Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A spoonful of sugar just doesn't do it for me.

You know that old saying, "A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down." We've all heard it, right? Well, this all depends on what kind of medicine is being fed to you. When it comes to blogging the medicine can make you wretch at times, sugarcoated or not. When will I ever learn? I like to visit some sites to keep up with Church news and I expect to get exactly on issues in my Church. I even like reading opinions provided they are worded with a certain degree of charity. I don't expect people to see eye to eye on everything and I find it helpful to read the viewpoints of my fellow Catholics. A certain amount of debate is good too...keeps us on our toes.

It seems that my expectations are too high I guess. A lack of charity in the comment sections is one thing but it's another thing altogether when I read a post and see that a good man's name is subtly blackened without thought to the repercussions that may follow in regard to the people who read the posts and for the man himself. That some authors begin their posts with honeyed speech doesn't lessen the damage done later in the post. If you are going to attack someone then please just be upfront about it and admit to your readers what you are about to do. It's deceitful to begin a post with all sorts of kind words about a person and then begin to shred him halfway through. I don't call that criticism ...I call it poison. If you dig up dirt on someone and are about to share said dirt then, please, by all means, do us a favor and just get it over with right from the beginning so that we don't have to read half the post to see where you are going with it. Especially if it's a long post.

Yes, I'm frustrated. It's my own fault of course. My computer has an off button and I guess it's time to use it.

Sigh. Maybe it's time for me to give up blogging.


  1. Oh, and since I'm ranting:
    I might as well say I've heard that "One man's poison is another man's cure." I guess I can only hope that there is some truth in this saying. In reference to my post though it seems to me that some folks seem to think that their medicine is a cure for all the ills of our Church. As for me, I'd rather place my faith in the Divine Physician.

  2. Oh Mary I am so sorry you have been upset and hurt by someones mean post. Please don't be as the Catholic community needs you so very much. I have been away for awhile but hope to be back now on a regular basis. I have always loved and admired you Mary for your loyalty and honesty. You are letting someone dishonest get their way if you leave, we need more truth in this world, we need good people who will stand strong on our wonderful Catholic Faith. Sending you big hugs and will say a special prayer right now for your discouraged heart.....:-)Hugs

  3. I admire all the work that you do, on the Internet, Mary, but I guess it does mean that you have to deal with the bad, as well as the good. I find the blogging world a bit overwhelming, which is why I privatized my family blog. It's easier for me to deal with that way - though, it does limit the opportunity to share and make new friends. I wonder if it is easier to avoid evil in real life, as we usually know where it lurks?

  4. "A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down."

    Not true with suppositories!

    "Maybe it's time for me to give up blogging."

    NOOOOOOO ....

    For a start I'd miss the chance to make flippant comments as the one above.

    Secondly, what you write makes sense and has helped many readers along the way. I KNOW!

    Third, you never know who might be reading your Blog and not commenting. To many, this Blog could well be the only opportunity they've had of meeting Christ.

    Fourth, you are right that some people use their "Christian" blogs to stand on their soap boxes and pontificate about this and that. When I meet such blog posts I usually move on to another Blog and say a prayer for these people. If it's a long post I usually fall asleep half-way anyway so whatever they say does not affect me. Many a time I fell asleep in front of the computer with my nose in a cup of tea.

    Fifth, this comment is too long and I'm getting tired ... ZZZZZZ ... ZZZZZZ ...

    God bless you Mary. Keep smiling.

  5. I tend not to read many blogs about Catholicism (aside from yours:) simply because I lived quite happily all of my life NOT knowing there was such pettiness out there. I think unless ones blog is encouraging to others and respectful to God than keep the grumbling and complaining about the Church to oneself. It does nothing to unify us in faith or attract others at all. It just attracts like-minded people on high horses who really don't want to see change or solutions, they want only to be a part of the problem and a loud part at that. :)
    I find the arguments and sprouting of opinions tedious. Also, strange. If you (a broad you here not personal:) want to know about the catholic church and what really is important and what really matters...take it to God, read your Bible, read the charitable. Imitate Christ.

