In studying and reflecting on life, my life specifically, I realized I was staying extremely busy and not really getting anything done. I was meeting with people, celebrating Masses, attending to prayer, teaching, sanctifying and governing as one does. But there were still piles of other things left to do. And no matter what book or skillset from “Get Things Done” or “The Art of Tidying Up” happened to be in vogue – nothing was really working.
So I spent more time with the Book of Proverbs in the mornings. I got rid of cable TV. I cut back on facebook and twitter due to privacy concerns and the rising lack of charity in online discourse and realized the internet is actually pretty boring. Living a very public life, one needs privacy in this day and age.
So as to blogging – what does a priest blog about? I’ve asked and received much advice about what a priest could blog about, what a priest should blog about.
But when push comes to shove I don’t know that’s it’s worth the effort. And here’s why:
- confidentiality – most of what we do during the day is highly confidential. I hear a lot of criticism over priests posting pictures of dinner, or workouts, etc. But the fact is, 80% of what we do during the day we simply can’t talk about online, in public, sometimes with anyone at all. So that leaves pictures of food, workouts, etc.
- controversy – the Church is a mess these days. Everyone disagrees with almost anything and everything. Everyone wants their own way. Everyone knows what should be done and how to do it. Everyone lets every priest know whether they agree or disagree. I can shrug of withering texts, emails and comments – but at some point who wants to deal with it? The Church is the Church and we’re either for it or against it; if we’re not “progressive” then there are things we have to do and ways to do them. Period. it’s not clericalism. We can have committees and inclusiveness all day long but in the end, the Eucharist is the Eucharist and the Sacraments are the Sacraments and the teachings of Jesus Christ are the same yesterday today and forever. There are better ways to spend one’s time than engaging in dismaying discussions that are tests of modernism, traditionalism, theological bent, philosophical leaning, etc. And we can talk about contraception, abortion, sexuality, addiction until we’re blue in the face and people will still say that we should talk about those things sometime because they never hear it from the pulpit. (Not that we have a pulpit.)
- time – our time is like no other in the addictive nature of almost everything which enters into our day. Dings of texts, emails, phone calls; a demand for 24/7 availability; drop everything you’re doing and quickly get back with me on this. All of these things involve necessary elements of work, but it can’t all get done while maintaining the level of prayer, thought and planning that are truly necessary for the work of a pastor.
- With those things in mind, I started going fishing.
- And we’re delegating. There’s an art to delegating, because others have great skills and find great joy in doing most of the things that I can’t stand doing.
- And we’re reorganizing the staff.
- And we’re reworking the pastoral council and the finance council.
- Because our Parish is truly wonderful, a microcosm of the universal Church where the Lord allows for great prayer, discussion, service and insight. The Parish has grown beyond its capacity at present, and we’re undertaking most of these things because of the expansion that’s happening organically around us.
I also realized – quite a while ago – I don’t have the hours in the day necessary to really devote to blogging. Successful bloggers spend time learning, studying, implementing and writing, typing away and spending hours composing posts. I can spend a bit of time here and there, and may as well have fun since the sites all paid up. But – that’s about it. I’m working on some other writing projects.
My sacred purpose on earth isn’t tied to blogging, and I have things to do to serve God and others properly.
Don’t we all?