Interesting events last night at our Film Club in Dublin. The film for the evening was the powerful documentary The Human Experience, produced by two brothers looking for the meaning of life, for the meaning in humanity.
Fr Paulus of the Friars of the Renewal in Limerick was to give the talk and bring the DVD. All was ready at 7pm - the DVD player working perfectly, the projector in great form, we were waiting for Fr Paulus. After ten minutes we were getting worried as the audience were getting restless. But after about twenty minutes the good father arrived - he had been delayed because his car was acting up. But the Lord sorted it out and got him up. Intrepid Kevin, Fraternity Culture Secretary, took the DVD and went to get things going. Screen goes blank! Our new DVD player dies! "No signal" sign mocks us on the screen. Shock (I wrote a cheque for the player only a few months ago, multiregion and expensive! Shock!!). No resurrection here, even after the kiss of life and a blessing: dead! But Kevin has a plan, as always - his parents could get their DVD player in in twenty minutes. Grand.
Fr John welcomes everyone, explains the difficulty, but the cavalry are on the way. We'll start with a prayer, nice and slow...give cavalry time to get here. Fr Paulus starts his talk, very good. After twenty minutes or so, Kevin's parents appear at the door - our Treasurer Jim turns and looks at me with a huge sigh of relief. Kevin proceeds to set up the new player. But nothing is happening. Every connection is checked, twice, three times...... Fr Paulus looks, sees there is trouble and keeps talking (God bless him, these Franciscan friars can keep you riveted for hours! Fortunate for us). The new player is not working now - sound is coming through alright, but no picture. More kisses of life and blessings - no: dead!
But Donal, our Media Secretary has a lap top! Thanks be to God and his Holy Mother, sigh of relief number two from Jim. It plays DVDs Donal tells us (Te Deum!!), he was watching one on it only a couple of days ago. We try to hook it up, but the lead is damaged. AHHH!!! Next thing Darren appears "I have a lead at home and only live around the corner", he says. Thanks Darren; he's at the club for the first time. Off he goes. Fr Paulus turns around, still trouble, and keeps talking - now he has a discussion going. God bless these friars. But people start to leave..... 8.05 pm.
Darren arrives with the new lead - fits (relieved sigh number three from Jim). All connected up - projector beams the desktop image from the laptop - JOY! DVD put in. Kevin is optimistic. Laptop refuses to even acknowledge the DVD. Is it the wrong region? Another DVD is inserted: no the laptop is playing silly beggars. More blessings, no: dead!!! But there is another laptop, the girl up the front has hers. Bliss! Connect up - everything fits, but all to no avail: DVD not acknowledged - the laptop is too old, incompatible. (Jim is now out in the hall trying to cope with severe tension). Fr Paulus is still talking. "Say a rosary!" Christopher our secretary suggests, good idea (later he admits he was only messing)! Who cares! Fr Paulus starts it up, and we're off. It is now obvious someone is at work here.
Darren runs home for his X-Box. Donal is on the floor rebooting: laptop still rebelling. Kevin is forlorn. The audience is praying and Fr John is (prayerfully) telling St Genesius what he will do with him when he gets him home! Jim is weeping! And Christopher is sitting in the middle of the crowd with a big grin on his face, no doubt already composing the blog entry for the following day. Darren arrives back during the last decade weighed down with wires and leads. The team springs into action. Does Jim dare to hope? No sigh of relief yet. Connected. Blessings galor. Prayer to St Michael!! Hail Holy Queen..... Movie starts!!! Relieved sigh number four from Jim, with tension, but prospect of heart attack avoided.
Lights off. It's 8.45pm. Movie starts. Silence. And then we understood why all the trouble. If you have seen it, you will understand, if you haven't go see it and you will.
Moral of the story: bring Holy Water the next time.