Sunday, January 02, 2011

Someone else had the same idea...

More resolution suggestions...
My resolution to avoid blogs that make me crazy is echoed in the following commandment(s) proffered by Brett Salkeld of Vox Nova:
8. Avoid occasions of blog sin. If you frequently find yourself losing your cool in discussions at certain blogs, stop commenting on them.  If you try that and don’t succeed, stop going to certain blogs altogether.  It is the sin of pride that convinces us that we must engage certain people in order to show them the truth.  The fact is that people who can’t engage each other productively force one another away from the truth, not towards it.  The Holy Spirit has more instruments than just you.  Take a step back, make an act of trust in the Spirit, and resign yourself to other apostolates.  There’s probably a homeless person near your house who hasn’t had a meaningful conversation in a long time.  - Brian Salkeld
Read the entire post Suggestions for a Better Catholic Blogosphere in 2011.
Quite seriously, Brett offers some very good suggestions.  Avoiding the occasions of blogging sin is for me a real issue - which is why I've resolved to avoid a few blogs and their authors.  As in any 'break-up', let me just assure you, "It's me, not you.  I'm the problem." 

I think I'm getting better with my commenters, however a few of my readers continue to have difficulty with what I post or what others have to say - I blame myself.  I shouldn't write about everything that comes to mind - although a few dear readers seem to have formed some sort of opinion about me beforehand and no matter what I write - I'm wrong.  Wrong or write?  That is the question.  I'm still going to write.  That said, Mr. Salkeld has more advice for the comment box.
7. Admonish your allies. Admonishing sinners is probably the most thankless of the spiritual works of mercy. My feeling is that it takes a particularly high level of sanctity to be able to admonish one’s opponents in the blogosphere to any good end. Rather than telling those with whom you disagree how poorly they are conducting themselves, take the opportunity to caution your allies when they have crossed a line. This has at least three advantages: it is more likely to be effective than admonishing your opponents, it develops the virtues (patience and humility come to mind) that might eventually be useful in admonishing opponents, and it helps ensure that those who agree with you aren’t costing your side of the argument credibility by their bad behaviour. - Brett Salkeld
I would add to that:  Admonish your fans to not think too highly of you.  Try to avoid 'vain rejoicing' when they praise you or compliment you - it is not good for your spiritual health.  (Especially for weak-minded people like me.)  These people may mean well, to be sure, and may be lovely online friends, but they don't really 'know' you.  Needless to say, compliments and praises often deceive us into thinking we have something going for us beyond our personal opinion.  Without intending to do so, their praise often flatters our pride and is vain and useless, feeding a false sense of self-importance if one is not careful. 
In my case, after a short time, most people soon come to understand I'm just an ordinary man, a sinner struggling to live a Christian life, and I make a lot of mistakes.  Some of these readers leave on their own accord - and rightly so, for the good of their souls.  Some come back as if to gawk at a train wreck, only to leave again - which is why I would also say, never believe that you have real friends online.  Although in reality, some of the more critical and indignant may in the end be the best friends one has, because they show us our faults.
Photo:  New Year Resolution #2 - Post my real photo.


  1. LOL. He's a looker, but sometimes the moonbatery overshadows the attraction. Try again? (And, Mel Gibson is another one to avoid).

    Maybe you could have a contest where readers could submit pictures of what they think you look like. (You spent some time in the Back Bay, so I know it wouldn't be Ed Asner.) I'll have to think about it and email you my guess.

    There are some good suggestions on the VN post. That's a place I generally avoid for most of these transgressions so I was pleasantly surprised to read these suggestions.

    Sometimes though a site starts to apply some of these principles and the conversations get painfully stilted and/or the egos just transform into feeding themselves with the phony virtues. It gets all Uncle Screwtape.

    Most of the time, people are using blogosphere to earn respect for the things they say. Even when the the theology is immature or erroneous, both in commenting and blogging, it's their idea and they stick with it. Whoever comes along to invite growth better get ready to have their wagons circled and be ready to duck when fistfuls of poo get flung at them. Very few have the objective of recognizing somebody's spiritual path and inviting them to embrace, nurture, grow their gifts - use them to jettison others to right judgment and salvation, temper our flaws.

    It is a strange and enchanting place but like everything else, the beauty, love, joy in serving Christ and each other when real opportunity knocks is spectacular.

  2. You know..I haven't been around cyberspace commenting long...but I did realize very quickly that I can get my hair to stand in end in no time on some of the blogs.

    It showed me more about myself than I bargained for. My father taught me as a young girl,"the pen is sharper than the sword," and never to write anything I would be sorry for anyone to read.I had to revisit that advice after some heated encounters.

    From Carol's blog (above),I learned how to duck when "fistfuls of poo get thrown at you"...on yours I learned how to keep my sense of humor in the spiritual. There are a few others....

    If it's used right's the most amazing evangelism tool ever.


  3. Great souls by instinct
    to each other turn!

    Demand allegiance
    and in friendship burn!

    Trust in Divine Providence, Mr. Nelson.

    If the spirit moves us to compliment you, it is well deserved.

    Sometimes our humility will not allow us compliments.

    A good soldier always thanks and gives praise to those that encourage and help that soldier show up for the fight properly armed.

    I think if I did know you personally, we would have our likes and dislikes of each other with one thing in common to the good; love for our Divine Master.

    Your blog has many catechisms and considerations.

    It is a good tool to have in my arsenal.

    With the assurance of my Holy Rosary prayers for all your good work in the vineyard of the Divine Master, I remain yours truly in Jesus and Mary Immaculate.

  4. New Year Resolution #2 - Post my real photo...


    So the "What a dump!" photo is someone else?


  5. oh dear... I meant mightier than the sword.

  6. sweetie Tom..I've had a crush on him for like FOREVER...

    too bad he turned absolutely PSYCHO...

    But soon he will come to his senses and realize that I am the only TRUE woman for him.. :)

    Happy New Year :)

    Sara in damn cold Utah

  7. Pablo - that is ROFLOL! funny. You funny man!

  8. Curiously I would never have seen this good advice as Vox Nova is one of the blogs I avoid.

  9. You wrote,"I would also say, never believe that you have real friends online."

    That's not a fair thing to say! I never believe I have real friend in real life either. You never know about these things until something bad happens. Then the friends and the goats seperate- magically.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.