Friday, July 18, 2014

What does it Mean to be a Catholic Blogger?

Having lived in the blogosphere since 2007, I've come to know and frequent many a Catholic blog.  Different writers focus on different elements of the Catholic Church, but I have to admit, I love them all and seek them out.  I like Catholic and Enjoying it, Bad Catholic, the National Catholic Register, The Anchoress, Barefoot and Pregnant, Lisa Hendey, Danielle Bean, Just Another Catholic Pondering, I Have to Sit Down, The Curt Jester, The Ironic Catholic, Creative Minority Report, Acts of the Apostasy, Such a Pretty Catholic Bubble, mothering spirit, Happy Catholic, The Catholic Vote, in the Light of the Law, the Crescat, Aggie Catholics, And Sometimes Tea,...there are more but I can't think of them right now.  Honestly, I don't want to leave anyone out but I am, because there are so many more.

Within the Catholic Blogosphere, as in all other places, there are disparate points of view, those who miss Pope Benedict and those who love the current Pope Francis, and those who like both.  There are those who love the mass said in the vernacular, and those who prefer the Latin version.  There are those who delve into deep political issues, and those who focus on the spiritual challenges and benefits of parenting, and others who keep on top of today's issues politically and socially that pose more than a theoretical question to those who wish to be faithful to the Catholic Church.   What unites all of these disparate voices, is a love of the Church, of the Eucharist, of Christ living in their lives. 

What divides us is everything else. 

Recently, my own words were used as a means to insult a blogger I highly respect.  I felt horrified. Then I saw the Crescat being declared something less than Catholic by a few followers on Twitter, and my friend Patrick being mocked as more Catholic than the Pope for daring to voice he struggles with those who see nothing troubling in the multiple mixed messages coming from the Vatican.  In short, we are being reminded constantly of what divides us.  We should remember who delights in dividing us, and what his objective is throughout all of history.  

I received an email question, "What does it mean to be a Catholic blogger?" and the answer has weighed on my mind.

It remains for me, an interesting question. I didn't plan to be a Catholic blogger. I happen to write. I started a blog. I am Catholic, so I filter the world through my Catholic faith, and thus I became a Catholic blogger.  But if we were to say come together as a Catholic blogger symposium to discuss what does it mean, what would our answer be?

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I'd love to read others' responses to the question.  

For me, it means to write Catholic, I must be Catholic.  How is the tricky part.  I came up with my own parameters for being a Catholic blogger. 

1) try to always speak truthfully about what I think and to be as knowledgeable as possible when I discuss things that are outside of my general realm of expertise.

2)  use charity and seek to examine issues --and present a Catholic perspective on say politics, touch stone issues of the day, or things that may be of singular interest to those who are also Catholic --how to pray in a busy plugged in world, what the Gospel says to me as a mom, wife, person today, prayer life, how to grow it, what my children teach me about being pro-life, what they teach me about being less selfish.

3) have the grace of generosity to share what I love, and to promote whenever I find something beautiful, wise, joyous or fun. I don't know that I have a Niche in the Catholic Blogosphere, I'm a just a sometimes off key voice in the choir.

4) Write about what is important to me. Catholic faith is in the minute --the grain of wheat, the single cell embryo, the consecrated host, and in the cosmic, the ocean, the stars, the great yes of Mary, the depth of God's mercy, it is in the air we breathe if we but notice, and all of creation begs us to pay attention.

Interested in doing this? There isn't a club or secret decoder pin unless you join Jimmy Akin's email list (which I recommend by the way).

Simply begin. You might start by introducing us to yourself, writing your faith journey ---to the extent you feel comfortable, if you have a journey you think others should hear, or with questions if that is your strength, or with scripture and pondering it, and inviting others to join, or with current events and how one might view it.

More professionally, I recommend joining the Catholic Writer's Guild and regularly browsing and submitting to Kevin Knight's New Advent and The Big Pulpit.  The former is a good networking group of writers/editors/bloggers/authors/speakers, and the later are the Catholic Drudge Reports of Catholic bloggers. I've had the grace to be linked by both sites on occasion.
  
Catholic blogging is all about being a cyber evangelist and cyber witness to the internet world, and must be done with all the intellect, creativity, joy and craft you can give, plus a dose of humor helps.
Find your voice by talking about what interests you.   Let me know what your blog link is, and I'll send it around to other Catholic bloggers I know.  As it turns out, I know a lot of them.

Good luck and God Speed.  P.S. If you answer the question on your blog, leave a link in the comment section.  I'll post a live link at the end of the body of this post as a result.

Blogs who commented here or on Facebook or answered the question.

Franciscan Mom
The Catholic Book Blogger
Such a Pretty Bubble
Equipping Catholic Families
And Sometimes Tea
Catholic and Enjoying it!
The Catholic Review
Marilyn Rodrigues
Fruitful Momma Blog
Deny the Cat

I hope more participate, and now I have more Catholic blogs to visit.  Clapping hands in joy like the Catholic blog junkie I am. 








10 comments:

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Well said. The only thing I have to add is that my life has been enriched as much by writing (which I *need* to do) as by reading others' blogs and connecting with those authors. I have made some wonderful friends because of blogs.
(And your left sidebar is hilarious!)

Pete Socks said...

Great article and spot on. I blog at www.catholicbookblogger.com

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I think being a Catholic blogger means you're sado masochistic. Ha! Thanks for including me. And by the way, my blog title doesn't have the word Catholic in it.....I wasn't brave enough to add that. Char

Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families said...

Nice to read this post! I blog at www.equippingCatholicfamilies.com and I run the www.CatholicBloggersNetwork.com website, FB group and page.
I'd love to post a piece of this post at www.CatholicBloggersNetwork.com with links to your post. We Catholic Bloggers need to stick together and support one another!

Rita Buettner said...

Terrific post! I blog at http://catholicreview.org/blogs/open-window. I may try to answer this question on my blog. Thank you for the suggestion!

Marilyn R said...

Thanks for the opportunity Sherry, and for giving me a few new (to me) blogs to look up.

I have a fairly new blog at marilynrodrigues.com and I guess I'm what some would call a 're-vert' to Catholicism, although my 're-version' was a long time ago. There's so much I want to cover and so little time to write! Fortunately I don't have to do it all - that's the great thing about the body of Christ.

Jaime said...

I'm pretty new to blogging. I feel like I have an inspiring, faith-filled story to tell. Hopefully I can bring others a little closer to God in the process. My little spot in the blogger world is The Fruitful Mama https://www.fruitfulmommablog.wordpress.com

God bless! I enjoy your writing!

Ben said...

“We write to taste life twice. In the moment and in retrospect”
-Anais Nin
OR
We write to taste OUR FAITH twice. In the moment and in retrospect.

Brian Sullivan said...

I hope you don't owe Mark Shea too much for sending people here. :-) I blog occasionally at Deny The Cat http://denythecat.blogspot.com

LarryD said...

I'm late to this party, which means I have to clean up the mess made by the folks who left early, but I will address this at AoftheA. Thanks for your great insights that I will most certainly steal...er, borrow...I mean reflect upon.

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!