Peter Hannan has created his own website: http://www.peterhannan.ie. The 76-year-old Jesuit, now based in Manresa, has gone online to communicate his central message: the passionate desire of the three persons of the Trinity to reveal themselves to each of us. Peter has unfolded this vision in his eight books, and his website is closely linked with the books. As well as including excerpts from each of the texts, he also maintains a blog on the site, reflecting occasionally on books he’s reading or movies he’s seen. Initially Peter had thought of seeking his own corner of our Jesuit website but that would have meant that he could not shape it in the way he wanted to. He describes frankly the mixture of excitement and anxiety with which he faces this challenge. Read more.
THE QUIET REVOLUTION
There is a dream the dawn inspires
the Trinity dreaming in us
of sharing all they have and are
and its quiet revolution.
Recently I have been working on a website and sometimes I ask myself if it makes sense at seventy-six to be pushing out the boat again in this way.
What is urging me to do so goes back a long way and has been gathering momentum with the years. It has emerged out of two experiences that have shaped my life. The first happened shortly after I left school when I did a retreat, a full 30 days of it, and as a result, Jesus, by the way he loves and relates, captivated me. The second experience emerged some years later when I began to teach and discovered how difficult it is to convey to others the experience of Jesus that so engages me.
Then in my fifties, when I had spent twenty years helping young people and adults to explore what it means to be a Christian, I felt a compelling desire to write. What I wanted to write about was a vision that resulted from the passionate desire of the three persons of the Trinity to reveal themselves to each of us. The following words of Karl Rahner came to inspire all I was to write: “The most important fact in all Theology and Spirituality is that the three persons of the Trinity want to reveal themselves to each person”.
Alongside the growth of this vision there has been a constant passion to present it in a winning way. This meant learning how to arouse a dormant wisdom we all accumulate as we go through life. In other words, we each make a synthesis out of three mutually enriching stories: out of our own story, out of the stories others tell us in novels and films and specially out of the story of God’s self-revelation in the Bible. Central to this wisdom is the dream the Trinity have for us of a love whose attractiveness draws us into an intimate relationship with them, one that is characterized by joy.
Constructing the website
So it was that after writing about this vision the Trinity give us of themselves, that I began to think about using the internet to interest more people in it. Even though I am technically-minded, this was a formidable task. Initially, I thought of seeking my own corner of our Jesuit website but that would have meant that I could not shape it in the way I wanted to.
The homepage, or what people see when they open the website, contains a theme central to all the books, that of the dream we spend our lives seeking to realize. Then there is the story of how I came to write the books, how they are related to each other and an outline of the main themes that run through all eight books. For each of these I give a picture of the cover, the blurb on the back cover, the contents of the book and the introduction or first chapter. There is also an audio and a video for each of the books.
Bringing this website to the attention of people, in a way that would interest them, is a daunting task. However, learning to communicate on the internet opens up a lot of exciting possibilities that makes the struggle worthwhile. There is, for instance, the possibility of using a blog to interest people in their dream by commenting on how this may be aroused for them in films, stories, poetry etc. There is also the possibility of using YouTube for videos on the themes of the books, though I still have to learn how to create these. At times, I feel I am getting out of my depth or that I am doing little more than talking to myself but mostly I am challenged and excited by the new horizons opening up.