    Great post Mary!

  6. I know how you feel! I've "given up" blogging twice already! LOL I've just realized that I need to be cautious about stuff I choose to read, and if a blogger is becoming too negative, I just move on. I can't not blog, I love it too much!

  7. P.S. Don't give up blogging!:)

  8. mary333,
    Please delete the above comment. I registered incorrectly, and I will replace the comment if you like.

  9. I agree with your point about duplicity, Mary. If you're going to say something, just say it. The standing joke here is that, in the South, you can gossip all you want about someone behind their back if you just preface or end your comments with "Bless her heart."
    When I put the blog up, last Sept, I thought I'd do it for a year for my grandkids, like I've said before. So I'm sitting on the fence now too re: continuing for another year or not. Let's ask St Maximilian Kolbe to pray for us for discernment, how about?

  10. Bernie,
    Thank you for saying a prayer for me. You are right - I am a bit discouraged. And disillusioned. I started blogging because I love Jesus and wanted to share this love with others. Lately, it seems as if I am just getting side-tracked by some of the things I read on Blogger. Much of what I read is just not Christ-centered and I guess I am just easily shocked by some of the stuff I come across. Oddly enough, some of the articles most lacking in charity come from the larger Catholic sites. I go to these at times to catch up on current news affecting our Church but I am often caught off guard at times by the attacks on fellow Catholics. Especially when they are Catholics who seem to be trying really hard to help others. Another thing that troubles me are the quick judgments writers make the minute a person falls in some way. I guess I am just not hardened to this type of thing enough yet.
    Bernie, I am so glad you are coming back. I've missed your posts and open heart toward others :) Even if I should eventually leave Blogger I would still read your blog and a number of others. God bless!

  11. Vicky,
    Yes, it's overwhelming at times. I usually cut back on my posting (or cut it out completely) during the summer because of time constraints. It's hard to find a good balance when it comes to blogging and family life. It's one of the reasons I take so many blogging breaks :)Another reason I take regular breaks is because sometimes I get frustrated with the Catholic blogosphere though not with the bloggers who write with integrity. Tough subjects CAN be dealt with in a way that brings things to light while also treating the matter in a spirit of charity.

  12. OK ... it's time to be serious with Mary.

    To stop Blogging would be WRONG!

    As I said before, many people Blog-hop from one blog to another searching for something. And perchance they might land on this Blog and for them this is their first opportunity of meeting Christ. Something you may have said casually here might well spark an interest in them and lead them to Christianity.

    You are a force in the Blogging world. Without you there would not have been the Community of Catholic Bloggers, or Blogging for Jesus, or Utterly Thine, or your other Blogs. Without you there would not be the adverts for the two books on the right hand sideline here. Without you there would not be 118 followers which I can see on the right.

    How would it look if you leave the Blogging world just as your husband joins it?

    You have every right to be angry at so called Catholics sniping at each other on THEIR Blogs. Just ignore them. Don't visit those sites.

    If they snipe on YOUR Blogs either delete their comments or wait for other Bloggers to respond to their comments.

    I'll pray that your current discouragement turns into a challenge and an opportunity for you to go from strength to strength.

    Do what Catholics do best ... pass round the collection plate!

    Oops ... sorry. I promised to be serious.

    God bless.

  13. Victor,
    Suppositories?! Yuck! Good one though! I have a comeback for that one but it's totally inappropriate for blogger so I'll just say that suppositories can be helpful for those who are full of c--p :) Sorry folks! That's not aimed at anyone - just a joke! I can't resist Victor's sense of humor (which most of you are very familiar with). Lol!

    Victor, you have a point about not knowing who may come across our blogs by accident. This happens all the time and I have received a good number of e-mails from people who have done exactly that. Folks with questions, prayer requests,etc... I check my stats on occasion and I realize that many people ARE reading my blog (well, not my side blogs but this one, yes) whether they leave comments or not. The majority of my readers do not leave comments but I do get nice e-mails regularly from people.

