As four of my eleven readers know, I started a blog called “Why I Am Catholic” in the summer of 2009. It’s still there, though I’m not. As you will see by comparing its viewer numbers with mine, I jumped off that horse just as it was getting set to win the Triple Crown. Then I hopped onto a hobby horse.
But gee, I love this little thing, this “Witness.”
I love this blog because I love Communion and Liberation (CL), and from earliest days at YIMC I felt that my experience with—and from the perspective of—CL was a poor fit with the mission of that blog. CL was too specific for the general Catholic reader we were attracting. I think my writing about CL turned some of our readers off. It may have turned off one of my blogging partners. CL and other movements in the Catholic Church have the aura of “cult” about them for some people (think Opus Dei, The Davinci Code), and even some of my non-virtual friends wonder, “Why, if you have the Church, do you need CL?” Hopefully, I can do a better job of articulating some answers here.
I also love this new blog because I have a better sense of who my readers are. One or two are members of my CL School of Community. A couple are CL friends from Boston. I may have picked up a reader or two among the Dominican community when I brazenly wrote about my four days at the House of Studies in Washington, D.C. I know that one of my four sisters is a sometime reader, and I know my mother is not. That makes about eleven.
And that’s beautiful. Because the blogosphere can quickly turn into cloud cuckoo land. There was something pure and lovely about my early weeks with YIMC. I had articulated a clear mission: to explain why I am Catholic, primarily for the benefit of my closest relatives and friends, some of whom were still scratching their heads over my conversion. But the road to hell . . . because good intentions don’t always last.
Knowing who some of my readers are helps me to remember my intention here and hopefully to stay the course with this new blog. This is hard. You’d like to make a splash, or your ego would. You’re tempted to write stuff just to get attention. I’ve done it more than once already, although I have done my best to destroy the evidence.
But belonging to Communion and Liberation—which ultimately means, being a Catholic—is still a precious thing to me, and I want to put the Movement’s, and the Church’s, best foot forward. By sharing my experience with a few people who matter in my life, I hope at least to deepen my faith while not misrepresenting CL or the Catholic Church.
So finally I love this blog for the same reason I loved YIMC in its early days. Because I love being Catholic. I am a writer by trade, and so I really should, if I’m true to both my faith and my calling, write about my faith. And so I shall continue to do, as God gives me the strength.
(Footnote: This blog has received no financial considerations from the producers of the film “Witness.” I do like the movie, though, especially Kelly McGillis. I also think that viewing “Witness” may have deepened my Religious Sense.)