Metablogging: February 2006 Archives


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Recent very pleasant exchanges with readers and writers here and elsewhere have caused me to want to make explicit what I hope has always been implicit.

There are a great many people in St. Blog's with whom I do not agree on some things, in some cases on many things. Nevertheless, I enjoy the company of people with whom I do not see eye-to-eye. Part of the reason for this is that I am enriched by multiple viewpoints AND I learn a new sensitivity and respect for the views of those who differ.

Respect for a person is always important. Each person is a child of God, an image of God, a chosen one of God. To show disrespect to a person is, in some small sense, to show disrespect to Christ who dwells within. While our viewpoints may differ, it seems to me that the most important thing is to respect the person and probe the reasons for our disagreements. In many cases, I have discovered, the differences boil down to nuances and to subtle flavors given to words and word meanings. In some cases the differences are more substantive, originating from personal experiences that one has not and perhaps cannot share.

When someone disagrees with me I see an opportunity for growth. Sometimes I'm aggravated and frustrated (more often with myself for the lack of precision in my writing and in what I am trying to say), so this may show. I hope it does so infrequently. I think we all bristle a little when someone disagrees. But the important thing to remember is that a disagreement is not necessarily, or even most often, a statement that YOU are wrong and I am right, but rather a demonstration of emphases. This is how I view the same object, and this is how it looks to me.

Surely there are some things on which there are categorically right and wrong responses. I do believe in absolutes. In these cases I am almost always whole-heartedly on the side of Church Teaching. There are some places in Church doctrine in which I have tendered my intellectual assent, but in which I find it very difficult not to have reservations, questions, and a certain degree of puzzlement. Nevertheless, I assent awaiting the conviction of the Holy Spirit. I entered the Church with any number of misconceptions and misunderstandings, but I entered not with the idea that I would start as a perfect Catholic, but with the idea that with the aid of the Holy Spirit I would grow into a more perfect Catholic. Over time the Holy Spirit has spoken to me about the Blessed Virgin, about certain magisterial teachings, and I am pretty much convinced that He will not abandon me now to figure out my own way. Therefore I assent, knowing that He ultimately will lead me in right paths for His name's sake.

One of those right paths is to listen and to hear what others say. When they are patently wrong, to attempt to correct with charity; and when we merely disagree, to attempt to express with the greatest possible care and concern how exactly we may differ.

I have my hot buttons as does anyone else. Press one of them and my reaction is likely to be firing off a stormy tromping of whatever "idiotic notion" inspired it, followed by swift use of the delete key and a period of reflection--why did that statement provoke the reaction it did. More often than not, the Holy Spirit speaks through those words and illuminates yet other dark areas in my soul.

So, what I would like to convey to everyone who visits is, although my words and my way of saying so may at times fail, I really do respect the sincerity and the integrity of the person who comments here. If I inadvertently offend, I beg your pardon. I will say that I try very, very hard never to offend deliberately. Sometimes this is seen as "being soft" on certain notions with which I do not agree; but I see it rather as the simple fact that I do not now, nor ever will have all the answers. My opinion on any given issue is just as likely to be wrong as to be right.

Respect is something that I think we should probably go out of our ways to make a point of. I don't think we should respect every viewpoint--hate speech directed toward ANY group for ANY reason is particularly repugnant. Hatred is not part of the Christian canon and cannot enter it except as directed toward sin. (That is, the hatred of sin is mandatory.) However, this is not a license to hate sinful people--in part because I am chief amongst them but in part because Jesus explicitly told us not to time and again.

Respect is so important to my way of thinking that I've written this to remind me when I'm not feeling particularly respectful. People are important. People are to be loved, valued, and cherished for themselves and for the Creator Father of whom they are the Children. Respect is actually very, very easy to show and often we will find the use of the delete key in our correspondence will help us on the way.

I am so grateful that the majority of places I visit in the blog-world require that participants be respectful to one another. Places that do not require this are often places I only visit upon urgent recommendation of a trusted fellow-blogger. I need not wade into those waters because I am so weak that I am too ready to succumb to them at the slightest excuse.

So, once again I find reason to thank God and to thank all of you who are so patient as to bear with me through both this long post and through the many passages in which I struggle with respectfully framing my disagreement. You all are a really great group of people to know (even if only in cyberspace) and to grow with.

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Google Spell-Checking


I don't know if it's spying on me (probably), but the Google spell-checking tool is just so nice. Naturally it won't catch misused homonyms or typos that are real words, but it's so much easier than cut and paste to word and cut and past to template. It's just very useful--if I only remember to use it!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Metablogging category from February 2006.

Metablogging: January 2006 is the previous archive.

Metablogging: March 2006 is the next archive.

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