    I don't even mind if people pontificate on their soap boxes on occasion - I am aware that we all have fallen natures and that no one is perfect. Every person has to deal with pride to a degree. A person can blacken someone's good name, however, for reasons that are not just and honest. They claim that their intentions are good but often they are not. And it's obvious.

    Thanks for the smile!

  14. Maria,
    You are like me when it comes to taking breaks :) Yes, I can very much relate to your comment! I've considered not coming back after a few of my breaks and then I'll get a beautiful e-mail that reminds me that it's all worth it in the long run. Still, blogging, has always been something that I have to pray about often for various reasons. (See, I love blogging, too, most of the next thought after writing the previous sentence was "Hmmm...maybe I should post about it." Lol!)

  15. Colleen,
    You are reading my mind, again :) Last night I was thinking about the fact that before I started blogging I was blissfully unaware of the pettiness regarding (what I consider) small issues in the Church. Some of which are just personal issues, at that. Funny, even the phrase "get off your high horse" came to mind after reading an article online yesterday so my thinking is running very much along the lines of your comment.

    Your advice is right on the mark. And, yes, it's good advice for me too, along with the generalized "you" :)

  16. ThereseRita,
    Exactly!! You have pinpointed what bothers me about some posts! As if it's okay to bless a person's heart before you thrust the knife in.
    Just be up front and let us know whether whether the forked tongue is out and fired up or tucked away that day. I was trying to think of a way to comment on the post I read but I knew that it would simply add fuel to the fire.

    I liked your recent post on modesty at Mass. Why can't others just bring subjects up in this manner? It's the duplicity I can't stand.

    I hope you continue blogging but I understand it's hard at times. Yes, let's ask St. Maximillian Kolbe for discernment in both our cases :) Great idea!

  17. Puff,
    Sorry about that. I didn't know who it was from at first when I printed it. I'll make sure I don't hit publish if you accidentally do that again.
    No, the post I am referring to was certainly not yours. You are blunt and upfront so I know what I'm getting when I read your posts. It's duplicity that I have trouble with. I don't have a problem when something is broached in a straightforward manner . You wield a sharp tongue but it's not forked ;)

    Yes, that's a compliment :) I was very interested in your comment so if you'd like to rewrite it that would be great. I didn't have a chance to go through each point you made before removing it.

  18. Mary, Pope Benedict said we need to use social media to spread the gospel. You do that very well. We need voices like your's to drown out the judgmental and negative blogs.
    Victor's advice was very good. I visited a blog once that was VERY judgmental of other Catholics who were less "conservative." I stopped visiting but I met a kindred spirit who also stopped commenting on that blog and I read her blog now all the time. A new friend!
    Keep blogging. We need you.

  19. I have no idea to which blogger or post in particular to which you are referring and I don't think it's me. I hope it isn't me.

    I don't have a problem, so much with missives that start out agreeing with someone and ending in disagreement. My problem are the missives that start in disagreement and end in name calling.

    But depending, on what the blogger is trying to do, it may be that he agrees with this person on the premises, but disagrees with this person on the conclusion of his argument.

    I know that when I fisk what someone else has written, the beginning of what he has written may be perfectly agreeable to me. In following the original missive, it may seem that I am favourable to him, but if in his argument he errs, I write that I disagree and explain why, I am bound to counter his argument, and I will do so.

    In any debate, the rules require an acceptance of the premises. So in any post the begining may sound like agreement. But it is only the acceptance of the premises. That part of the evidence which neither side will refute. Infact without common accepted premises, no argument can ensue.

    The blogger may then employ some form of logical reasoning (deductive, inductive etc) and end up contradicting the original blogger's argument.

    That is not a form of disingenuous writing, that is debate, that is even a polite form of debate.

    I am just whistling dixie here; I am offering suggestions that may or may not have anything to do with what you are trying to explain.

    In any case, I guess the title of the post might help at least, give a little heads up.

