Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Freedom to be serene...

Today my mother told me about something happened when she was coming back at home at about 6.45 pm. She was getting into the building, and a woman living here too got scared to hear my mother steps. When this woman realized it was "just mother" she said to her: "Oh, I am sorry. I was a little scared, there was a boy at the gate and..".
My mother just smiled because the boy at the gate was "my boy", so no danger for anyone... but she understood that we are all scared to go out, especially if alone and at night (lights here not always work).

I thought it was a situation as true as sad.

Tonight, I am not feeling very well (I don't know the reason) so I just wanted to post this picture:

Yep, to create a contrast to the evil that torture this world that could be a really amazing and peaceful place.

Indeed, when I took this picture I was being a part of a bigger world life frame that could show only serenity.
There were seagulls flying all around, the sea was calm, there were no clouds in the sky, there were people enjoying the sea practicing sport on it (I guess canoe) or just look at it from the dock.

I remember that when I was shooting exactly this shot I thought: "wow, cool! I am lucky! I couldn't have been able to take a picture of such a situation if, for example, I was in land plagued by the war..."

I don't know why I thought this, but it made me to realized that even if this land is "plagued" by problems that goes from criminality to really little chances to get a really good and interesting (honest) job and consequentially a serene life, it is still able to show such great scenario that talk about the chance to be serene and free.

We all aim to being happy and serene, but this is not always possible... and this can became quite impossible if we don't remember Who we should follow.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Isn't the Pope Cool? ;)


"New Technologies, New Relationships.
Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship."

May 24, 2009

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

In anticipation of the forthcoming World Communications Day, I would like to address to you some reflections on the theme chosen for this year - New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship. The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships. These changes are particularly evident among those young people who have grown up with the new technologies and are at home in a digital world that often seems quite foreign to those of us who, as adults, have had to learn to understand and appreciate the opportunities it has to offer for communications. In this year’s message, I am conscious of those who constitute the so-called digital generation and I would like to share with them, in particular, some ideas concerning the extraordinary potential of the new technologies, if they are used to promote human understanding and solidarity. These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavour to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

The accessibility of mobile telephones and computers, combined with the global reach and penetration of the internet, has opened up a range of means of communication that permit the almost instantaneous communication of words and images across enormous distances and to some of the most isolated corners of the world; something that would have been unthinkable for previous generations. Young people, in particular, have grasped the enormous capacity of the new media to foster connectedness, communication and understanding between individuals and communities, and they are turning to them as means of communicating with existing friends, of meeting new friends, of forming communities and networks, of seeking information and news, and of sharing their ideas and opinions. Many benefits flow from this new culture of communication: families are able to maintain contact across great distances; students and researchers have more immediate and easier access to documents, sources and scientific discoveries, hence they can work collaboratively from different locations; moreover, the interactive nature of many of the new media facilitates more dynamic forms of learning and communication, thereby contributing to social progress.

While the speed with which the new technologies have evolved in terms of their efficiency and reliability is rightly a source of wonder, their popularity with users should not surprise us, as they respond to a fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other. This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations. In the light of the biblical message, it should be seen primarily as a reflection of our participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call - a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.

The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our Creator. Naturally, I am not talking about fleeting, shallow relationships, I am talking about the real love that is at the very heart of Jesus’ moral teaching: "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "You must love your neighbour as yourself" (cf. Mk 12:30-31). In this light, reflecting on the significance of the new technologies, it is important to focus not just on their undoubted capacity to foster contact between people, but on the quality of the content that is put into circulation using these means. I would encourage all people of good will who are active in the emerging environment of digital communication to commit themselves to promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.

Those who are active in the production and dissemination of new media content, therefore, should strive to respect the dignity and worth of the human person. If the new technologies are to serve the good of individuals and of society, all users will avoid the sharing of words and images that are degrading of human beings, that promote hatred and intolerance, that debase the goodness and intimacy of human sexuality or that exploit the weak and vulnerable.

The new technologies have also opened the way for dialogue between people from different countries, cultures and religions. The new digital arena, the so-called cyberspace, allows them to encounter and to know each other’s traditions and values. Such encounters, if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening. The dialogue must be rooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential to promote growth in understanding and tolerance. Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth.

