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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just some thoughts

I don't know if I'm going to continue blogging. Of late, I really haven't been inspired, and perhaps it's the pressure of grad school, perhaps it's all the snarkiness of the internet blogosphere. Of late, it's just been tiresome.

Working in a church has given me some perspective maybe I wouldn't have recieved otherwise. A tour around Catholic bloggers can display the best, certainly, but lately, all I've been seeing is the worst. I know that I'm a faithful Catholic, I know that my friends are, and I know that the parishes I frequent are very holy places, filled with a mix of people from holy to lukewarm to non-practicing.

And I can't sit in front of a non-practicing Catholic one moment, speaking of the mercy of God, and then go read blogs that spout off constantly about how people don't get it, etc. That's right. They DON'T get it. They have NO IDEA. And blogging isn't going to reach them...especially since they aren't looking. And if they do happen to take a peek, they're going to get the impression that Catholics online are representative of everyone...and I'm not sure that they're going to get the best impression. Or find their faith.

I'm guilty myself...I've my own share of snarky posts. Check my archives, especially the early ones. Guilty, guilty, guilty.

I'm tired. I'm tired of hearing about liturgical abuses, especially exaggerated. We all know it exists...somehow, it makes it worse to talk about it in such forums, and somehow, it makes it seem worse than it is. Thank God, I don't see these abuses anymore, and if I did, I wouldn't frequent those parishes anymore...unless there was some spiritual benefit. (God calls us all to certain circumstances to suffer with Him).

Of late, I've wondered why I have continued this blog. Because I feel like I have to? Becaus I have regular readers? When did this become about me? It's supposed to be about Jesus. It's supposed to be about God. But no...it's all about me. That has to end.

Perhaps I'll continue the blog, perhaps I won't, perhaps it'll just be sporadic posting. In any case, for now, grad school is my primary concern. At least until the semester ends.

Yeah, I'm a writer, therefore I MUST write, and so there are likely to be posts. But the tenor of the posts may change, maybe they already have. I don't know.

All I know is that the places I used to like to visit, I visit no longer because I'm too tired of the snark. It exhausts me. Sometimes it's best to look at evil, recognize it, and then move on. Because calling attention to it makes it fester, it makes it rise, and it perpetuates the problem rather than fixing it.

And because I'm my own festering ball of sin, who am I to point the evil stuff out? And how can I best live out a holy life and really be holy if I'm focusing on what I'm NOT doing...doesn't that make me a Pharisee?

Look how awesome I am, because I'm not liturically dancing, I'm not high-fiving during the sign of peace, I'm praying a whole bunch and I want you all to know all about it!

It seems like too much of this happens in the blogosphere. And no, I'm not picking on anyone, just making general observations. And I'm completely guilty.

So I challenge you...if you are a Catholic blogger, evaluate your blog. We are all called to the perfection of charity; does your work exemplify this? Is your motive love, or is it snark? What's your overall tone? Do you speak of things spiritual, or are you mainly critical? Are you pointing the way to Christ...or just pointing at the snake in the corner telling people to take a GOOD LOOK because you represent Christ, but isn't this thing AWFUL?

So maybe this is burnout. Or maybe I just need to go to Confession. Or quit for awhile. Or just get through the weekend, take a day off, and get some perspective.

In any case, God bless, and remember, if you don't point to Christ...who will?

18 comments:

Angela Messenger said...

And there I was smugly congratulating myself on my "tolerant" blog and then I remembered the post about the diocesan office...complete with photos. *sigh* Thanks Adoro - I needed that.

If you do quit blogging I hope we can email occasionally. You have great insight!

Adrienne said...

I am in complete agreement with you! But my way of "doing the nasty" is to be nasty on other people's blogs. I try to keep my blog all nicey nice but let the real Italian wild woman emerge everywhere else.

Since I have been around so much longer (in years) very little that happens in the church bothers me. However, when I join in others who are still in the middle of their outrage I am just adding to their angst.

angela -- I didn't think your post was mean spirited -- it was just funny. We have to maintain our humor about all of this and trust in the Holy Spirit to take care of the rest.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

It is very important the point you raise..i think mainly because bloggers tend to be 'strong' characters with super-egos..that's when the trouble starts imho...

Sarah said...

Must be something in the air - another blog I read was sort of tossing around the same sort of "why do I blog? what's this about? is it necessary?" line of questioning. (Hers was focused a little differently - "is this a time sink?" was one of the major concerns, I think.)

Sometimes we do have to step back and look at things. But, Adoro, knowing you as I do (which isn't that well, granted), I have to ask you...could it be the devil trying to get you offline? You do raise good points on your blog, and you do need to write (with ya on that, sistah), but it doesn't have to be here.

