Four years ago today was a Wednesday, my day off, a very rainy day.
I'd been reading a number of blogs and had thought about writing one myself but I imagined such a venture to be far beyond my techno-savvy.
Had it not been raining so hard that Wednesday afternoon I probably would have gone out. Instead, I gave it a shot and checked out Blogger.com, the host for the first blog I'd ever read. I was amazed to find how simple it is to create a blog online and within just a few hours I'd published my first post.
Well, four years later, this is post number 3,199. My site meter clocks in between 350-450 visitors a day with a grand total of some 466,600 visits. Hardly one of the bigger blogs on the block, but I'm very pleased with where my page has come.
Those are a few statistics but I'd rather tell you why I've been doing this for four years.
It's truly simple to create a blog -- the hard work comes in keeping it fresh and alive. But writing this blog is a labor of love. I love to write and my blog offers me not only a daily writing assignment but also a place to share what I write. (What writer wouldn't dream of being his own publisher?) As long as I enjoy writing this page and you enjoy reading it, we have a win-win situation!
Writing this blog also keeps me attuned to the scriptures, prayer and spirituality that shape most of its content. Keeping you in touch with the coming weekend's readings keeps me, a preacher, in touch with them as well. My Monday Morning Offerings and other prayers I offer here have become part of my own spiritual life (writing and praying them) and it's a joy to share that with you. One reader described my site as a "day book of spirituality." I'd be very pleased if what I offer here rises, even occasionally, to that level.
I'm grateful, too, for a share in evangelizing what Pope Benedict XVI calls the "digital continent." That's his phrase for the Internet and for all of us who communicate through it. For several years now the Vatican has been thoroughly supportive and encouraging of pastors who take to the net to spread the gospel and call people to prayer. I'm pleased to be part of this ministry.
But perhaps the principal reason I've been blogging for four years is the peace and satisfaction I find in writing this page.
These past ten years or so have been a difficult and painful time for all of us in the Church and certainly no less for priests than for anyone else. Nor have these troubled times yet come anywhere near their end. I'd bet that one day some PhD candidates will write dissertations on how these years impacted the life, ministry, and spirituality of priests. I work, with help, at understanding what's happened in my own heart and ministry but I know I don't have all the answers. And perhaps I never will.
One thing of which I am certain, however, is how much solace, grace, healing and joy this little cyber-venture provides me in ministry and in my relationship with God and the Church. In that light I've sometimes referred to blogging as redemptive, something good for my soul in times that need redeeming. And if I can share some portion of that with you, my readers, then praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Finally, after these four years, thank you! Thanks to all my faithful, regular readers and to those who come by now and again. You are always most welcome here and for all of you I praise and thank my God!
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