View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A spike that saddens me

I went to my site meter this morning, and noticed there was a sudden spike in page views in July - more than 1,400. That's my second highest total in the last year (1,800 plus last December).

It's due, I suspect, to the recent interest generated by a piece critical of some of the "Super Vatican Unofficials."

I'm sure that traffic will die soon. Good. It saddens me. The piece was written in a pique, and, as I've always acknowledged, my mouth (or my typing fingers) are my own worst enemies.

On rereading the piece, I can see how it might be taken as critical of traditionalists - especially the comment about the wearers of medals, scapulars and hair shirts. The hair shirts was the real point of that line - building from two normal things to something that's absurd. After all, I wear a scapular, and in the past have worn medals and crosses. But still, some folks might see that line and feel slighted or offended. Sorry.

I have nothing against traditionalists. Given my beliefs and actions, I could easily be taken for one. How many people do you know who go to shrines on their anniversaries?! Or hang out in chapels? Or read theology and spiritual books on their summer vacations? Or blog about G. K. Chesterton?

The target of the post was the nit pickers and the people who seem so full of anger and hurt.

Ahh, but there's that word "target." Am I any better?

Rather than trying to argue, or trying to tweak them, I should be praying for them, asking their prayers for me, and seeking reconciliation.

And asking their forgiveness.

Sarcasm is not the way to promote dialogue, or to foster Christian community.

I need to keep in mind the model set by St. Francis.

(I have replaced the original post with a slightly altered version of this one. Pax et bonum.)


Blogger ben said...

Thanks, I am quite frustrated with the state of the diocese, the bishop, the emasculated liturgys at which it is very difficult to pray (very painful). but am also guilty often of a lack of charity tward the bishop and others for whom I ought to pray rather than condem.
pax domine vobiscum

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will never question Bishop Clark's holiness. His management style though is open to constructive criticism. Sr. Joan being appointed to St. Anne's was a train wreck waiting to happen.

Being bishop is a very difficult job. Now I know why there used to be auxilary bishops.

As far as church closings go, from what I've seen, so called conservative bishops close churches faster than other bishops. Bishop Clark could have closed churches a lot faster than he has done. So give him credit for that!

2:26 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks both for your fair comments.

I have never had a problem with criticisms of Bishop Clark's actions per se. He is human, he makes mistakes, and good people can disagree over policies and issues. Both of you were fair in that way.

My problem has been with the nature of some of those criticisms, and when the criticisms focus on him in personal and sometimes uncharitable ways and not his actions. That's when my hackles get up.

Alas, when my hackles get up, I sometimes cross the line in my responses. Among my many failings are tendencies to be snide and sarcastic, and a big mouth.

Oi, that mouth has gotten me in trouble too many times, and I've hurt too many people when I am being "funny."

6:36 AM  

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