Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Catholic Blogosphere

The Blogosphere. Not to be confused with a TV sci-fi outer planet community but a term coined by Jennette Fulda in Half-Assed. Describing the online communites of blogs and bloggers.

Why blog? Fulda talks about leaving a map.

And about the embarrassment of being found, exposed by those who know you in-real-life.

She writes ~

Then my mom found the blog..I wanted to curl up in the fetal position..I never thought my mom would crash my online party.That's what I got for teaching her how to use Google. Now my family would know exactly who I was. This was the scariest thing about emblogessment. They would see me as I was around my online friends, which was not always the same way I was around my family..I'd said things on my blog I'd never said to anyone..I'd put all my vulnerable, fleshy bits out there for everyone to see, and that came with the risk of getting poked with a stick.

I find, in the world of Catholic bloggers, that many of us write under pseudonyms. Out of necessity.

I know I have pseudonyms for some of the online communities I frequent.

But on this blog I am me. Leonie. Since this is one way, my way, of keeping in touch with old friends, and current friends, and a way of connecting with new friends.

The trouble with being open in the Catholic blogging world?

As Fulda says above, you are vulnerable.


You are Catholic, says one reader in email. You even like the Traditional Mass. You homeschool. And yet you write of listening to Blondie, reading about Madonna, and use words like frak.

What can I say? I am eclectic, catholic even in taste.

I don't pretend to be the best Catholic around. I just aim to keep on trying to be better. To work towards that perfection of which Our Lord speaks.

Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

I love reading blogs of others. Homeschool blogs. Catholic blogs. Blogs of friends. Fitness and weight loss blogs.

I think we bloggers leave maps and directories, with stories and discussions and questions of our world, our thoughts, actions, observations.

I like the differences. Even the disagreements.

Either we must speak as we dress, or dress as we speak. Why do we profess one thing and display another? -St. Jerome.

The Saint is talking of dress and modesty in dress. But I think the statement applies to blogging.

We preach charity? Then show charity in blogging. Disagreements and criticism allowed. But in a spirit of charity.

I write - speak - on this blog as I dress - as I am. A Catholic living in today's world, embracing some things old and some things new. Working my way through a possible minefield. Reading and praying. And loving. Looking for direction alongside my family and friends.

God’s invitation to become saints is for all, not just a few. Sanctity therefore must be accessible to all. In what does it consist? In a lot of activity? No. In doing extraordinary things? No, this could not be for everybody and at all times. Therefore, sanctity consists in doing good, and in doing this good in whatever condition and place God has placed us. Nothing more, nothing outside of this.
Blessed Loius Tezza


Cay said...

An extremely thought-provoking post, Leonie.

MacBeth Derham said...

What Cay said.

And while I post freely on unimportant topics, it totally makes me squirm when my mother calls me and begins the conversation with, "I read your blog..." and then continues with, "When did you ever...?"

Emily said...

I love your blog. Really. I love your blog. You are real. So few bloggers are, I think.
Your post hit home, right down to attracting mothers off of google.
This is exactly, exactly, exactly why I have stopped blogging. I think if you can handle the non-stop criticism without it damaging you too much then that is fine. For me, it just got to be too much. I still dread checking my e-mail. I think any Catholic mom who doesn't exactly fit into the "Catholic homeschooling mother box" that has been created for us is a threat to everyone in the box. I didn't put that very well, or very clearly, but hopefully you get what I am trying to say!:)
I absolutely cannot believe the audacity of some people, and the narrow-mindedness. I am not trying to threaten anyone by my way of life... why do so many people feel it is their Christian duty to convert me to their way of seeing the world/children/birth/learning/education/discipline/family life.... fill in the blanks!!!!!!!!
I feel so badly for you when you write about what other people say about you. I so identify!!! I am no longer a member of Catholic homeschool support groups because I knew so few Christians there. Sad, but true. I got tired of the judgement all the time.
So is that what Catholic Homeschoolers do in Australia... e-mail you and tell you you shouldn't make any sort of comment on Madonna?
Here in Pennsylvania, Catholic Homeschool groups have a big family dance on All Saint's Eve... and when the ladies arrive they are informed that they a) must be wearing a skirt, sorry, no pants allowed, that's not Christian and b) their skirt must be ankle length
Ladies who show up in pants or a skirt that hits above the ankle are asked to pick an ugly skirt that does not fit them from a rack of skirts provided by the hostess.
Unbelievable. And that's just one story.... I have more!!!!!!!
Your post hit a nerve. I hope you can take the criticism, unlike me!:) I really do hope you can take it because I love your blog, you always make me think and your posts are always just so spot on. So please, be the stronger of the two of us and keep it up!!!!!!!
Hugs from Chilly Pennsylvania, where to much time spent indoors in the winter makes us all terrible gossips:)

