The Duties Of The Blog Reader, And How He Can Fulfill Them
Catholic bloggers have been somewhat at the centre of the attention in the recent months, as even the Vatican starts to see the role they can have in spreading – in the absence of proper catechesis due to the many cowardly or even heretical priests; which btw the Vatican doesn’t tell you – Catholic values.
Still, the reality of the matter is that Catholic bloggers will never be able to reach a vast part of the Catholic population, but only that relatively tiny minority interested enough in religious matters to devote some of their free time to them. In addition, it is clear that not everyone has the time, the inclination, the writing ability or the fighting attitude necessary to be an effective Catholic blogger.
Therefore, the question arises as to what the real effectiveness of Catholic blogging can be. My answer is that Catholic blogging should – particularly as long as the appalling absence of proper catechesis continues – work as a kind of Catholic starter engine for a broader public. Not everyone can be as articulate as a good blogger, but everyone can and should: a) use Catholic blogs to remain on the straight and narrow path of Catholic orthodoxy and b) become fit enough to offer a good argument in every discussion with friends, relatives, and colleagues.
In my opinion, every reader of Catholic blogs should see himself as not only a receiver, but a transmitter of values. He should see this not as an option, but as a duty as Christianity is not a private hobby, but something we must share with the world around us. Therefore, a Catholic should read Catholic blogs with his evangelisation work in mind, remember the frequent discussions in his own circle of acquaintances and use good Catholic blogs to seek Catholic answers to it. In time, he will become fit enough to be able to give a tremendous contribution to the spreading of Truth in his own circle.
I would suggest to every Catholic to do the following:
1) buy a good consultation work, like “Catholicism For Dummies”. These works are well organised, explain everything in simple words and can be used again and again examining only the part one is interested in at the moment;
2) use one’s own free time for instructive reading. Books like “Why Do Catholics Do That?” are not only extremely well written, but in convenient pocket format and easy to read on the train, or carry around with you wherever you go;
3) buy and seriously read a simple Catechism, like the excellent Penny Catechism. This little, beautiful booklet has been learned by heart by countless young Catholics. A thorough knowledge of this little book alone will put you ahead of most of your Catholic friends and acquaintances, and will allow you to validly oppose the inevitable verse-spitting, bible-worshipping Protestants. This little booklet can also be carried with you almost everywhere;
4) use your technology: Kindle, Ipad, Iphone & Co. offer more and more opportunity to improve your knowledge, and they will only increase in the future. For example, you can buy a kindle edition of the excellent Catechism of St. Pius X, or of the “Catholicism for dummies” mentioned above, or perhaps try something new like this one. Think of it: always in your Kindle at no additional weight or inconvenience, ready for you to instruct yourself whenever you have three minutes available.
5) Use internet resources available. Since inception of this blog less than a year ago I have endeavoured to put together those blog post meant at Catholic instruction in the “Catholic Vademecum” page you find at the top. The idea is that as you keep (hopefully) returning to the blog you have an opportunity to rapidly and conveniently peruse my take on each one of the points dealt with and to be constantly reminded of basic Catholic fare (you’ll note that the Rosary is paramount. The Rosary is, in fact, always paramount). Also, I have a series of commented Vintage Catholic booklets sections. Whenever you visit a good blog, check whether it has general knowledge parts that you can use to improve your instruction.
In the end, one doesn’t need to become a theologian, nor does he need to have rhetorical skills. Even a solid knowledge of basic Catholicism will put you ahead of most of your friends and relatives and allow you to effectively transmit the Catholic truth to them. In time, you’ll become more and more persuasive as your knowledge improves, but in the face of attack it is better to oppose a moderately articulate resistance than no resistance at all.
In the end it is not so important how many bloggers are around; but whether everytime that Catholicism is challenged there is some good soul around able to say an honest, intelligent word about the matter.