Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Does my butt look big in this?

Do you ever have that moment of pure clarity right before you fall asleep? You know, you hop into your pj's, you snuggle into bed, take a deep breath and right before you conk out for 7-8 hours, you have a moment of pure clarity when the world and all it's mysteries make more sense than at any other point in the day. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's ok, because what this post actually is about is discernment  See, in my moment of clarity right before I fell asleep last night I realised discernment is like trying on clothing.

Yep, discernment is like trying on clothing. A few weeks ago I went into a trendy men's store to buy a new pair of jeans. Let me tell you, it is really hard to find a pair of loose fitting jeans! I found myself  in the fitting room, grunting as I tried to squeeeeeeeeze into this pair of stupidly tight jeans! Finally, after much maneuvering, twisting and breath-holding I got them on, looked in the mirror and they seemed to fit well...as long as I didn't make a single move. I was sure that if I dared to breathe out they would split, rip, pop and tear. I quickly changed out of them and decided it wasn't worth wearing trendy jeans if all I could do in them was stand still and suck my gut in!

Discernment can be a bit like this process. Discernment is learning about a vocation and beginning to "clothe" yourself in that vocation. Now here's the fun part of discernment  you can choose to just stand there in the mirror checking how it all fits, asking if your butt looks big in this vocation or you can move around, stretch  bend and see how it all fits. It'll either become obvious that it's not the right fit and you should try something else on or that it's the perfect fit and you should buy two pairs of those jeans (at least that's what the store assistant will tell you!)

If you really want to discern your vocation than take a courageous step and give it a good go. Try it on and move around in it. That's what my seminary and Canali House experiences were for me - a chance to see how priesthood fit (or more precisely, see how I fit into priesthood).

I believe God has a perfect vocational fit for each of us - how will you know yours unless you really try it on?


Tuesday, 5 March 2013


I've decided I'm anti-web trends. I'm sick of pointless, annoying and straight-up stupid trends  I want to (Harlem) shake the creators of these trends. I mean, really people? Are they really that entertaining?

Ok, so maybe these trends are worth a few laughs. Admittedly, planking (the internet craze of 2011) provided an opportunity for some creativity. But at some point you have to wonder: does some guy with poor dance moves and a poorer sense of style really deserve a billion of views on YouTube? 

I guess what prompted my anti-lame web trend campaign was a reflection on our generation: no other generation in human history has had the scope or reach to impact society quite like Gen Y. Social networking on Facebook, YouTube  twitter, etc mean that we can communicate with millions of people around the world with the press of a touch screen. Take for example Gangnam Style: it has over 1 billion views (that's one seventh of the worlds population) and has only been on YouTube for seven months.

But it's not all randomness and bad dance moves. As we saw from the Kony 2012 Campaign, social networking can be used to create social change. We need to be aware of the web legacy we're leaving. Past generations left their legacies in fading books and forgetful ears. We leave ours on Facebook walls and YouTube channels, retained in the annals of cyberspace. Can we please not be remembered as a room full of jumping, gyrating, mask wearing lunatics?