The concept of friendship has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the vocabulary of the new digital social networks that have emerged in the last few years. The concept is one of the noblest achievements of human culture. It is in and through our friendships that we grow and develop as humans. For this reason, true friendship has always been seen as one of the greatest goods any human person can experience. We should be careful, therefore, never to trivialize the concept or the experience of friendship. It would be sad if our desire to sustain and develop on-line friendships were to be at the cost of our availability to engage with our families, our neighbours and those we meet in the daily reality of our places of work, education and recreation. If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.

Friendship is a great human good, but it would be emptied of its ultimate value if it were to be understood as an end in itself. Friends should support and encourage each other in developing their gifts and talents and in putting them at the service of the human community. In this context, it is gratifying to note the emergence of new digital networks that seek to promote human solidarity, peace and justice, human rights and respect for human life and the good of creation. These networks can facilitate forms of co-operation between people from different geographical and cultural contexts that enable them to deepen their common humanity and their sense of shared responsibility for the good of all. We must, therefore, strive to ensure that the digital world, where such networks can be established, is a world that is truly open to all. It would be a tragedy for the future of humanity if the new instruments of communication, which permit the sharing of knowledge and information in a more rapid and effective manner, were not made accessible to those who are already economically and socially marginalized, or if it should contribute only to increasing the gap separating the poor from the new networks that are developing at the service of human socialization and information.

I would like to conclude this message by addressing myself, in particular, to young Catholic believers: to encourage them to bring the witness of their faith to the digital world. Dear Brothers and Sisters, I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. In the early life of the Church, the great Apostles and their disciples brought the Good News of Jesus to the Greek and Roman world. Just as, at that time, a fruitful evangelization required that careful attention be given to understanding the culture and customs of those pagan peoples so that the truth of the gospel would touch their hearts and minds, so also today, the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately. It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent". Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the "Good News" of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people. Human hearts are yearning for a world where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. Our faith can respond to these expectations: may you become its heralds! The Pope accompanies you with his prayers and his blessing.

From the Vatican, 24 January 2009, Feast of Saint Francis de Sales.


I wrote a post in italian some days ago, but it's pretty long. I wish I will find the time to translate it some day. But, let me tell you that this message can be really enough! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fleck of dust

"I, being but a fleck of dust into the world, I am bigger than the world itself. ".

(Catania, Saturday 17th January 2009)

The sentence is a translation of a Father Giussani's sentence, that i read in a book some years ago.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lazyness or activity?

Today it's rainy, as it has been rainy for the last month... but Saturday 17th January it has been a great day, with almost no wind and a sun shining in a cloudless sky.
That day I took the picture of the previous post (19th Jan) and many other as this one:

You should know that I live in Catania, it's a town on Sicily east cost so you can understand how it has been surprising for me to see the sun reflecting on the sea at sunset time. (Even if it isn't exactly a sunset at the sea! :D ).

How it possible? The dock is linked to the north part of Catania gulf so I had the chance to see this amazing show.

Saturday morning I woke up without knowing where I was going to go, I just I was going out with my boyfriend for a walk. Than, close to lunch time, we decided to not came back home and have a quick lunch somewhere close to the sea and than come back to take picture. As soon as we got out from the fast food, we saw a lot of seagulls flying all over the sky, so we decided to follow them till we reached the port. There were thousands of seagulls! We spent something like 3 hours at that dock.
Three amazing hours where I had the chance to discover amazing scenarios of my town. I am a little ashamed I didn't know them before, but... when, after sunset we left the dock i did take a last look to that panorama I have been looking at for ours and I thought:
"Wow, Sicily, I will probably have to leave you to improve my life but... COOL! How amazing you are! How much I will be missing you if I leave!".

What about the picture I am showing here?
I was at about on the dock at almost 1.3 km far from the starting point, there were structures floating on the sea that were occupied by seagulls that were probably getting ready to get some sleep.
While I was shooting picture, a group of seagulls, coming from don't know where, started to fly all around and I... just took that picture :)

A screen shot just to show you were I was (more or less). I intend to come back there soon. I want to take some pictures at sunset again (with charged battery... I run out of energy just for the most amazing moments of sunset) and I want, if it's possible, to reach the end of the dock...

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Real always wins

B: "In this picture it looks like a star"

N.O.: "What's new? Isn't the Sun a star?"

M: "Looks like it was night!"

N.O.:"It wasn't, have you ever see such a thing at night?"

M: "well, actually... to be the moon is too luminous..."

N.O.: "And that line of light at centre..."

M: "Yeah!" 