Maybe it's just time to back off a bit.

In my vocation as mother, I've noticed that sometimes, the devil (or my personal tempter, whichever) will talk me into considering dropping something good, something that's good for me and for my soul and for who I am. Because if I drop that, my misery will heighten, even if I think it's a good thing.

I don't know if any of this makes sense. I think, from reading your posts of late, that you do need a break - but maybe it's from the READING and not from the WRITING. :) (And no, I don't just say that because I'm selfish and I want to stay in your life...)

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Adoro: I hope you keep the blog but I understand if you don't. It is a time thing and I can tell you are overwhelmed.

God bless!

Ray from MN said...

Adrienne: But my way of "doing the nasty" is to be nasty on other people's blogs.


Ooooops. I recognize that one. I try to be informative and humorous on Stella. But I do my sounding off on Terry's and Cathy's and a few other blogs, or more likely, in private emails.

I'm going to think about that.

Don't quit, Adoro! Use us as an unbiased, randomly selected population group for bouncing theological issues off us. We all have opinions that we'd be happy to share with you so that you could write them up and submit them as graduate term papers and theses.

Nobody would ever know (well, except God, I suppose).

Laurel said...

As a newbie to your blog, I hope that you don't quit. I, too, struggle with "living my faith" online, as I'm sure we all do. But we're HUMAN; our nature WILL be sinful. Sometimes our blogging will be an illustration of this part of our nature -- however, we also show the side that recognizes our sinfulness and turns to God for forgiveness. I think we can show Christ to the world just as much in our mistakes as in our shining moments. I'll be praying for you!

BretonHobbit said...

Hi Adoro
This perhaps sounds like a hasty comment, but I think this is one of your most insightful posts. Months ago, when I started reading Catholic blogs during my lunch break, I was a bit disappointed to see more criticism than compassion, and a generally despairing attitude among my fellow Catholics. I'm curious to know why there are so many long faces in the blogosphere...I think the Church is in *such* an exciting place right now!...and of course,there will be bumps and tumbles and disagreements along the way, but the mustard seed is always there!
But I digress...keep the faith, do what you have to do in order to preserve your own spiritual well-being, but don't leave the blogosphere because of other people's sarcasm or cynicism. Under the protection of your faith and God's grace, they can't touch you...:) peace

Cow Bike Rider (alias, Chris Sagsveen) said...

Whenever I take unannounced breaks from blogging, I’ll get comments like “hey, where have you been? I’ve been checking on you and you haven’t been writing anything.”

How should I view a comment like that? (1) What I’m saying is making a difference? (2) I provide entertainment? (3) People are looking for someone to say something they agree with? (4) People are looking for a debate? I don’t know but whatever it is, it makes me think again about why I blog. For me, Cow Bike Rider has been a great place to discern.
That’s why I’ve decided that once I’m Confirmed in the Catholic Church, my blog (as you now know it) will most likely be terminated. It will have served its purpose to that point, but then would most likely lose direction (I can foresee it now). Either I would need to find the new direction for Cow Bike, or start something entirely new (right now I’m leaning toward the latter).

I recently told another friend (who’s decided to quit blogging too) that I truly question the impact blogging has as a witness tool. I do think it’s good for discernment, but it will eventually show the high and low points of one’s soul – especially when the focus of “why am I doing this?” is not entirely clear. That’s when the world sees your entire soul and that can be a little scary. Alternatively, blog focus and enjoyment will make it worthwhile to both you and God. But uncertain focus and maybe only slight enjoyment and the answer becomes clear that its time to take a break and see if you miss it. Whatever happens, thank you for sharing with us!

God Bless,
Chris

uncle jim said...

I've been reading blogs for about a year and a half [thereabouts]...I didn't write them. It would seem I was getting something from them, but I commented only.

For almost 2 months I've been publishing my blog. For the first 5-6 weeks I was working 4-6 hours a day at my 'day job'. For the past 3 weeks I've been working 10 - 13 hours a day.

During that initial time I had time and enjoyed trying to get the blog started and feel I am in the very developmental stages, yet. This last couple of weeks I am so tired, and my mind is mush that I haven't had time to make much sense of what I want to put out on any given day. I think whatever quality there was is going downhill fast.

I think it is a product of physical and mental stress. I can't even think of the right words to use at times...my vocabulary file seems to shut-down.

Point is, it might be stress and fatigue that has you feeling this way. You've at this too long so don't think it was wasted - we were reading and getting something from you.

Hope to talk with you later ... and if not here, elsewhere.

