June 03, 2007

Does Blogging Make You Better?

Should it? I think so.

Blogging has helped me be a better Catholic as well as a better person. I'm not even close to Sainthood, but writing things down and seeing them in print, as part of the public record, forces me to live by it.

For example, some of you probably think I look like Jackie O every time I go to Mass because of some of my recent blog posts on apparel at Mass. Sadly, that is far from the truth sometimes. I have been known, on more then one occasion, to go to Mass in jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. I've worn flip-flops to Mass before.

However, I knew even then, that I was not dressed appropriately and, in my case, I had no valid excuse for my attire. Now, that I've blogged about why I think that type of dress is not correct for Mass, I better be dressed well from now on, right?

I've forced myself to dress better now that I've gone on the record. I know someone is going to "call me" out if they catch me at Mass from now on not living my talk.

This is just one example, but there are others, of forcing myself to be better by deliberately making my views public.

Am I the only one who does this kind of thing on their blog?


Anonymous L said...

I am new to the blogosphere, but I find I gravitate toward blogs which make me think and inspire thoughtful discussion. I, in turn learn from the author and the responses which get posted. Frankly, I don't have time to read that many blogs, but I've been researching and narrowing down the ones I feel are pertinent to me- those that inspire me to become a better person, a better catholic in this case.
Keep up the good work Cathy- your posts do get me thinking...:)

June 03, 2007 2:23 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I think it does help me to be better and to practice what I preach, so to speak. When I started to post about adoration for instance, I began going to adoration or visiting the Blessed Sacrament much more frequently.

When I posted something critical regarding an issue and received replies contradicting my stance, it helped me to re-examine what I've said, the issue itself, and see it from another's perspective. Not always, but sometimes I have changed my opinion, or at least softened the tone in my approach and criticism.

Yeah - there is a whole bunch of stuff in blogging that has helped make me a better person...it makes me feel more accountable on some level.

June 03, 2007 2:32 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

HA! I KNEW it! lol

And yes, blogging has helped me. I'm not a saint, either, but often putting this stuff out there does put me under the spotlight, and I know that if I'm not living up to whatever the topic is to the best of my ability, I'm just a hypocrite.

I do try to be careful and not show myself in a light I simply don't have, but I think those of us who write about spiritual topics may come across as somewhat "holier" than other people, just by virtue of the fact we are speaking of holy things. I certainly get the impression when reading some other people's works that they must be holy people, but of course, we're all sinners. WE all mess up. The point of blogging is to bring the Church to the internet, to bring Christ to the world through technology, and we read the words of St. Paul; he admtted quite readily that he struggled with the very issues he sought to overcome, those very things he spoke of to the people.

So I guess, in that sense, blogging can inspire humility because we are trying to teach the Truth to others, even as we try to live up to it.

Hope that made sense.

June 03, 2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

One more thing - I think it makes us better writers, the more we write.

And as Adoro just stated - it does help us to be more humble - definitely!

But I must say, I was hoping you dressed like Jackie O by now. LOL!

June 03, 2007 2:50 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

I don't know if blogging has made me a better Catholic: probably, to the extent I have become a better Catholic, it's because of more frequent recourse to the Sacraments. But I do have a constant urge to write, and blogging is a good outlet for that. Also, the need to come up with material for good posts has also forced me to take an interest in other things besides all my problems.

And last but not least, it is leading to publication. One of my posts is due to appear in the November issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

June 03, 2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I also forgot to say, thank you Cathy for this admission on your part, I know it took a great deal of courage.

June 03, 2007 4:19 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks, all, for respecting my admission that I'm not Jackie O and NOT a saint! LOL! But, I'm trying as are we all. Well, maybe not all of us are trying to be Jackie O (Terry, maybe).

Anita, that's tremendous! Congrats! I'll look for it.

June 03, 2007 7:10 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Yup, I feel like I've got to put my money where my mouth is and "walk the walk." So I guess it makes me a better Catholic in some particulars...at the very least it can provide motivation to be one!

June 03, 2007 7:22 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

How come all the lawyers get to be published and peons such as myself don't?

Ok, seriously, Anita, contgrats and you'd BETTER send us the link if it's a linkable article, or we'll all be very offended. :-)

And, Terry, stop spreading rumors on your blog. :-)

June 03, 2007 8:08 PM  
Blogger japhy said...

Publicly baring your soul all of the sudden makes you accountable.

It's powerful, and it forces you to change.

June 03, 2007 9:22 PM  
Blogger Our Word said...


We try not to engage too much in personal disclosures at Our Word - I think from a journalistic standpoint it's preferable to remain more detached. That's not to say that readers can't get an idea of what we're like based on what we write about - our interests, likes and dislikes, personalities - but we don't tend to be too confessional about things.

Having said that, back to your original question, I think that writing in public does force an editorial consistency in that writing. Some of us at the site have taken a fairly strong stand against incivility in the blogosphere, for example; it would be inconsistent, to say the least, if we engaged in the same behavior. So we do have to stay consistent in our positions, or provide the reader with a good reason why we aren't.

I've learned a great deal, especially from the sites I've consulted in researching something on which I'm writing, but I would not say that it has made me a better person. More well-rounded, perhaps, but not better - or worse.

As Terry said, I also think it can force you to become a better writer stylistically. It also should force you to be more concise in your writing, which is something that I have not yet caught up with!


June 05, 2007 10:05 AM  

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