So yesterday I wrote a deeply personal post about my recent spiritual struggles and my feelings of hope upon seeing Pope Francis step onto the balcony. I felt very vulnerable, especially since I spoke about not even being able to pray this Lent. I believe that’s what’s called “putting myself out there.”
Anyway, I put a link to the post up on my Facebook page and was immediately met by a commenter who wanted to draw me into a conversation or controversy on the new pope. That wasn’t the point of my post, and it certainly was not where my head or my heart were at that moment. So I basically said, “No comment.” But the commenter persisted with yet another link. And again I said, “Not going to engage.”
And then this was the best part, the commenter wrote, “May I suggest you not post blog posts that invite engagement?”
Wait. Did someone just tell me I am not free to write whatever I want on my own blog? Did someone — someone who complains about the restrictions the Church puts on various people and actions — actually tell me I need to restrict my writing to suit their needs? Do I no longer have free speech? I was speechless. And, even today, I’m still a little incredulous that the bastions of “tolerance” are so freaking intolerant. Funny how that’s such a one-sided thing these days. I’ve got more tolerance in my little finger than many of these people will ever see or own in a lifetime.
But I digress. I consider myself a spiritual writer these days. It’s one of the reasons I left OSV Daily Take. I didn’t really want to post about the news of the day in a journalistic or political or controversial way, which is kind of what is required of the big-hit bloggers on Catholic sites. I wanted to blog about the spiritual journey, about prayer, about light and dark, confusion and hope, doubt and faith.
That is where I am. That is who I am. And no one has a right to tell me that I must write a certain way or respond in a certain way for any reason whatsoever. I don’t have an obligation or a duty to answer whatever argument or debate or comment comes my way. As in meditation, when those monkey mind thoughts or comments start jumping around, I choose to watch them float by on the stream of my mind and disappear over the horizon.
This blog is as much for me as it is for any of my readers — and I am so grateful to those of you who return here day after day. But, truth be told, if I didn’t have NSS, I’d be writing these same things in my spiral-bound spiritual journal. This is where I hash out my spiritual life, and if I can share something that helps you along the way or inspires you or makes you smile, all the better.
My blog, my choice. And I choose not to engage. I choose to build a community of love.