July 30, 2012

It's my blog-a-versary - I've been blogging over at Catholic Chapter House now for one year.  On New Years every year I reflect on the past year and on the coming year and give both to the Lord, and I've been doing the same reflecting on blogging.  Why do I do it?  Should I continue?  Where does God want me to go with it?

One of my blogging heroines often says the only thing that qualifies her to blog is that she’s a housewife with a computer…meaning, she’s not qualified to say much so don’t take her words as gospel truth, she’s just sharing her thoughts.  Well, I’m not a housewife nor am I qualified to say anything much, I just have a computer and a drive to put words together into meaningful phrases, but lately that’s not been enough for me to keep up with my deadlines, especially when nothing particularly strikes me as needing to be written. I have been needing more motivation - staring at that blank screen - because frankly, writing is hard work! 

In addition to a lack of motivation, even just telling someone that I blog has led to uncomfortable moments for me recently.  I wait in tense silence as I get lumped into the “nerd” category, and then listen to the diatribe on the evils of the digital world and how it is ruining mankind, causing obesity and rampant ADD, is a direct cause of the inability of young people to have any kind of real or meaningful relationships and finally, how the internet is responsible for the general decline of Western Civilization.  And somehow, I am contributing factor because I blog. 

So the question – what the heck am I doing? – has been on my mind as of late. 

Church and New Media site
And then I read “The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists and Bishops who Tweet” by Brandon Vogt, which was the shot in the arm I needed.  Mr. Vogt has brought together some leading Catholics entrenched in new media to talk about their experiences and what they’ve learned and my have they been busy!  Not only are many of these Catholics seeing converts, but they are also reaching a whole generation of youth through the very medium that seems to have wrenched them away from the Church to begin with.  This is truly what the New Evangelization is all about!

Picture credit
“For its first one-and-a-half thousand years, Christianity’s dominant form of communication was hand-copied print, with parchments, scrolls, and books transmitting sacred writings.  These texts were used in the liturgy and were proclaimed at special religious gatherings.  During these early centuries, if Christians wanted to absorb pieces of Scripture, they typically had to find a community that would read them aloud.  …At the onset of this digital revolution, [the Church’s] response to New Media is wide open.  The world is waiting and listening in the virtual sphere.  Will the Church remain silent, or will her voice be proclaimed from the rooftops (and the laptops)?  Will she plunge the message of Christ into Facebook feeds, blog posts, podcasts, and text messages, or will she be digitally impotent?  If the Church’s promotion of evangelization, formation, community and the common good is to continue throughout future generations, she must harness these technologies and utilize them well.”  Pg. 15-22

Whether we like it or not, times have changed. Today, the young especially, are so entrenched in the digital world that if we want to reach out to them, we must bring Jesus to where they are.   We must engage this new world of technology and be encouraged as Pope Benedict XVI tells us not to be afraid to “…set sail on the digital sea, facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years…[W]e want to qualify ourselves by living in the digital world with a believer’s heart, helping to give a soul to the internet’s incessant flow of communication.”  (pg. 22)

Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI has, in fact, said quite a bit about what he calls the ‘digital continent’. Sure we must approach it with the spirit of discernment, being sure to be authentic and to be present to those we encounter daily.  We must also remember that “…virtual contact must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives”.  But once we put the new media in its proper place, a whole new world of evangelization awaits us. 

“I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible. This is not simply to satisfy the desire to be present, but because this network is an integral part of human life. The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness. In this field too we are called to proclaim our faith that Christ is God, the Saviour of humanity and of history, the one in whom all things find their fulfillment (cf. Eph 1:10). The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive, which stimulates the heart and moves the conscience; one which reflects the example of the risen Jesus when he joined the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13-35). By his approach to them, his dialogue with them, his way of gently drawing forth what was in their heart, they were led gradually to an understanding of the mystery.”
Pope Benedict XVI - 45th World Communications Day June 2011

The pope’s words resonated deeply with me.  This is why I write and especially why I blog - to give the Internet a soul by sharing what the good God has done for me and to gently draw forth what is already in the heart of every reader – beauty, truth and goodness. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Phil. 4:8


  1. This is wonderful. Happy blog-a-versary! And I'm glad to learn about Catholic Chapter House... I have a feeling I'll become a steady reader there. God bless all you do for Him!



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