I was chatting the other day with someone who has quite a well-known Catholic blog, and who was in some distress of mind. The cause of this distress was a fear that it was hypocritical to be posting on a Catholic blog when one was aware of one’s own sins, and painfully conscious (for various reasons) of one’s human frailty.
I tried to suggest that this was not a valid argument; because we are all – and always – human and sinful; and that if consciousness of sin was a disqualification for blogging, then there would be no blogs posted at all . . . and I tried to draw a comparison with the priest, the efficacy of whose ministry is not affected by the state of his soul . . .
Whether or not my friend agreed with me I don’t really know; but it made me think quite deeply about the whole question . . . and led me to realize that even since starting this blog I have tried not only to reflect, and pass on my reflections; but also – albeit I fear not very successfully – to reshape my own life in light of what I have recognized; and I am sure that this is true of most Catholic bloggers - that they try to relate their Faith to their everyday lives, so as to inspire and challenge themselves and other people.
This was, of course, one of S. Dominic’s original ideas when he formed the Friars Preachers : that the puffed-up and pompous bishops of the day (who basically were the only people who then preached) with their lavish lifestyles were not getting through to the Albigensians (and quite a lot of other people, come to that) whose ideas were heavily influenced by the conviction that poverty and sanctity of life went together, so that what was needed was preachers who lived a life of poverty, and spoke to people at a human level, rather than dealing in pronouncements delivered from on high.
As we know, the Holy Father supports the use of the internet as a tool for evangelization; and I believe that the (thankfully numerous) Catholic blogs are a splendid updating of S. Dominic’s concept – because they are the thoughts and ideas, the experiences and aspirations, of ordinary Catholics – priests, religious, and laity alike; so they relate to ordinary life, and are therefore more likely to touch a chord in the heart of an enquirer than learned theological expositions : and I would think that the view of someone who is convinced of his/her sinfulness can only be of value to most of us.
Obviously a blogger who deliberately says one thing and does another, with casual contempt for the example s/he sets (or rather, would if anyone knew), is a rank hypocrite; and will no doubt answer for it at the last day – but I am convinced that such people are few and far between, and that the rest of the Catholic blogosphere is serving a valuable purpose - and I pray that God will make great use of it in spreading His Word.