Because the Holy Ghost Over the Bent World Broods

I was really, seriously thinking about throwing this blog overboard a couple of days ago. It’s a long story, but I wrote the short form to a friend last night: I have been trying to navigate past shoals inner and outer. It is hard to avoid capsizing a tiny vessel like this. You want to keep it real, but you have to keep it confidential as well, all the while holding your inner demons at bay. We all have them, I imagine. I know I do. I know it now.

Enough mystery: Yesterday morning, I was really down about it all—loving the writing, hating much else about the process. I had sworn to at least one beloved person in my life: That’s it! Final post! I’ve had it. Then I received an e-mail from an American woman I will call Roberta.

Roberta wrote me a few weeks back about her struggles with the Church, which were effectively political. She loves the Church, but can’t understand the attitudes of many within the Church. Yesterday morning, as I was writing my blogger’s suicide note in my mind, Roberta wrote that she had begun attending daily mass again—because of this blog. I was flabbergasted. Then I began blubbering.

My poor daughter Martha: She and I had a 1 pm phone appointment to discuss a book project we are co-authoring, but the moment I said hello, she knew I was in trouble. By that time, sandbagged by Roberta and beset with memories of my father, together with missing my daughters, and so on and so on in a sort of emotional avalanche, I was a basket case. Fortunately, Martha understands her dad pretty well.

But really: What do you call that force that sends that e-mail from Roberta just when it is most needed by a hysterical male blogger halfway across the country? I’m just crazy enough, just Catholic enough to think that you call it the Holy Spirit, which in Hopkins’s beautiful poem

. . . Over the bent 
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

"Vaya con Dios, Leonard; Rest in Peace."

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  • Anonymous

    Umm, please don't stop blogging. Remember when you were a kid and there was a toy waiting for you at the bottom of the cereal box? Whether you waded your way through to the bottom or waited patiently until you ate your way there, you wanted that prize, that piece of gold. I may not be the brightest bulb in the pencil box but I find things of value in your posts. Anonymously Lilito

  • Mary p.

    This type of thing has happened to me. I call it Grace! With me, it meant that although I've ventured into difficult and uncomfortable territory, the Sign of Grace tells me that in doing so, I'm using the talents that God gave me in the way that God needs me to use them. It sounds easy, like a no-brainer, doesn't it? But it's not! In fact, I have found it to be really, really, really hard! When I'm struggling to fulfill what I perceive is God's will, Satan (or is it my own self-doubt, or both?) is tackling ALL of my vulnerabilities to cripple me. I will continue to pray for you, Webster, that you will have the strength to do what you need to do, whatever that is. If you find you need to give up the post, then do it. But I will miss you!

  • I, too, really look forward to reading your blog. Your thoughts about Catholicism have led me to include at least one daily Mass a week into my schedule. The fruits of just this tiny step have been tremendous. Do what you think best and know that I am so thankful for what I have learned here.Sincerely, Juliet from West Texas

  • Anonymous

    I always look forward to reading your blog. I am inspired by it, and I appreciate its positive tone always. I understand that you may not want to do this every day — even though I look for it every day. It is very much appreciated, and always a moment of true grace for me.Steve

  • Ferde

    Mary P has hit the nail on the head. Satan attacks us in many ways. Convincing you to give up this blog is proof that deceiver is scared to death of you! Congratulations, servant of God! Keep up the good work.Mary, I will pray for you.

  • EPG

    Web, Your blog has been extremely valuable to me. I look for a new post at least twice a week. As you highlight great and little things that make you glad to be a Catholic, it helps me as I trudge through my spiritual life, and wonder whether I should be a Catholic (and sometimes wonder why I am not a Catholic). The dreary Mass I attended last Sunday may have pushed me away. From time to time, your posts tend to pull me towards.Just don't let this little blog run your life. Don't feel you have to post every day, or even every other day. Write only when you have something you think is worth sharing out there. Your blog has obviously been a gift to many. Make sure it remains such to you.Best wishes.

  • Mary P.

    Ferde, thank you! I am both humbled and grateful!