Prayers of Remembrance and A Few Thoughts on Blogging, Faith and Community

This morning I read a blogpost from Alcibiades at Caliban’s Dream. The post was in remembrance of Catherine Peters, who died in a tragic accident one year ago. From all accounts, Catherine was truly remarkable. She was the daughter of the inimitable priest and blogger, Bosco Peters and his wife Helen Peters. (If you pray, please hold this family in your prayers; their on-going vibrant lives and joy are apparent, but one can only imagine their sorrow.)

Blogging and faith have worked strangely in my own life and they have worked very powerfully.

So much of who I am and what I do are ground into the foundation of blogging – something that did not even exist before 1997. It is strange, isn’t it? We all know each other and write and talk and pray and fight and discuss and debate. We inform, we debunk, we decry, deny, demand.

When I think about my own blogging one this is clear… Community.

The concept of community is at the heart of blogging.

For me, this is inexorably connected to faith, even when I am in community with people who are not of faith.

Today I am sharply reminded us of this as I have an on-going conversation with my beloved Grandmere’ Mimi, about one topic that we do not share the same opinion about. I love Mimi and hold her in the highest esteem; we agree on so many, many things. And sometimes we do not. Do we walk away in a huff?

No. We are in community and we continue to exchange our thoughts and ideas. When it is not fruitful to do so, I suspect that we will continue to exchange our thoughts and ideas, even if we lay off what we have not agreed upon. Agreement is not the criteria for love and respect. If it is – then love and respect are not at the heart of what is happening.

I am also acutely aware that it has been one year since the passing of Catherine Peters, daughter of the inimitable Fr. Bosco Peters and Helen Peters. In my experience of the blogosphere (is that word very 5 minutes ago or is it me?) I have experienced other deaths, the most recent being Jon Swift, who was not at all a faith blogger. (May he rest in peace. If you go to this link and read the comments, you will learn that Jon/Al, in writing of another’s loss, has himself passed away.)

I remember how Grendel’s the misanthropic dog’s death impacted us and also Lee’s. Of course, I don’t have a link for Lee – I did not really know him, but he was part of a community that I was part of and it affected us all.

However, few deaths shot around the world of bloggers like Catherine’s did. We all wrote and prayed and held the Peters family in our collective prayers. It astounded me then and it astounds me still. And I continue to hold the Peters’ in the heart of my prayer even though I have never met them in person and am unlikely to do soon. (Alcibiades at Caliban’s Dream has a lovely remembrance of Catherine up and some reflections upon his time spent with Bosco and Helen when he was in New Zealand.)

The whole business is very strange and wonderful to me – which is how my faith is to me as well. It is a strange and wonderful thing which makes my heart break more and yet binds each wound with tremendous love.

This love extends to all – I am many things, but an ideologue is not among them. Walk your own path. Hopefully you know the value of community, you have an open mind and heart but you know what you believe.

And may community always open our hearts and minds… Not to necessarily change our minds and/or hearts (but possibly) and also to continue to enrich them both.

(There are so many other things that I could say and links to add, but time is short. I am going to hit publish, but share your stories of community and blogging in the comments if you wish.)

9 thoughts on “Prayers of Remembrance and A Few Thoughts on Blogging, Faith and Community

  1. I, too, am amazed by community in blogging. In fact, I reached a major realization about myself through blogging friends, which I may never have reached. You are one who continues to challenge and support me, too, Fran.

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  2. As ever, we're on the same holy wavelength, Fran. I'm starting to write about online faith-based community and am scheduled to give a presentation about it at the Associated Church Press convention this May (in DC).

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  3. Fran,I have friends all over the world due to bloging and the internet. To visit with you at Jim's funeral just shows how extensive this web is. I am going on a conference with revgals this spring and am going to meet some of the people I correspond with. The community of the Church is changing–we are becoming a people in cyberspace–people who can hold each other up, listen to each others joys and sorrows and we can claim Christ in a communion that is spiritual and holy.

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  4. From Facebook, from Kathy Jensen, who was very much on my heart as I wrote this:"hanks so much for this, Fran. I have no words right now, but I am still struck nearly blind by the light and warmth from all in the blogging community who have helped me so much with my own grief. My doctor asked me the other day if I had a support system or network or something. How can I explain that the way my friends and neighbors, near and… See More far, whom I met online and in RIL, have all woven together not only sustains me but brings me into the thick of life — all of it so very real. Even when I am feeling lost and barren, I am enriched by the ready presence of the lives of all of you around me. I only hope I can do so someday in return."

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  5. You're right, Fran. A community of bloggers and frequent blog readers has formed.It's a blessing.You probably can say the same for Facebook and Twitter now — although those on-line communities are unique in their own ways.Thank you for all of your writing!

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  6. Fran – you are a HUGE blessing that came into my life because of blogging. I'm so grateful for the humor, life, love, support, and lessons I've gained from reading and communicating with fellow bloggers. Community indeed!!!

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  7. I am grateful to you all for being a part of this whole crazy quilt of community of both faith bloggers and people from other pathways. Our joys and sorrows are shared and we all tend to one another with such loving respect. OK, there are some fights, but that is normal too.There are so many stories to share… and we could fill blogpost upon blogpost with them. And so often we do.@Muthah – that example of you and I sharing food at the reception at Jim's funeral is an exceptional case… added to because I know Fr. Mark from another walk of my life. It is – as I said, all rather strange and wonderful.It is me Fran, but at my work ID.

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