It seems that my codgitations have attracted new readers in the past month, so I want to clarify a thing or two that only long-time readers of FCA would understand about me as a blogger.
i) Since a number of my writings require a lot of time and thought, I cannot always guarantee a quick, much less consistent, posting rate. ii) I tend to get fixated on one or two topics, which I explore from numerous angles until my codgitator is sated, and then move onto something else (often only to return to that earlier groove). Sometimes that something else is nothing at all. I have seasons of blogging, not according to a fixed schedule, but as my life and intellect allow. If you couldn’t tell, I’m in an especially fixated and especially prodigious season these days.
iii) While I am trying to keep up with the several, sometimes hourly, codgitations that sprout during a “heavy” season like this, I have not lost sight of other ideas or issues that I want to address. Even if it seems to take forever, as befits a Catholic Ent, I almost always get around to addressing what I deem worthy rebuttals, contributions and questions. I know there are some readers who consider it scorchingly urgent that I address one or two pet issues, so let me lay out what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Except for the first item, even though I use sequential conjunctions, there’s no particular temporal order in which I’d like to post these things.
• Above all I want to get part 3 of “The Battle Within” finished. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true and I’ll explain the delay in a minute.
• I want to address what Crude proposed on 24-25 October:
I have a request for you to possibly take up sometime: tell me what you’d LIKE the Pope to say. Not just broad affirmations like, ‘Well, I’d like him to decisively condemn (x) or say that (y) is true’. Tell me how he should say it, how he should do it. Write a paragraph you’d like Francis to say, and why you’d welcome it being put that way. … Assume you’re the Pope. Your goal is to try and communicate these ideas to people:
* Having same sex attraction is not in and of itself a sin – it’s the sexual acts that are. Thus, gays and lesbians have a place in the church, but but sodomy is still a sin, and gay marriage is still illegitimate/immoral.
* An atheist, despite not believing in God, can still nevertheless do good – and if they really believe that there is ‘good’ to do, they should continue to seek both to do it and understand it.
• I want to organize and deepen my comments from another blog for a critique of a key defect in the Pope’s teaching on conscience, as it may be the only point on which I can say with certitude that he’s wrong and must retract the statement as a heretical claim. Hopefully that will dispel the frothy gnashing of so many shadows behind the curtains of FCA.
• [I added this item a day later…] I want to share with you some interesting data I’ve found in connection with the Pope’s recent Rock-Candy-Jesus Resurrexifix fandango.
• I may respond to some comments made about my post about prayer and the Rosary, and I have a post I drafted almost immediately in response to a question that Malcolm asked weeks ago.
• There are some other kibbles and bits in the draft cooler that I hope to kick into shape, but for the most part, unless I get T-boned by some new codgitative obsession, that, me droogie woogies, is the FCA forecast.
As hard as it for me to let go of the reins and break the blogger’s compulsive lifestyle, one step I think I must take is to step back from basically all ecclesial current events, read my F1 F/X Files from the top, and see what themes or facts survive the codgitative trial by fire. It stuns me sometimes when I pick back through previous posts, trying to find a link or a phrase, how much I’ve written in the past 4-6 weeks! This plenitude partially explains why I’ve hit a wall with part 3 of “The Battle Within,” namely, not only do I feel like I’ve lost the thread to some extent, but also a number of my theses in part 3 have either leaked out in other posts of mine of late or been articulated by other writers (Dale Price being a prime example). It’s funny, because if I were obsessed with branding my ideas or cornering the marketing on a certain style of blogging, I would never link to others and would probably just post my rough drafts as quickly as possible in order to win the “firsties” war.
Finally, a point about style and character. I am a wordsmith and language guy, but, while I loathe the word “meme”, I’ve always enjoyed layering images into my blog posts. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I’m already verbose enough, so, while it may come across as snarky or distracting to some, I’m going to have to stand up for my pictorial style of verbosity. I’m a reading teacher and if most textbooks lack one thing, it’s enough images.
As for my character, I am not unwilling to revise posts, or even retract them, in the face of substantial rejoinders or corrections. I played sports throughout high school, so I’d like to think I’m “coachable.” I’m far less educated than I might appear, but I am always willing to learn. Once in high school, somebody told me, “You’re really smart,” but I reflexively replied, “No, I just work harder than most of my classmates.” I went to a good school, and I had some truly brilliant classmates. I knew I wasn’t as “smart” as they were, but I also knew I was more willing to put in the time to learn. I try to maintain this disposition even as an adult. For example, a commenter recently corrected the Latin I had posted in FCA’s title box, and I have amended it accordingly. Like I say, I do not want this blog to be my private little echo chamber, and I’m not afraid of being challenged or corrected, though I have minimal tolerance for excessive trolling and ad hominem sniping. On the other hand, I’m quite content not having the most boisterous, popular blog een ze entiyah verld! My content and my style are not for everybody. You have to be a bit of an egghead to stick with FCA, and eggheadery is never a popular scene. I love to learn and share my learning, and that’s what this blog is all about.
So, the best thing I can give you right now is–patience. At the end of the day, as far as the blogosphere is concerned, I’m just “some guy with a keyboard”. I’d like to think that my sacramental life, my family, my health and my job were more important than my blog, but sometimes, to go by my output, you’d have to wonder. 😉