Sunday, December 4, 2011
Two of My Real Friends
If that sounds harsh, the truth is, I am ratting myself out. One of several reasons that I stopped blogging for nearly a year before starting “Witness” is that I had become a blog whore. The temptation to curry favor with other bloggers—any other bloggers—is strong, believe me, especially when you start following your statistics, as I did. Confession: I still follow my statistics. I asked a new blogger the other day, with only a trace of pride, “Do you have any readers in China yet? Russia? Slovenia?”
It is hard for a blogger to keep it real, so linking only to blogs with which I have a real connection is an important choice for me, although it definitely limits my hits. Two Catholic bloggers with whom I have real, not virtual, ties are my pastor and my daughter (the top two links in the right sidebar).
I have written about my daughter several times before. Her blog, Marian Writes, has already been hailed as “lovely, quirky, and smart”—OK, that was a comment from my friend Vangie, but it’s on the money. Marian’s latest post (you’ll always find her latest post in the right sidebar) is a simple but powerful call to charity this Advent season.
As for Fr. David Barnes, my honored pastor, he has just started a blog of his own, “A Shepherd’s Post.” Those who worship with me at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly, Massachusetts, know that Father Barnes takes seriously the role of shepherd. I look forward to seeing how his blog develops.
One immediate use he has made of the blog, during its first week, is as a sort of rehearsal room for homilies. Father Barnes’s latest post, “Are You Ready to Receive Good News?,” which hit the blogosphere Saturday, found its way into the pulpit today, the 2nd Sunday in Advent, although in an expanded version. The post, like the homily, concludes with a thought that my wife Katie was commenting on long after today’s 10:30 Mass. Here is the thought: We must guard our own emptiness.
Any alcoholic, drug addict, sports-obsessed fan, or video-game nut understands the need to fill one’s inner emptiness—with anything. We are a society of addicts. Another type of addict (and they are legion) is the blogger who posts obsessively for the virtual attention, for the “hit.”
But, Father Barnes says, our inner emptiness is precious and should not be filled. Rather, it should be guarded, preserved, kept open—in readiness for the coming of Christ. It was a form of inner emptiness, virginity, that welcomed the Incarnation in the first place. Today, we await the Second Coming, an important meaning of Advent, and if we fill the hole in our hearts with base matter it will not be open to receive something higher, when He comes again.
Posted by Webster Bull at 8:15 PM