be back, given Gus' kind invitation. We'll hopefully delve into the ministry of CAC as well as prison ministry and all sorts of other things when the opportunity arises and if the ratings did not plummet during his last half hour of work this week! All of this was a wonderful start to the weekend.
While waiting for the call this morning, I couldn't help but think of how much evangelizing we can do thanks to the gift of technology. Now let me first offer a disclaimer: in the confessional, the most frequent issue I deal with is people's abuse of technology. You can imagine what I might be referring to here. The Internet can be used as both a blessing or a curse. Living in the midst of a college environment, I consistently am dealing with young folks who choose freely to go down a destructive path that the Internet offers those who want to go there. Gus might be freaked out just a bit to learn that his name comes up in the confessional quite often. ....Let me explain that one!
When responding to the issues people raise in the confessional, I often state, "Where life was lost, there life must be found." In other words, if one uses the computer as a means or agent of sin, I will more often than not ask them to return to the computer to use the same technology as a means of receiving grace. On various occasions since last May, while engaging in the Sacrament, I have asked penitents to go to Gus' website and checkout his podcasts -- specifically on "Confession" or "Salvation." In my mind, it makes sense to "go to the scene of the crime," so to speak, and use similar means of finding grace where in the past, the same means may have been used to partake in evil. Perhaps in the future, folks might think twice before choosing a path that sucks life out of them and choose instead to take the path that leads to goodness.
When used well, technology can certainly enhance our spirituality, and our Catholicity, specifically. Here's some of the ways that this techno-illiterate has chosen to use the media in new and innovative ways to give and receive life these Summer days:
The Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Satellite Radio -- Thank you, Cardinal Egan, Gus, Lino, Greg & Jennifer, Bob, Father Dave, Greg & Lisa, Archbishop Dolan and all the various hosts!
Gus Lloyd's apologetic CDs -- on the trail, in the car, at the desk -- Thank you, Gus!
The newly established Old Saint Joseph Church Facebook Fan Page -- Thank you, Sammy Sleger!
This blog to communicate to you beyond the Sacred Liturgy -- Thank you, Zach Parmeter!
Advertising this blog to places I can't even imagine -- Thank you, Scott Crevier!
Common Prayer Podcasts; recorded Masses; "Welcome to SNC" Video -- Thank you, Shaun Johnson!
Taking a fun trip down memory lane with 70's Church Music -- Thank you, iTunes! (My life hasn't been the same!)
Texting well wishes to others for a little "pick-me-up" when the confessional line is less occupied than during the academic year -- Thank you, Cellcom!
Getting a printout of parishioners' birthdays and anniversaries so I can think of them and pray for their good on their special day -- Thank you, Cathie Puyleart and Parish Data System!
Televising the Sunday Mass for the overflow crowd that gathers in the atrium -- Thank You, Saint Norbert College!
"The Human Experience" -- Thank you, Grassroots Films!
"Lighthouse Catholic Media" stored in the ipod -- Thank you, Robert Hornacek!
All of this stuff excites me greatly, especially considering I still remember land phones, rotary dials and "party lines" while dialing only 5 numbers to connect with others. I'm glad to hear that the Church is keeping up with the times; empowering the flock to become even bigger: "Give it a Shepherd's care!"