The Blogger’s Vocation

I sometimes wonder why so many people (apparently) read this blog when it appears on very few blogrolls and scarcely any Catholic ones. It doesn’t provide news, although it is generous with opinion; it studiously avoids the liberal-conservative debate inside the Catholic Church as well as most politics outside; it has what one reader called an ‘austere format’ yet doesn’t pretend to any scholarship except other people’s. In short, as far as I’m concerned, why you read it is one of life’s little mysteries.

But you do read it; and that is the point. I think many people forget that blogging is, in its own small way, as much a vocation as life’s larger choices. It therefore requires similar commitments:

• to prayer, first of all (how many bloggers, even Christian bloggers, think of praying before they write and again before they publish?);
• to truth in all its ramifications (how many relationships founder because they are not essentially truthful, and isn’t there a relationship between blogger and reader that requires just as much integrity and transparency as any other kind of relationship?);
• to charity in its deepest and widest sense (love is the one thing that can never hurt our neighbour).

Blogging is a vocation filled with hope, that looks beyond itself to an end not yet attained, a transformation not yet achieved. If that seems to you verging on the grandiloquent, if not seriously deluded, I’d argue that those of us who blog have a great responsibility. We place our words in the blogosphere, but we don’t know who will read them or what effect they may have. For every person who comments, there may well be several more who don’t. We have no real means of measuring the consequences of our actions. We exist in a kind of digital limbo. I think blogging is as much an act of faith as anything else, with success being measured by the good we do, not the praise we receive or the score we achieve on Klout or Wikio. And the amazing thing is, as any blogger will tell you, those of us who do blog receive much more than we give. It is the vocational paradox in a little.