Monday, January 04, 2010

Purge of the Archives

The interesting thing about blogging is that as the years go by you can trace a real development of thought on many things - if you go back to posts from early 2007, they are of a decidedly different tone than those more recent. A blog is truly a journal (hence the name "web log"), wherein one's intellectual development is apparent not only to oneself but to everyone who logs on and follows the blog.

When I first started this blog with Anselm in June 0f 2007, it was because I was frustrated. This blog was born of frustration. The frustration was that of a Catholic striving to live the historic Catholic faith in an atmosphere within American Catholicism that seemed not only apathetic but downright hostile to it. I felt alone and on the fringe, unsure if I was the only one who felt this way. Thus my first posts from 2007-2008 are very frustrated and confrontational in tone (during this year I also had the blessing of relative anonymity, which has long since vanished). I was very harsh and critical of a lot of things and said so bluntly on here, even calling people out by name whom I thought were contributing to the watering down of the Faith.

I have come a long way since 2007, and while I still love the tradition of our Faith and think a reform of the Church (an authentic reform) is desperately needed, my outlook has been softened by the virtue of hope and the frustration that accompanied my earlier posts has largely vanished. I realized that one cannot go on anger and frustration forever, like the Protestant "reformers" whose only reform was to tear down a thousand years of tradition and culture. I have endeavored to become more even-minded and hopeful in the past year or so and to use this blog to contribute more positively to the reform of the Church instead of just pointing fingers (though I still regrettfully engage in finger-pointing once in awhile when something upsets me enough).

It has come to my attention, unfortunately, that certain people have been sifting through my blog, especially in my earlier, more incendiary posts, and taking offense or issue with some of the things said there. I recently had some statements I made in 2007 brought up against me by Dave Armstrong, to which I could only tell him that my opinions had slightly moderated since then (Dave is not the only one or most recent person that I had this problem with,, of course).To anyone who is coming on here and drudging up old posts about Vatican II, John Paul II, bishops or whomever, and then forming judgments about myself based on these posts, I can only say the same - my opinions have moderated some since then and I have learned to see a lot more of the positive work of the Holy Spirit in the Church. I know there are still big areas we need work in, and we should continue to point these out. My position is not that we close our eyes to problems, but that the view we take of the real problems needs to be tempered by the virtue of hope and faith in God, that this is His Church and that everything will end alright - just like in the fairy tales, where there is a single, terrifying instant when it seems the dragon will prevail, the damsel will go unrescued and the hero may fall. Then some miracle occurs and everything is resolved happily. I have learned to trust God in His governance of the Church in the same manner, knowing that all will turn out well.

But, just because I have been troubled several times recently by persons going through old posts, I'm pulling my tag list and archives from the sidebar. Anyone who wants to get back to my oldest posts is going to have to do it manually by scrolling through a million screens (I've also reduced my posts per screen from 25 to 15 to make it more time consuming to scroll through them all -LOL). I'm also going to be deleting some of my older posts that I think are no longer of any value. It does no good to leave up posts that no longer express what you really think (or do so in an imperfect way) only to have them cited against you later. Other posts I may revise to bring more up to date. Once I am through doing this, I will put the archives and tag list back up.

Thanks for your continued patronage of this tiny, insignificant little corner of the Internet.


Anonymous said...

I must admit that a while back (probably over a year ago now) I nearly stopped reading your blog altogether, because I felt it had become excessively hostile towards the Church and her members at large. I know that of course this hostility was actually akin to the righteous fury of the prophets against the idolatry of Israel, but at the time I felt that if I kept reading your material I would endanger myself (and the prospects of my religious vocation) by veering too far to the right of my superiors.

I'm glad I stuck with you, and for the temperance on your end. I still enjoy your posts, and am still on track to enter the Dominicans.

Anthony OPL

Norah said...

I have you in my favourites but can't remember putting you there and can't remember any of your posts so I can't judge the change in your views but I can understand them.

Off the top of my head I can think of three blogs whose writers have changed markedly in the couple of years or so since they started blogging. These people's views changed over the years and their blogging reflects this. I am not a blogger but I certainly don't post in the way I used to when I first began to investigate the internet.

Good on you for thinking through ideas and coming to some honestly felt changes.