Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Blogging for the Kingdom of God

The meeting last Saturday in Westminster Cathedral’s Hinsley Room saw 10 Catholic bloggers coming together, out of the cyber and into the real world, to discuss the idea of forming a Guild of Catholic Bloggers - the initiative of A Reluctant Sinner.

By its very nature, blogging is a very personal, individualistic and, at times, isolated activity. Blogging, the physical act of typing on a PC or MAC, is done in the privacy of one’s home. Yet, as soon as the "post" button is pressed, what has been typed becomes exposed to the world, and the writer becomes part of an entity much larger than his or her self, never knowing the person who reads thier words. The meeting on Saturday was, in a way, a reversal of that process. Readers met writers, and writers met readers. The majority of those present had never met face to face. Some read the blogs of those present and were delighted for the opportunity to put a face to the, until then, anonymous blogger. Some of those present had never even known the other’s blog even existed, but all present shared the enthusiasm that they were blogging for the good of the Kingdom of God. The personal, individualistic and isolated worlds of 10 bloggers came together under a common motive.

The motive for blogging is immensely varied, as indeed is the choice of blogs we choose to follow. If, as sometimes happens, we find ourself on a blog (often having arrived there via a circuitous route of links) which is nothing more than personal opinion or interpretation on matters of faith or doctrine, we navigate away from it pretty quickly. What the meeting on Saturday reinforced was the need for a place where people can find orthodox, enriching and informative articles on the Catholic Faith. Another thing was the common desire for writers of Catholic blogs to come together to support, encourage, inform and inspire one another - things we all benefit from in the real world as we travel our pilgrimage of faith, encouraged and supported by Holy Mother Church.

Nearly a century ago, the founder of ST PAULS, Blessed James Alberione, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to form the Society of St Paul to make use of the media available at that time to promote the Gospel and the teachings of the Catholic Church. For almost 100 years members of the Society (together with a huge number of lay people in all parts of the world who assist them) have kept his vision alive. However, the means at our disposal have greatly increased since the formative years of the Society.

The meeting on Saturday was evidence that the Church needs to wake up to the reality that blogging is a God-given tool for evangelisation. The recent meeting at the Vatican is, hopefully, the start of this. However, the meeting in Westminster was a lay initiative, attended by lay people, with the exception of Fr Sam (whose offer to say Mass for us will, without doubt, be of immense spiritual benefit for us now and in the months to come).

We must await, with eager anticipation, to see what develops from the Vatican’s recent initiative and from that of A Reluctant Sinner, to whom all who attended the meeting expressed their grateful thanks for pressing his "post" button when he did.

The bloggers. Thanks to Fr Sam for the photograph.