Monday, February 5, 2007

An invitation

As it has been awfully quiet on both the e-mail and comment front since just before Christmas, I find myself wondering, once again, who, if anybody, is reading Καθολικός διάκονος. Call it insecurity, vanity, curiosity, whatever. In all honesty, it is probably some of all those things, plus a few of which I am not fully conscious. I really have to write that what I most want to know is if the things I write about are of any interest to anybody, if they are instructive, or inspirational, infuriating, or, if, to borrow a phrase from Frederick Buechner, I am whistling in the dark. I am loath to put a counter on this blog, as it would only prove to be a distraction I do not need.

Now, do not misunderstand, this is not a pathetic plea for affirmation- Okay, maybe it is, a bit. It is a request for readers to check in, and to sound off, to provide feedback of whatever kind you choose. Please do not waste your time commenting with anything that is inappropriate or uncharitable (Yes, I have received such comments- they are not posted, as I moderate comments). I am not above posting critical comments, or even making corrections should I err. After giving why I undertake this endeavor a lot of thought, I have concluded that it is worth doing for its own sake. If nothing else, it is a bit of an electronic journal, a forum in which I can clarify and make linkages between faith and the world, as well as an aspect of ministry that I think, given the amount of time people spend on-line, is a vital one, which is why I post so much, fresh content being vital to anything you want people to visit frequently. As with most things, there is an overlap between my desire to continue blogging (I can keep a journal on my own) and the level of interest people have in reading what I am writing. Besides, there is the parish blog, which is a joint endeavor, to which I regularly contribute.

This is a good time to discuss the distinction between this weblog and the The People of St. Mary Magdalene. It is quite simple; this blog is much more of a personal endeavor. It allows me to get more in-depth. It is where I can write in a more provocative and challenging way, giving my considered view on a number of issues, like Iraq, the environment, the death penalty, liturgical reform, Fridays as days of penance, inter-religious encounters, etc. I can also write about popular culture, post funny videos, etc. By contrast, the quasi-official nature of the parish blog causes me to be a bit more reticent about what I write and post. It is kind of like the difference between preaching and teaching. When I teach I can say things and engage questions I would not say or engage in the pulpit. I am not referring to heresy, dissent, or teaching off-the-wall stuff contra the Church. Those who come to classes know this is not the case. It is just that I can discuss issues in more detail because I can put what I say into context, give it the proper nuance, introduce the history and the current state of the question, etc.

So, if you value this forum, please pitch in your (metaphorical) $.02, even it is just: Hey, keep doing what you're doing, or Please, for the love of God and all things holy, Stop! I am also interested in having readers share their favorite post or two. Sharing that will give me some good feedback and help me narrow the focus a bit.


  1. Hi! I've been reading for a couple of weeks, but haven't found much to say in response. I did appreciate your post, "The witness of Hrant Dink."

    I live in Kansas, not Utah.


  2. I am a resident of Utah for whom the reading of your Blog has become somewhat of a daily routine. Having never been compelled by curiosity, to read other people’s unedited diaries or general musings, I have avoided reading Blogs in the past. Your Blog content, however, has changed my mind, and seems to be very well written and researched. I have come to see it as an excellent source of information for describing trends and movements within the Vatican and the Catholic Church, and for defining the relationship between Catholic teaching and current world events. I also enjoy your illumination of the lives of various people-of-grace throughout the world (saints present and future), and I hope that you will continue to post your writings in the days ahead.

    A Catholic Reader in Zion

  3. Hi Scott,

    I'm a regular reader of your blog. Sometimes it takes time to catch up, but I always gain something from what you write here. You've given me alot to think about in many different realms, some of which I freely admit, flies right over my head.(Hence the catching up part). It can take a while for me to gather all of what you're saying and linking to, process it all, and then try to gain an understanding for myself when often times it is a subject that, prior to doing so, I knew virtually nothing about.

    With all that being said, I especially love reading your thoughts about deepening personal spirituality through prayer and practice. I appreciate your calls to action with regards to caring for those among us who are in need of our help. Those posts are the most touching to me. And....

    I always love reading your Homilies.

    God bless you in all your endeavors.


  4. Hi Scott,

    Carole T. here. I love your blogs. Just wanted to let you know I'm trying to read your blogs everyday but it usually ends up being once a week. I'm just a little behind. Discipline in taking more time out for reading/meditation and prayer is a constant struggle for me. Knowing your words are online, anytime for the taking, a great comfort. I do have some favorite subjects that I'll write back to you about soon. About today's mention of Bishop Scanlan, I found a book at the SL Public Library (last month)about the Cathedral that gave a little more detail about the art in the church but most importantly, a chapter or two on Bishop Scanlan. When I get those "woe is me" moments, every now and then, I think of the hard life he must have lived and wonder how he didn't falter from his vision. I know he had his obstacles and his frustrations. Gives me a little solace, when I think of being so far from my own home, that he may have entertained similar thoughts but trusted his faith in God and his mission. I get the sense that he was an exhausted man, mentally, by the end of his life. Would love to read more about the man and his intriguing character. Thanks for listening, as always.