As I write this post, Truth & Charity is within 2000 hits of reaching 100,000 in just over 3 months of operation, which is awesome. To share my joy at our tremendous success, a few thoughts for those of you who might be considering joining us in this Catholic blogosphere:
- You have a great desire to spread the Gospel. The first ought to be obvious. If you don’t want to spread Catholicism, why start a Catholic blog?
- You know your stuff. There are few things more annoying than a know-it-all (I am one), but while most won’t do too much damage, a Catholic know-it-all can do enormous damage to the souls of others. Make sure you’re properly catechized before becoming a blogger.
- You have a great passion for a particular aspect of the faith. That passion of yours could easily become a blog theme. What theme would you feel called to blog on? Fr. Z is a liturgist and he’s great at it. Other Catholic bloggers are great philosophers, moral theologians, or spiritual writers. Others are archivists of the great stores of Catholic knowledge available online. Maybe you’re called to make something of your devotion to prayer or your encyclopedic knowledge of patristics. Perhaps you’re called to be a simple stay-at-home blogger, reminding us of the hidden life of Christ by letting us in on the hidden life of your Catholic family.
- You are humble. If you’re a man of great hubris, don’t become a blogger! You may find yourself increasingly drawn toward the quest for popularity. God needs humble men and women to be His evangelists, especially in this new digital Areopagus, where it is so easy to lose sight of the humanity of others engaged in the discussion. God gave you specific gifts and interests for you to use them. Not everyone is called to be a blogger. In fact, one can get confused between the call to blog and a number of other temptations, such as vanity (“I’ll be a famous blogger!”) and laziness (“I’ll create an anonymous blog somewhere in the dark corners of cyberspace to convert dust bunnies on the host server all in an attempt to avoid real-life witness and evangelization to my spiritually imperiled loved ones”). You, my dear reader, need to figure out what it is God wants of you. Don’t blog for any other reason.
- You are a nerd. In case you haven’t noticed, a lot of Catholic bloggers are nerds. They talk about these things called “blognics” and “CatholiCon.” They store their songs and images in “the cloud.” They discuss the possible implications of Confession apps and using iPads as Mass cards. An iOS and PC user at work, last week I bought a Droid. I’m psyched about being able to tweet the Gospel!
- You have a family to support. That’s right. If you have a family to support, you could use the extra help. What’s that? There’s no money in it? Yes, that’s true. Who said anything about money? You can forget the money, but imagine the benefit to your family if you’re forced to sit down and write out your thoughts on your faith a few times a week!
- You have facial hair. Some facially follicularly blessed Catholic bloggers: Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea, Msgr. Charles Pope, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Scott Hahn, Michael Barber (Update: apparently he had a beard…leave it to a barber to shave), Frank Weathers, Patrick Archbold, John Zmirak and yours truly. Seriously, I think facial hair may be the long lost sacramental of blogging graces.
- You have a sense of humor. If you’re capable of writing everything candidly, with a sense of irony and just a smidgen of snark, you may be called to be a Catholic blogger. Extra credit if you use Jewish idioms and cultural expressions or write like the most superlatively teenage girl from the 90’s…evah!
- You like to trivialize the faith. …or something like that. Catholic trivia has a universal appeal. Catholics love knowing things about their Church they didn’t know before and “trivia” generally sends the message that the content will be only as long as a Jeopardy question. If you’re a master of Catholic trivia, you may be called to inspire other Catholics with their history, heritage, and culture.
- You can present the faith in a fresh, dynamic way. The New Evangelization is very much about marketing. You’re not going to be explaining things to people the way they were explained to me. The world changes too quickly. Arguments that made converts 10 years ago won’t work as well today, not because the proofs are wrong, but because the issues have changed. People aren’t wondering whether we worship Mary, they’re wondering whether we really think contraception is evil. Can you roll with the punches and keep on demonstrating how the Gospel is relevant?
If you happen to have your own Catholic blog, let us know in the comments section!