FYI - even in our small market, BELLA showed up here yesterday ... I hope enough people go see it to keep it more than a few days.

tara said...

adoro:
Take a bit of a break then come back--you don't have to post so often--just post when you want to post. But you are such an enjoyable read--I hope you don't go for long.

My blog is on the list of "Catholic" blogs--but, my intentions for my blog--was not necessarily to be a Catholic blog?

Of course, like my kids tell me, everything about you mom is Catholic, so I just happen to write about Catholic stuff--90% of the time.

My original intent was as a catharsis--somewhat like a journal--a way to express some of my bottled-up feelings--as a form of mental therapy (My priest and my psychologist both highly recommened the outlet). And, also a way for my kids to get to know me a bit better--on the inside. My oldest daughter said she appreciates getting to know me more as a person--rather than just mom.

My second intent was to share some of my Catholic faith--as a convert I raised both my girls secular. So I want to throw a few seeds their way--they both read my blog.

The reasons I blog now is--it's fun, entertaining--I like hearing other peoples thoughts. It's nice to see other people who are Catholic have the same thoughts and feelings as myself--and yes, it does support my faith.

But, I did not know as a Catholic I was obligated to have it be for the glory of God. If my blog has to be all about God--I'm in trouble. My blog is specifically for my amusement. And I do primarily visit Catholic sites--because that's what I enjoy most.

Don't ever completely stop blogging adoro!

Adoro te Devote said...

Thank you, everyone. Last night I was reacting to a lot of things, and mostly what tires me is the snarkiness....it gets so old. And somewhre this week I read the admonishment of a Saint, not to focus so much on the faults of others because we ourselves have so much to work on. It hit home.

I probably will keep blogging, and I'm probably just stressed. But I have class this weekend and then will feel better as I'll only have 2 days of work this week.

Anyway...

Tara...as a Catholic blogger, no your blog doesn't HAVE to be all about the glory of God...but if it's not, why not? Can't your amusement also be a manifestation of God's glory?

EVERYTHING we do as Catholics should be for God's glory, because if it's not, something is out of order in our lives.

And of course...that's why we have the Sacrament of Confession. That's why we have prayer. That's why Jesus died for us, because we are intrinsically disordered in so many ways. But in those ways we can control, we should be doing our best to shine for God because that's the reason we exist.

tara said...

adoro:
Everything for the glory of God--well, allright--Does enjoying the talent of Rod Stewart singing, "some guys have all the luck" count? And if it doesn't I guess I'm way "out of order." LOL!

Rebecca said...

I hope you don't quit blogging, because I always find your posts very insightful and useful to me as I am trying to determine my path with regards to the Catholic Church. Thanks! :)

Melody said...

Adoro, I agree with you that snarkiness and negativity are exhausting. One of the many reasons I enjoy your blog is because it isn't that way. I hope you continue (though I admit that my reasons for wishing that are somewhat selfish!). You could try posting less often, or experiment with short posts. But do what's right for you, you may discern that you need time out. I will pray for you, whether you are blogging or not.

Jennifer F. said...

I'm with the others in hoping that you don't quit.

I share many of your feelings (frustration at snarkiness, the realization that I've done the exact same thing myself), and am really trying to change my ways.

I would love to see your voice continue in the Catholic blog world, for a couple of reasons: 1) it'd be great to have more blogs who don't focus on sarcasm and criticism to act as a counter-balance to those who do; 2) who knows, perhaps your writing will inspire some of those bloggers to change their tone and focus more on radiating Christ's love. As I mentioned in a recent post, I too used to write critical, harsh things about other people, but it was in part thanks to the writing of people like you that I committed to changing my ways.

I wish you the best, whatever you decide.

Anonymous said...

Adoro,
I just started reading your blog, and enjoy it very much. I find for the most part, the few I read strike a good balance between exposing the ridiculous things that are going on in some of our churches and talking seriously about our Lord and catholicism. If I don't like what the blogger is writing, I don't read it. Yes, some are overly negative/snarky, but it depends on one's definition of "snark". Most blogs I've read simply use tongue-in-cheek humor (but what may seem snarky to others) to make their points. There's room for all types of catholic blogs and topics to cover, in my humble opinion! :)

AquinaSavio said...

I hope you continue to blog, Adoro. However, I agree that we can all do better with our sarcasm about Church issues right now. I'm also guilty of it. I was reading some of my early posts and I just shook my head at some of the things I have written. That's why I haven't been posting as much about the problems in the Church lately. I'm trying to shift the focus off of the bad things and on to spirituality, deeper knowledge of Tradition, etc...

Thanks for the post. :)