Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thoughts on spring

Nothing is so beautiful as spring -
When weeds in wheels shoot long and lovely lush;
Thrushs' eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden? Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,                                                       
Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worthy the winning.    

 Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Thoughts on the future of transportation

When you head to work, the ballgame, or to a Caribbean island for vacation your method of transport is something you might not really think about. Such daily commutes might even seem boring and mundane. For most of us, we have a routine that consists of taking a car or train from point A to point B and then moving back to point A. We focus on the destination, not the trip. In the coming decade it will be time for an adjustment, because major changes are coming.  
The technology surrounding transportation and logistics is advancing rapidly. In the next five years to ten years, the way you go to work, go on vacation or even get a package delivered will change significantly. The main driver behind this technology is automation and artificial intelligence or AI. Yes, I’m talking about robots and computers.
As people start to accept and implement automation, transportation will become more efficient and sustainable. This will make for a smarter and more productive global economy. Considering 20% more people are expected to be living in cities by 2030, new technology on how we get around and move goods is coming just in time.
Logistics and supply chain management systems are also evolving. AI and big data are helping business become more efficient to track and deliver products to your home.
As a result, we are about to experience a transportation revolution not seen since the early combustion engine was put in a car. The future in transportation is coming fast. Whether it’s Uber, Tesla, NVIDIA or Google, the way we use the road will be forever changed.

Jeremy Mullin

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thoughts on Saint Patrick

Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of God’s instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ.
Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born in Dunbarton, Scotland, Cumberland, England, or in northern Wales. He called himself both a Roman and a Briton. At 16, he and a large number of his father’s slaves and vassals were captured by Irish raiders and sold as slaves in Ireland. Forced to work as a shepherd, he suffered greatly from hunger and cold.
After six years Patrick escaped, probably to France, and later returned to Britain at the age of 22. His captivity had meant spiritual conversion. He may have studied at Lerins, off the French coast; he spent years at Auxerre, France, and was consecrated bishop at the age of 43. His great desire was to proclaim the good news to the Irish.
In a dream vision it seemed “all the children of Ireland from their mothers’ wombs were stretching out their hands” to him. He understood the vision to be a call to do mission work in pagan Ireland. Despite opposition from those who felt his education had been defective, he was sent to carry out the task. He went to the west and north–where the faith had never been preached–obtained the protection of local kings, and made numerous converts.
Because of the island’s pagan background, Patrick was emphatic in encouraging widows to remain chaste and young women to consecrate their virginity to Christ. He ordained many priests, divided the country into dioceses, held Church councils, founded several monasteries and continually urged his people to greater holiness in Christ.
He suffered much opposition from pagan druids and was criticized in both England and Ireland for the way he conducted his mission. In a relatively short time, the island had experienced deeply the Christian spirit, and was prepared to send out missionaries whose efforts were greatly responsible for Christianizing Europe.
Patrick was a man of action, with little inclination toward learning. He had a rock-like belief in his vocation, in the cause he had espoused. One of the few certainly authentic writings is his Confessio, above all an act of homage to God for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.
There is hope rather than irony in the fact that his burial place is said to be in County Down in Northern Ireland, long the scene of strife and violence.
From Saint of the Day - Franciscan Media

Friday, March 16, 2018

Thoughts on flexibility

Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field. But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and are standing up again when the storm has calmed down.

Flexibility is a great virtue. When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken. Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy. It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground. A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people. Let's be flexible while being deeply rooted.
Henri Nouwen

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Steven Hawking quote

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." 
― Steven Hawking

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thoughts on listening

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, arguments, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence known. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to others and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.
Henri Nouwen

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thoughts on prejudice

One of the hardest spiritual tasks is to live without prejudices. Sometimes we aren't even aware how deeply rooted our prejudices are. We may think that we relate to people who are different from us in colour, religion, sexual orientation, or lifestyle as equals, but in concrete circumstances our spontaneous thoughts, uncensored words, and knee-jerk reactions often reveal that our prejudices are still there.

Strangers, people different than we are, stir up fear, discomfort, suspicion, and hostility. They make us lose our sense of security just by being "other." Only when we fully claim that God loves us in an unconditional way and look at "those other persons" as equally loved can we begin to discover that the great variety in being human is an expression of the immense richness of God's heart. Then the need to prejudge people can gradually disappear.
Henri Nouwen