  20. Colleen,
    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I know the sites to avoid and I keep them out of my sidebar. What happens is that I pop on some of the sites that I follow (which are good ones) and my attention will get caught up by a name or a title of a blog they follow and I will pop over to check it out. Usually this is no problem - I get to read an interesting article and read viewpoints from others and a chance to see things from a different angle. Unfortunately, on occasion I end up reading posts that start off well and slowly work up to mud slinging. What bothers me more than the mudslinging are the honeyed words that come first. These are the posts that catch me by surprise and leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.

  21. Victor,
    I just wrote you a long comment, left the computer for a minute, and came back to find my daughter sitting in the chair, my comment gone and little fuzzy creatures were dancing around the computer screen :)

    Thank you for the uplifting words and your kindness. Karinann wrote a beautiful post on the Community blog the other day and a couple of sentences at the end about not getting caught up in negative comboxes (this fits for posts also) caught my eye. After reading it I thought, "This is me. I do this." And then I go and do the same thing all over again. The subject matter interested me but I didn't like the duplicity with which the post was written. Despite the skills of some professional writers I consider some of their articles poorly written due to their ill intentions.

  22. Puff,
    The key word here is "logical". You managed to present information on the same subject matter in a straightforward, clear cut manner without resorting to the tactics employed in the post I am referring to. Who spends the first half of a post building someone up and the second half tearing him down? It's nonsensical! It defies logic and is duplicitous to boot. Yes, titles give hints on what is to come but criticism can be used for the correction of a perceived wrong (which may or may not have any substance to it) or it can be used as a weapon that a person wields to villify a person, group, or subgroup. If you would like I can e-mail you the link to the post I am referring to here and you can compare it to your own and see what I mean. I am pretty sure you are already aware of which post I am speaking of (though I know that many people posted on the same subject). I did not directly link to the article in my post for obvious reasons. My aim was not to address the person in particular but rather to address the subject of truthfulness and agendas in posting.

  23. I happened onto your site from one called "Zeal for Your House Consumes Me" There was posted the following:

    "Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them."
    - Pope St. Felix III

    We, all, are the Church militant, not triumphant. I hope this helps.

    Pat Phillips, Catholic Defense League

  24. Pat,
    I agree with this quote :) In reference to my post - the problem I had was in the manner the news was delivered more than the news itself. Sometimes a person's reputation can be destroyed by basing an article too much on the "opinion" of the author and the "opinions" of others rather than a good representation of the facts in a case. I know everyone has opinions, myself included, but it seems to me that it's best to err on the side of mercy when an author is directly dealing with a man's good name. Facts are one thing because they deal with truth whereas opinions, if not held in check to a degree, can destroy a person.

  25. Hi Mary,
    I give up blogging every second day. I always change my mind as I'm about to hit the 'delete' button! As Victor says, you don't know who's reading and the good you are doing sometimes. God uses our blogs but doesn't necessarily tell us in what manner!

    I don't come across such posts as you described because I haven't really time to browse the blogs. I read your blog, Victor's, Colleen's... and those of other bloggy friends. And these are great! Keep blogging. Your posts are always interesting and refreshing. God bless.

  26. "Found" you via Colleen. Reading this, I realized again that Catholics and Protestants aren't that far apart.

    It IS poison, Mary. There is a godly and Biblical way to deal with differences and offenses that is NOT poisonous. May we all be quicker to do it His way.

  27. Thank you, Sue. I know I take WAAAY too many blogging breaks but they keep me sane :) Victor makes a good point and it's definitely something I take into consideration especially after reading the e-mails of the young woman with Myasthenia Gravis who wrote to me recently. Things like that make it worthwhile to keep blogging.

  28. Hi Rebecca,
    Do you run into the same difficulties? I guess it's widespread among Christians in general. Which doesn't make any sense because the main message of Jesus was about loving God and loving one another. This is one of the reasons that I find some sites so disturbing. Yes, may we learn all learn from Jesus who was meek and humble of heart. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.