June 07, 2006

Why I Blog and What I Blog

I’ve been blogging since March of this year.

I blog in two places:
here — monkallover.blogspot.com —
and at 1monk.blogspot.com.

I use 1monk.blogspot.com to post my daily homilies so that whenever people ask me for a copy of a homily I have preached I can refer them to the blog. It frees me from having to put out a printed copy to each person who might request one. I dedicate that blog to homilies only.

The other blog — "monkallover.blogspot.com" — is where I post other things that interest me. I find it especially useful for posting my ideas about questions people often ask me as a priest or monk — questions about spirituality, Church teaching, monastic life. Questions about Benedictine monasticism or other forms of religious life come up repeatedly. The blog is a place I can refer people to without having to re-write answers I've already offered.

In my blogs and the links in my blogs, I’ve tried to draw particular attention to the Eucharist. I have posted one particular permanent link to a central, but largely forgotten aspect of the Eucharist. The link is on monkallover.blogspot.com, and it’s entitled “The Eucharistic Covenant — are you REALLY doing it?”

I’ve also set up permanent links to my monastery’s website.

About one hundred and forty persons visit my blogs each day. However, only about five of them regularly post responses or comments. A few of those are questions inviting a brief answer from me. Perhaps once a week I might receive an inquiry seeking a private or confidential response. The topics that have drawn the most numerous responses have been my postings about monastic life and about Christian spirituality.

Two topics got some negative feedback. One reader seemed displeased with the news that religious orders choosing to agree with official Church teaching are the only religious orders that are attracting healthy numbers of new members and are growing. Two readers responded with insults and obscenities when I posted classical Catholic teaching on the charisms of marriage and celibacy. I’ve now set up things so that I personally see all responses from readers before those responses can pop up on the blog. I don’t mind disagreements. However, I delete insults and obscenities without their ever appearing on the blog.

Perhaps once a week I’ll post a picture of some religious habit, that is, the clothing of members of religious orders. I’ll often do that with my own amateurish attempts at humor. I recently posted a detailed description of the Benedictine habit together with drawings and photos.

I often call attention to things I spot on Catholic online news sources. However, readers sometimes ask me questions that I think other readers might be interested in. If it’s not something personal or confidential, I’ll post my thoughts for all my visitors to read.


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