Lent approaches…

and this blogger has been giving some thought to what that means to him as a person and as a blogger.

Jesus and I had a little conversation about my love of blogging. The Holy Spirit chimed in and suggested to my conscience that I limit or eliminate my blogging for forty days. (Two against one. Hardly fair.)

I decided that I needed to explain myself to Someone who knows me better than I know myself: Don’t you get it, God? I’m the youngest of ten kids and didn’t get the megaphone very often. Making up for lost time. And how could the world ever survive without my wilful opinions getting expressed at any and every moment? etc. etc. etc.

As the conversation continued, I became less and less persuasive, and more and more persuaded (this often happens when I arm wrestle with the Holy Spirit). But I have some stubborn German blood in me. I decided to give it more thought.

What did I come up with? This:

Where the struggle is, there is the potential for grace. Maybe I can use the blog in a moderate way… exercising self-control, rather than giving in to the willful “all or nothing” approach, the little two-year-old voice that suggests If I can’t have it my way, then I’d rather not have it at all.

And to be honest, there is a real sense in which blogging has been a source of some purification for me. To have one’s ideas – noble and not so noble – before the eyes of many friends and strangers, and to be accountable for them, can be quite humbling at times. At other times, it can be a source of ego gratification. But there is value in the struggle to use the blog for good, in both a personal and corporate sense.

So in my negotiations with God, I think I may have reached a good resolution:

I’m going to turn my blog into a forty-day retreat, with John of the Cross as retreat master. Each day, I’ll post a passage from The Dark Night, and make a few comments that seem relevant to my own situation.

No comments on current affairs. No spouting off about election politics, Church politics, cinema politics, etc. etc.

So tomorrow begins my blog retreat. Feel free to drop in whenever you wish.

For today, I will close with this passage from Karol Wojtyla’s The Jeweler’s Shop:

Does one not break one’s entire life

with every gesture?

But what of it?

The thing is not to go away,

and wander for days,

months, even years —

the thing is to return

and in the old place

to find oneself.

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