05 September 2007

Bread Upon the Waters

The key question for any blogger, excluding professional writers I suppose, is always the same: "Why am I doing this?"

A friend once gave me her opinion. According to her, it has to do with three letters-- e. g. o.

Now, I don't necessarily agree with this opinion, mind you, but it is a cautionary one. If you can't think of a reason, the three letter answer might be the default one.

I have been asking myself the question a lot lately. The immediate cause is the resounding THUD produced (or not produced, as the case may be) by my post on the 100th anniversary of Pascendi. I discovered Pascendi only a couple of years ago and to me it seems to be one of the most important documents ever produced by the Church. I guess you could call me a Pascendi geek.

The response to the post cannot be described here mostly because I am not able to post an audio clip of crickets chirping. Admittedly, the post was pretty long, and anyone who has actually read the encyclical will immediately see that my summary of it is not adequate.

Well, you throw it up against the wall, sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't.

Lately, however, I have noticed that I get many referrals to the blog from people who search on google or yahoo for "organ donation" "organ donation dangers" "ethics organ donation" and the like. And they are coming from around the world, too. I keep getting several from Botswana for some reason, and from Iceland, Australia, Norway, Germany and the U.S. too. They are directed here for some of the recent posts on the subject of the moral dangers of organ donation, a subject the importance of which I needed a friend to convince me to post in the first place.

Some of the search phrases indicate people are searching for reasons not to donate organs, which is great. But even better are the many that appear to be neutral, information-seeking queries. I figure that if these people, in the face of all of the pressure from the medical and health care industry soliciting organ donation, read even just one thing that makes them realize the issue has perils they would never have considered, then the blog has served some purpose.

Every time that I have sort of felt that this whole enterprise is just an echo chamber, something happens to remind me that there is a reason why I should keep going awhile longer: the Burke/Crowe showdown; spreading the word about the good work of the Institute of Christ the King (including the glorious ordination Mass at the Cathedral); the motu proprio; taking the local Catholic newspaper to task, etc. All provide some small way to spread the Gospel.

The real lesson is that I am not qualified to identify just what will resonate with you. So, I will keep throwing it up against the wall and see if it sticks.

And the answer to "Why am I doing this?"

Three letters: e. g. o.

Who am I kidding, anyway?


Rae said...

Actually, your Pascendi post *did* resonate....! I, for one, have been meaning to respond at length on my own blog, but so far haven't found the time to organize my half-formed ideas. Since I'm studying to be a historian, the Church's rejection of modernism has, er, professional implications.

(Oh yes, and--make no mistake!--Quo Vadis is a vanity blog. :) )

dulac90 said...


If it serves to bolster your resolve, know that without your post on Pascendi, I might never have begun to read it. I say begun because it is taking me some time to adequately get through it (particularly during the work week).

So I suppose I would remind you that a blog is decidedly different from a message board or forum. Even though discussions may not materialize on blog posts, you succeed in, at least, putting these important (or humorous) issues and ideas in the hands of those who may not otherwise consider them.

I know, in my case, these posts have a life extended to others outside stlouiscatholic.blogspot.com. This, of course, you never see, but it provides an important evangelical/educational purpose which greatly serves the cause of the Faith. So don't get too caught up on what does or does not occur within these virtual walls. It is far more important to inspire a reader's life than to merely elicit a typed response.

Let your three letters mull that over for a while.


40's Child said...

Sorry I didn't comment on your Pascendi piece, as I enjoyed it immensely and it's motivated me to look up the encyclical and read it. In fact, I've had a mind to take a journey through all the encyclicals of the popes from Leo XIII through Pius XII (all pre-Vatican II, but "modern"). I think these encyclicals could give me some intellectual grounding after so much exposure to post-Vatican II mush. Thank you.

thetimman said...

Wow, thanks to you all. I am very grateful for your kind words. I suppose this post must have seemed a little pathetic, eh? ;-)

dulac, thanks for the reminder.