January 2023 Man-Update
Don't let distractions suck life away!
By Sean Lynn, president of God Squad Canada
Happy New Year! With a new year comes new possibilities and challenges. It’s that time of year where we start promoting our annual men’s conference. Each year we come up with a theme for our conference. We trust the Holy Spirit to inspire us to pick a theme that will be meaningful to many, like in 2020 we had a theme of being joyful. We did not know that the world would be locked down and need a reminder of the importance of joy.
This year’s theme is “Memento Mori” (remember your death). I started the year welcoming my adult children and grandkids into town as they were all arriving for my Dad’s funeral later in the week. They were able to celebrate with their brother who just got engaged at Christmas and their sister who had just given birth to twin girls days earlier. With all this happening and the funeral, being there for my family gave me a great perspective on the theme of this year’s conference.
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on this as it hit very close to home as my dad passed away on December 13th and I was sitting with him in the emergency room just hours before not realizing that it would be the last time that I would talk to him. I was busy doing a crossword puzzle on my phone for a bit, just trying to pass the time. He started talking about what he wanted for his funeral, like carrying him in his casket on our shoulders. “There is no way in hell you are wheeling me down the aisle!” He talked about the importance of family dinners and he wanted me and my siblings to take turns hosting the family. I was oblivious to the fact that it would be the last time I would hear him say anything. It was a very hard lesson for me thinking; I’ll have another week, or another month or year to talk about these things. I wanted to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet with him, thinking I would have another opportunity to do so.
The question is; how much do we give away by having our phones at the dinner table or vegging in front of the television or computer, watching TV shows and playing games instead of engaging with those we love.
One can see how much life is sucked away with these distractions. Perhaps we need to set up some rules such as no phones at the dinner table, which allows for discussion and community building and family togetherness. We hope that we will learn from this experience and recognize when it’s time to have meaningful conversations with loved ones. This is just a little reflection of what we have coming with this year’s theme: Memento Mori; remember your death.
We are blessed to have Fr. Raymond de Souza and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers as our speakers this year. The conference will take place on March 17th and 18th at Saint Michael’s Catholic community. Please don’t miss this opportunity to invite a friend or loved one who needs to belong to a community of men challenging each other to go out in this world and stand strong as a Beacon of hope within their families, the Church, and the world.