Quality, Not Quantity
The recent episode of the walkout petition who made it to the Washington Post and to the very rooms of the Synod was a particularly striking demonstration that few can achieve a lot. It works, methinks, in many other ways.
Both on my blog and elsewhere I read comments that are absolutely brilliant (I do not mean long. I mean brilliant. I always scroll past the long ones). And then of course I read blogs that I found brilliant, but of which I have no idea of how many readers they have.
Blogger or commenter: what counts is what you say. How many read it is secondary. You can write soppy comments on a Patheos blog, and thousands will read you, but you will not influence anyone. You can write a pithy comment on a blog read by fifty people, and make a profound impression on the one person Providence directed to it.
Or imagine you are a Catholic journalist (in good faith. I know: rara avis), researching for a piece about the one or other issue relating to Francis. The man will click around, as everyone else does, and will stumble upon places with the most various audience. Small and big bloggers, and bloggers of whom he has no idea whether they are small or not so small, and their commenters. He will not be looking for platitudes. He will be looking for depth. The many blog posts and comments with a strong, coherent defence of Truth will give him a very useful narrative if he is honest, and will let him think twice about the rubbish he writes if he isn’t. The point strikingly made will stay with him, and form part of his own contribution. This is something everyone who follows blogs can observe: the discussion in the many small places gets picked in and amplified by the small number of big ones. Until, one day, the Washington Post publishes an article stating that Francis bats with the heretics, both the author and his editor refuse to backpedal upon the scandalised reaction of the same heretics, and actually answer them with another salvo.
Or you can put it in another way. Everyone of us would get inflamed with passion when talking about the Church in front of friends, relatives or acquaintances. In these cases, the audience is extremely limited. Still, we get all excited because we know that even to make a lasting impression on one soul would be a huge result, and that person could, say, discover the faith many years later, and remember us as one of the factors of his conversion.
Even a small blog, patiently written by a man who cares, will soon have such potential for conversion on a much bigger scale. Plus, it will reinforce the will to fight of many others, and let them know that they are not alone. When I started this little effort I hoped to create, in time, a small group of 60 or 70 “regulars” (the ones to be encouraged and reinforced in what they already know), plus the occasional heretic or atheist or rose water “catholic” stumbling on our virtual pub during the discussion, and hopefully led – with God’s grace – to think differently by what he reads. Those 60 or 70 would have been more than two school classes already. Not bad, for one who cares.
It’s not about how many people read your blog, or your comment. It’s about what impression you make on those who read it.
A big war is upon us. We need all the help we can get.