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Yeah! I am crazy! A crazy idiot!

I am an idiot because I wasted the whole day for the pain that I let win on my will to study.
I kept having pity of my self for being so "weak" and this made me close my eyes, as always.

I am crazy because while I was writing an endless post with thousands of words that said nothing I realized how to say something i have been wanting to say for 2 weeks or so.
The concept, in my mind, is linked to this picture

that I took in August 2008 during a walk I had with some relatives. There were me, my parents, my aunt and my grandma, we went out to pick some blackberries.
That day was cloudy and annoying, I had taken almost no pictures but when we went out for that (unplanned) walk the sun come out and I had the chance to take some pictures.

This picture recall me some concept that are the main themes of the thought of these last months, of course when I am not too busy with complaining! ;)
Recently I have been thinking a lot about the value of a family and of a "company" and how both are necessary to be happy... and because I have to start from some point my mind picked up to think about family and the movement my family belong.

Indeed, I grown up in a family belonging to a Catholic movement (Comunion and Liberation) and it's clear what importance they, at least theoretically, give to the fact of being a "company".
I guess it is normal that when I was a child that group of people meant "home" for me... but with the passing of the years I couldn't stand most of them anymore, as well as I couldn't stand almost any other human being.

So, I guess it's normal that the last time in my life I felt really at home was in March 2002 while I was being confirmed in the Cathedral of my town.

During the Mass the choir started to sing something. I cannot remember what it was but it called me back while I was getting lost in not really good thought alike:
"Tomorrow I have that annoying Latin test, today it's cold, I am nervous and some "creative guy" had the unhappy idea to make 7 people sit on the same bench... it's symbolical I know, but half of me is sitting on nothing, i am suspends it's so uncomfortable, beside the cathedral is full of people but except my parents no one of them is a friend or a relative of mine.. I feel so..."
the song changed the thought in: "... Wow! COOL! I feel at home, everything is fine!"

The beauty of the singing, the beauty of the place I was being in, the beauty and the importance of what was happening made me find back serenity, and erased from my mind any bad thought. Well, it helped also to see that my religion teacher came for me. She didn't knew me and I didn't have a great esteem of her but she proved I was wrong, she showed me that despite she wasn't able of witty speech she had what is really required to be a great person: A good hearth.

In the following years I forgot all these church-related events, i focused only on my problems and let only some "chat friends" to help me...
I let you imagine my surprise and my pleasure to see that, finally even on that "devilish
web", there were member of that"company" I had missed for years. And I let you imagine that one of them is actually a member of THAT choir that made me feel me at home some years ago.

I still think that I won't feel "at home" as that day anymore, that there is actually no home for me... but, now, at least, I feel a lot of steps closer to that "home" I am looking for...

There is still a lot to say and to do, but it's late, it's better if I go to bed in order to avoid to waste another day, even if I am starting to think that I didn't waste this friday at all, thanks to love and friendship that surrounds me...

...and sorry if I have bothered you.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Free caotic thoughts

I have been silent for a long time on this blog.
I had to study (well actually I still have to study) a lot, I started the blog in Italian, I did some graphic work (nothing special) for my family and with my boyfriend we bought a domain to build a new site and a new blog a little more "serious" than this one and with much more space for pictures and other stuff. The project is still at the starting point, but I hope in few months to complete most of the work.
Will I close this blog? No. Here I feel more free to write whatever I think :)

So... I have been silent even on my blog in Italian in these last days. I didn't write anything special or interesting. Probably I have never written anything special of interesting? Dunno, surely I have not been able for the last weeks to write what I have been thinking about, and yet, I am not sure I will be able to do it now but trying to think in English is helpful... I am slower with English language (what a news, I am Italian!), but being slower with my thoughts is helpful to focus on them.

WOW... while I am writing my boyfriend is playing with the new "toys" we bought :). Don't be perverted with your thoughts, they are just new cellphones. Nokia 6110 navigator to be sincere, amazing cellphone but because my bf is showing me "new amazing stuff" (again, I am talking about the new Nokia) he has been able to distract me from what I have been trying to focus on.
Eheheh, funny man!
But I have to say that is my fault: the first message I sent him with the new cellphone said: "You stink!". I am such a sweet girl! ;D

Ok, I have been able to write a lot and to say nothing! Looks like I am really good at doing this! ;)
I guess the period of "free caotic thoughts" isn't finished yet!

Help! I need an order in my thoughts! ;D