Monday, December 19, 2005

One Fruit of My Advent Examination

In the course of reflecting on the things I discussed in my previous post, I feel compelled to offer the following words:

Dear friends,

When I began my blog a little over a year ago, I decided that I would do my best to provide an alternative to many of the nasty Catholic blogs which I found out there at the time. And though I at times offer criticisms, I always try to do so in a spirit of charity. And I’m happy to observe that overall Catholic bloggers have seemed to move in a more positive direction in the past year. I have been pleased in the course of the year to find a number of fine blogs which I’ve been happy to add to my blogroll. That doesn’t mean they always agree with me, or I with them, but for the most part these are people that, I think, attempt to speak the truth in charity. I enjoy our exchanges. I look forward to continuing them.

However, as many of you have recognized, the blogosphere, and the certain amount of recognition that comes with it can be a seductive thing. A couple of months ago, I took a certain amount of pleasure, and indicated so, in an increase of traffic that came due to a mention of my blog in the Catholic World News’ “Off the Record” section. In the intervening months I have become more aware of the purposes of that column and its author, who only goes by the pseudonym “Diogenes.” These purposes do not seem to be in the interest of charity and, though some might disagree, in my mind do not serve the greater glory of God and the Church. I know nothing of Diogenes, as he or she does not choose to identify him or herself, and so I cannot speak to his or her character or precise intentions. Perhaps they are good. But if so, this is not reflected in the content of the “Off the Record,” the intentions of which appear to be largely malicious. I regret having celebrated being associated, however briefly, with that publication and its author.



For more context on this matter, check out the following links:

"Off the Record"
Disputations on Diogenes


Blogger Peter Nixon said...

I can speak from personal experience that "chasing the hit count" is one of the more addictive and spiritually dangerous aspects of blogging.

Given that the half-life of blog posts is generally measured in minutes, there is a temptation to leap into the fray before one has had adequate time to consider the issue at hand. Woe to he who waits even a few hours to post his thoughts. And he who eschews the popular topic in favor of thoughtful reflections on less newsworthy concerns will be bound up and cast into outer darkness, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth, and where the only blog traffic that registers on Site Meter is Google searches for obscure sexual fetishes....:-)

1:10 AM  
Blogger ~m2~ said...

mark, you are a stand-up guy and i am blessed to know you.

(i like the phrase *chasing the hit count* and am also guilty of it...things to add to the list of changes to be made in the coming year!)

5:06 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

In The Holy Longing, Ron Rolheiser talks about four pillars of Christian living: private prayer and personal moral integrity, social justice, mellowness of heart and spirit, and belonging to a community.

I can't help but think that mellowness of heart -- a certain joy in living -- seems to be missing from an awful lot of people's lives. They wallow in bitterness and seek to pull other people in with them.

If my knowledge of Catholicism was based on what I see in some blogs, I would stay far away from it. Instead of charity, joy, peace, and other fruits of the Spirit, I see fear, anger, and despair.

I steer clear of those blogs because they don't promote the kinds of qualities I want in my life.

And conversely, I appreciate blogs like yours that are positive and joyful.

10:54 AM  
Blogger angelmeg said...


Perhaps that blip in hits was a test for you. One I think that you passed, because your blog didn't change in any way after the increase in readers. You are who you are and those who read your stuff and liked it stayed, by the grace of God.

You passed the test because you learned something about humility, and yourself. I wish I could remember why I found your blog. I am just so very glad that God led me here.


12:26 PM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

What Maggie said. And Penni. And andrea too.

1:38 PM  
Blogger ProverbialMike said...

I agree with the whole post especially with regards to Diogenes on Catholic New World. Blogs are like conservative talk radio..people like listening/reading people who are "against" things. These people also are crafty in "interpreting the news" to make it look like they are "reporting" the truth.

I'm glad that this blog distances itself from such fodder.

2:53 PM  
Blogger angelmeg said...

fix your sidebar already, though. It is driving me batty and we can't use firefox here.


10:48 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...


I'm working on the internet explorer thing. I've got someone who knows more about this stuff than I do on it.

Hope to have it fixed soon.

Thanks for caring!


12:57 AM  
Blogger DilexitPrior said...

I agree that the blogosphere needs to work on keeping charity at its center.

1:27 PM  

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