Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Blog

Well, OK - following upon the previous post, I have 'shut up' for the month of December, if you consider giving two parish missions, completing the manuscript of my fifth book, and my usual homilies, spiritual direction, and general loud-mouthed MH presence to be 'shutting up'. But hey, I did the best I could given what I needed to do!

What I discerned, though, in this extended break from blogging, was that whatever else I did, I needed to change my approach to the blog. My chosen format for blogging--find a quote, discuss the quote--had pretty much worn thin from my end, anyhow. If I was to keep blogging, something new would be required. And of course, the something new would require a new name for the blog

Upon praying and thinking on it, I kept coming back to a question one of my directees asked me recently. She meant it light-heartedly, but it stayed with me. "What's the point of it all?" she asked, in relation to, well, everything--life, the universe, work, prayer, love, relationships. What's the point?

The word 'point' struck home, pointedly, one might say. It's a word with a lot of different senses. 'Point' can mean purpose, which is perhaps the first thing we think of. What is the purpose, the meaning, the goal of things.

Point can also mean the geometrical unit. I think here of the point which is the absolute center of the circle, that around which the circle is formed and perfectly aligned. The radical heart of reality, in T.S. Eliot's wonderful poetry of The Four Quartets spoken of as:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;

Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only dance.

Meanwhile, as I pondered my own blogging, Catholic blogging in general, and the overall state of affairs of Catholic discourse in the year 2014, it seems to me that there is real poverty of 'pointedness' in our discussions. So often carts are placed before horses; causes are confused with effects; discussions which begin as genuine searches for understanding descend into hurling of abuse and insult; mountains are made out of molehills and the genuine mountains of reality passed by as of no consequence. So often we miss the point, lose the plot, drop the thread of what we are supposed to be living and doing.

So, after having considered some blog names that involved various lame puns on the word 'point', which I will spare you, I came up with 'Getting to the Point' as the name and (please God) direction for the blog. I'm also having a bit of a joke with myself here, as my writing has been praised and faulted for many things, but never for its excessive brevity. 

What is the blog going to look like, then? Don't know yet! Probably a little more deliberate catechesis--I am often amazed in Catholic discussions on the Internet of how badly catechized so many people are. Maybe a bit more willingness to wade in on this or that hot topic, but hopefully to add light and not simply more heat to the matter. 

Some things will not change - the Monday Psalter, This Week in Madonna House, for example. I probably won't blog every day (I was, truthfully, getting a bit burned out by that). Catherine Doherty is bound to be more of a presence on the blog--I personally know no one who got to the point, stayed on point, and was quite happy to stick that point into you where it would make you jump most high.

So there we are - as you can see, I've changed the color scheme for the blog, mostly as a reminder to me that it's a different thing now. Kept the pictures, since these are all my buddies and I just like looking at their beautiful faces. And... well, we'll see how it goes! Do know that I keep all my blog readers in my prayers always, and am always grateful for a prayer or two thrown my way.

Blessed 2015 to you all.


  1. Dear Father Denis

    May your pointedness point us to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. May your writing as alter christus be an instrument in the fulfilment of the following prayer:

    Prayer for the Conversion of the World -TLIG

    Father all Merciful, let those who hear and hear again yet never understand, hear Your Voice this time and understand that it is You, the Holy of Holies; open the eyes of those who see and see, yet never perceive, to see with their eyes this time Your Holy Face and Your Glory, place Your Finger on their heart so that their heart may open and understand Your Faithfulness, I pray and ask you all these things, Righteous Father, so that all the nations be converted and be healed through the Wounds of Your Beloved Son, Jesus Christ; amen;

  2. awesome new blog!!

    what the point of education from a Catholic viewpoint?

    the pdf here may be a good starting point:

  3. "For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next years words await a different voice"
    TS Elliot, four quartets

    Grace and peace to you this Holy Season and now New Year!
    It is good to see you writing again!
    Please keep praying for me, as I do for you!
    Bless you.

  4. I am glad you are back. Your blog makes me think, and smile...


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