Besides being the 2nd Sunday in Lent and the 1st day of Spring, yesterday was also the anniversary of my first blog post. While hardly an occasion of world-historical significance, it certainly at least warrants a moment’s reflection – if only to consider whether these 182 postings to date have been worth it (and are worth continuing).
Although I can often talk easily and at length, I frequently find writing much more onerous – one reason perhaps why I was never really cut out to be an academic. I have always envied people who can write, for example, a regular newspaper column. (To some extent, that’s what a blog tries to approximate – without, of course, the mass audience!).
Some of my postings have been Sunday or occasional homilies preached primarily either at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City or, more recently, at Immaculate Conception Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. Averaging approximately one such homily per week, that means somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of my postings would have been composed in any case, blog or no blog.
The other postings run the gamut of social, political, and personal reflections - all of varying length, significance and (one must also assume) quality. Certainly, a lot has happened in society and politics these past 12 months to warrant my modest reflections. A lot has happened in my personal life too, only some of which - for example, my moving from New York to Knoxville - has found its way onto the pages of this blog.
In creative writing terms, perhaps it seems like "cheating" to have included so many homilies, all of which would have been composed in any case, blog or no blog. On the other hand, the fact that one-quarter to one-third of these posts have been homilies does say something significant. The fact that so much of my blogging has been explicit preaching - preaching that took place in a church as part of a liturgy - highlights that I am very much a preacher. Preaching is a central dimension of my vocation as a priest and a Paulist - ordained to proclaim to the world the Word of God in all its fullness in the Person of Jesus Christ, accessible in the life of the Church. I don't only preach, of course; and I am far from being a stellar preacher by any standard or measure; but preaching is at the heart of who I am; and it seems only right to reflect that in these pages.