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Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Catholic Carpe Diem

A Catholic Carpe Diem, this post is for bloggers. And, I claim Fulton J. Sheen as one of my patrons on the Net. A day in the life of a blogger depends on the person's real job. Now, for most bloggers, a vocation to the priesthood, married life, motherhood and fatherhood may be part of the blogging day. A job or profession most likely marks most Catholic bloggers, who can be Canon lawyers, secular lawyers, university professors, artists, journalists, writers, students, computer “guys”, or home schooling moms. Blogging is an addition to the busy schedule of most. The quality of the blog depends upon the time and technological skills of the bloggers. For example, for one blogger, a posting may take 20 minutes. For another, 30 minutes, and for some bright sparks, 10 minutes. But, the real mark of every blogger is passion.

The passion of the Catholic blogger is to communicate the beautiful Faith of our Catholic Church, and give of the five loaves and two fishes which have been given to that writer, especially in a busy schedule. A blog may be what is left over in the baskets at the end of the day, or even the week. Or, the blog could be one of the five loaves.

For most Catholic and traditional bloggers, a blog is a means of evangelizing, in the “new evangelization” of Blessed John Paul II. The Internet may very well not always be a place of truly free speech. I am not writing this out of paranoia, but have already shown below in some articles, the coming United Nations effort to bow to less than free cultures regarding electronic communication. We in the West expect to be able to stand on our virtual soap-box and say what we will, without being harrassed. This may not always be the case. And, so, the passion of the blogger is to get across as much real Truth, real Catholic information as possible in a short period of time. Hence, the needed passion to communicate falls within a framework of the “now”. What is important “now” for Catholics?

By the “now”, I do not mean the ephemeral or the trendy. I mean what is important for the corporate life of the Faithful. Sometimes the now means sharing a prayer, or being a prophet, or a teacher. Sometimes the now means answering questions, or communicating important local and international Catholic events, both good and not so good. One can imagine examples in the last three months where the Catholic blogging community has worked more hours than usual on the question of Catholic freedom of conscience in America. And, that is not the only issue.

I am convinced that I am part of a growing number of bloggers who try to make up what has been missing in the catechesis of two, maybe three, generations. One person here in Ireland, four years older than myself, was never taught Catechism in school. The lack of education for some has created the Catholic Traditional Blog, which attempts to fill in the gap for adult education for those who are on the computer and on the Internet. I have read that sixty-percent of the Irish public have Internet access at home. This is not my personal experience, quite the contrary. Or, if there is access, only the very young, or under thirties use it regularly and not those older. Access is limited elsewhere, as I have already noted on this blog.

Was is appalling are the numbers of adults who are not on the computer and not on the Internet, who do not have access to the real teaching of the Catholic Church, or simply, do not know where to find the resources. Such adults will remain as children and even may be endangering their salvation by remaining in ignorance. Any adult who remains in ignorance of the teachings of the Church in 2012 is guilty of sloth or disinterestedness. The second is a serious sin of neglect.

I have been told over and over again in England and in Ireland that adults “do not have time for religious learning”. The pursuit of mortgages, cars, careers and even a developed social life have pushed the responsibility to learn and appropriate the Faith to the back-burner.

I have written on this before, almost two months ago. We shall be judged on our own merits, or lack thereof, and not on the merits of Father ABC, who did not teach us the Faith.

The blogging community wants to share the Faith, Hope and Love given to us by Christ with the whole world. If some Catholics are not interested or are too busy to pursue learning the Truth of the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, we can only hope that some day soon, the little light of realization will show them that now is the time to grow in Faith and Reason, knowledge and grace. We may not have the leisure or the means “later”.

I compare blogging with missionary work. In my home town, the oldest existing Church was founded by an Italian missionary priest, who travelled on horseback along the Mississippi River spreading the Gospel and setting up parishes. He moved with whatever was available at the time-a horse, backpack, Bible, Missal, Mass kit, vestments, food and water. He may have travelled with others, like a tracker, or guide, or a few lay assistants. But, he moved, from Italy to Iowa and then up and down the edges of the Great River.

If he had not done this, many families would have died in the Faith. We are the missionaries of the world of the Internet. I would like to think that in any little way, we encourage the Faith.

The missionary priests, and my great-uncle was one who came to help the Czech community in northern Iowa, faced horrible dangers and inconveniences--weather, unfriendly natives, unfriendly Protestants, lack of provisions, lack of books, even lack of housing and clothing. We who sit in our dens, classrooms, living rooms, or Internet cafes, face no problems except perhaps not enough change for a second cup of coffee, or the temporary loss of electricity, or travelling through a “dead zone”. But, this may not always be the case. Blog away, fellow bloggers, while you can. The days of freedom may be shorter than one would hope.