Blogging the Gospel

Simcha Fisher is one of my favorite bloggers and just about the only “Mommy Blogger” I read apart from The Crescat who is a kind of the chupacabra of mommy bloggers. Simcha writes here about her approach to blogging and her reactions to the mommy bloggers whose output is more pretty than gritty.

It got me thinking about my own approach to blogging as I am not exactly a Daddy blogger, but a Father blogger i.e. a priest blogger. So what are my ambitions as a priest blogger? First of all, I never compare myself to other priest bloggers because everybody’s different. I don’t always agree with my fellow bloggers, but I have a personal promise that I will not attack or criticize a fellow priest in public, in my writings or in my words or actions. I’m afraid I do not always succeed in this promise, and have written about other priests from time to time in a critical way. For such lapses I am always sorry and seek to make amends.

Why do I blog and what am I trying to do? The answer is in the title of my blog. Standing on My Head is a reference to the Chesterton quote from his book on St Francis that “a scene is most often best seen when it is seen upside down.” The blog is therefore an attempt to stand things on their head in the light of the gospel. If I take what seems to be a conservative stance then it is to stand on its head all the smug, politically correct liberal attitudes. On the other hand, if I point out the hypocrisy and extremist attitudes of the traditionalists, then it is also an attempt to stand on my head and see the world upside down.

The gospel is bigger than all our little categories, and it challenges all our expectations. If you like, the gospel is never good news unless it’s subversive, and the blog is my way to try day by day to turn things upside down, and if I am not constantly self critical through the blog, then I have no right to criticize others. I’ve got to stand on my head if I am to encourage others to do the sa

In addition to this, I began blogging because there was stuff I wanted to write that would not be published anywhere else. Who would publish my alter egos or my poetry or my personal stories? Who would publish the pictures and quotes and little stuff? Who would publish the more outrageous or controversial opinions? No one. So the blog provides an outlet for musings and rantings that would otherwise remain the stuff of my mutterings and splutterings. Do people care to read such drivel? Apparently some find it amusing and informative.

Readers should always remember the immediacy of blogging. I sit down in the middle of a busy day to write my blog posts. They are pretty much off the cuff. I do very little research or proof reading. If I get it wrong sometimes and offend, then it is the same kind of offense when you say something unguarded and the person you were talking about is in earshot. Whoops! Red faces. Sorry about that! If you say something which is incredible, daft or illogical, people will quite rightly pick you up on it in the combox. If you make a mistake and post something which is wrong or stupid or offensive–go back and edit it or take it down. Remember the blog is personal and immediate. There are no editors or censors. That’s why it is an exciting new form of writing. It’s me. Straight up. No filters. Take it or leave it.

The blog is an exciting new form of writing which offers instant global communication, immediacy and interaction with readers. It’s a way to preach the gospel that is entertaining, maddening, informative and fun. It’s so effective in preaching the gospel because of its immediacy and personal touch. This is me writing today–right here. Right now. This is me, a Catholic priest trying to live out the gospel the best he can and sharing that experience with you.

I’m going to keep going. I hope you’ll continue to tune in.


  • Laursaurus

    I love the new media. Whatever topic you’re curious about, there are bloggers writing about it. I’ve found that bloggers who interact with the commenters tend to be more successful over all. Unless you’re already a popular print journalist, then bloggers neglect the comments to their peril.
    There’s a lot of arguing and talking past one another. But often this is the first steps toward meaningful dialogue.
    Prior to my immersion in the apologetics and skeptical blogosphere, I could not understand why atheists care, much less take offense to the mention of God on US currency. I certainly understand why now even though it is for irrational reasons. God doesn’t exist, yet has the power to upset at the same time? So I also learned that non belief is very emotion-driven despite the whole “critical thinker” persona they try to project. Understanding how they feel requires empathy. A beautiful human ability to understand each other.

  • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

    This is the very reason it’s the first one I visit every day on my blog list.

    You might rant in frustration occasionally, as we all do (as you have no hair to pull out), but I’m glad you’re going to continue.

    It’s great to read a priest who’s fiercely faithful to the Church and willing to wear a biretta, yet doesn’t feel he’s not dressed properly without one. A priest who doesn’t get prissy about plastic disposable cups being used for distributing the blood of Christ at WYD, although he will fully appreciate the concern. A priest who will involve himself respectfully and charitably with Protestant scholars, yet will not compromise on the truth for the sake of ‘ecumenism’.

    That is just some of the maturity I’ve seen here since I started following this blog (not that I’m in a position to judge), but it’s all the better for it.

    Thank you.

  • Gregory

    “Simcha Fisher is one of my favorite bloggers…”

    This goes a long way toward explaining why you have taken up the traditionalist and anti-semitism topics in previous posts. She was the first (at least to my awareness) to go out of her way to take unnecessary shots at traditionalists. Oh, yes, we know; it’s not ALL traditionalists, just meany “rad trads.” We’ve heard it before. You really should give traditionalist blogs and voices more credit for their restraint. They take up their topics and do their thing, and they leave you “new evangelization” bloggers alone without criticizing you very often. Unless all of you n.e. bloggers really have a problem with Catholic tradition and the constant magisterium, you should return the favor and maintain a permanent ceasefire with traditionalists.

    • AnneG

      Gregory, you should read more of Fr Longenecker’s blog. He is very, very traditional, altar boys, biretta , Eucharistic Processions with a canopy, nice vestments and lace. He’s a both and Catholic.