LLMom said...

Thank you, Leonie for your truthfulness. I read your blog often but don't post much. But love it nonetheless.

Leonie said...

Wow interesting. Thanks Cay, MacBeth and Lisa. And Emily, sorry that you had to give up your blog!

I guess I feel that blog criticism is just part of the story. I don 't mind debate or disagreemnet. And for every one email of criticism, I get severl of thanks or asking for some help or ideas.

And the critical emails or posts make me think - good for me - hence last night's post. Not a tirade, I hope, but a thinking and sharing.

Thanks you SO much for comments.

Stacie.Make.Do. said...

I really liked this post. Thank you for writing it, and for your blog in general. I have several of your posts marked "keep new" in my Bloglines.

Hopewell said...

I nominated you for the "A Lovely Blog award." I was nominated here your announcement is on my blog here

Louise said...

What can I say? I am eclectic, catholic even in taste.

That's why we love you! She didn't mention the Sex Pistols, though. That was an oversight.

Leonie said...

ROFLOL re Sex Pistols!

danielle said...

Thanks for inspiring me not to worry about fitting into the perfect "Catholic" box. My life is to live with Jesus not to conform with adults. You Rock!!!

Theresa said...

Catching up with your blog and just now seeing this.
Wow. So true.
The only time I have ever had ugly comments on my blog were from fellow Catholic homeschoolers who decided I did not conform to their version of Catholicism and thus felt the need to chastise me on it.
I just don't get that.
Like you, Leonie, I am what I am, in real life as on my blog. And I totally respect that honest quality you have going here.Very refreshing in a blogosphere where apparently there a quite a few perfect folks out there!LOL!

Leonie said...

Theresa,remember those comments to you and admire your strength - and your blog!

Purpleflowerpatch said...

Just being a homeschooler made me try to fit into the perfect "Christian Homeschool Mum/Wife" box for about 8 years. Honestly, that exhausted me. Then I converted to Catholicism and all the eyes were on me to see how I'd changed. I had loosened up, I wasn't unsure anymore, and I found that there were a lot of Catholic homeschoolers who were actually 'normal'. ;-) You shook me a bit, Leonie, in that you just 'were'...another Catholic homeschooler, a convert too, and you just WERE. I had to work through that courage to BE, and reading your blog kicked my butt along at times. I can't be that Jenny of old, the one who wanted to be holier than thou in her protestant world so no-one would reject her...I know I can offend now - and I never mean to - but today what you see is what you get and what you read is who I am. I'm not ashamed anymore of being Jenny - imperfect, loves Christ, wants to avoid purgatory at all costs but seriously doubts she'll achieve that goal, and loves her family and her life.
Thanks for being YOU. It helps to know the person on the inside of a blog is the person you'll hopefully meet over coffee one day and not be confused between the two.

Leonie said...

Wow, Jennifer, very powerful words. I am glad that you feell free to be, a work in progress - I once tried to fit into that perfect catholic homeschool wife and mum box and it just didn't work. I realised that there is room in the Church for all of us and that all we are required to be is faithful . And next time you are in Sydney, visiting Pam :-), come and have coffee!

Purpleflowerpatch said...

I will definitely catch up for coffee next time I'm over east! :-)