So a few months ago, I went to write some thoughts down on the blog, and as I opened it up, I saw my own face staring back at me.
“Why am I doing this?” I wondered to myself, and as I looked at my picture staring back at me, I suddenly felt as if it were out of vanity. Disgusted with myself, I left the page, and when my hosting company emailed me a week later to renew my account, I just cancelled it. I’m not going to let some stupid website get in the way of my own spiritual development.
Did I back it up first? Nope. I’m a bit impulsive.
Then came the emails. I wrote so seldom, I assumed no one was actually reading it. Then came facebook messages. People wanted to revisit articles I wrote years ago. I guess I didn’t know that this might actually be useful to some people. The big moment came when several of my own parishioners came and asked why I took it down, and how helpful it was to hear something actually positive when they went on to their facebook feed, or were just looking for inspiration.
Oh. Oops. Maybe it was useful. My bad.
So I am beginning again in earnest. I apologize to anyone who was following me and lost something that had some value to them. I am sorry as well that all my previous content is lost. Yes, I can copy it from caches, but it’s just too much work, and I’m not sure there was much good stuff anyway.
However, while I looked at beginning to write again, I also noticed a habit of my own I have. I love watching Youtube videos. I love Ascension Presents and Bishop Barron. I think maybe I can do that, albeit much more poorly. (I’m also not nearly as handsome!) I might try, we will see. Expect this new venture to be something different than before.
When I started this blog, I was in the process of becoming a deacon, and much of my traffic was centered on others going through a similar journey. Having been a deacon for a couple years now, I feel more called to serve my larger community, and will move in that direction. I will keep up a link to the more popular pages relating to diaconate formation, but I intend to move more towards Catholic Education, my own personal specialty. I feel I can serve many more people that way.
What about my own vanity you ask? Well, I think that is a demon I will have to continue to fight. I have decided in my own mind that I’m just writing lessons and homilies, and that work is His, not mine. Hopefully the Lord will give me the strength to quell my ever present pride.
Blessings, and pray for me in this new endeavor!
I remember in my own formation we were warned that sometimes when we do things that bring others closer to Christ, we are suddenly drawn away — and it is no coincidence. What you were doing may have been doing this, but “you know who” hates it when people point towards Salvation. My read on this (as a Monday morning quarterback) is that you now know this was a worthy venture because you appropriately asked yourself if this lacked humility and, in faith, it very likely was the Spirit itself.
Go for it!
Oremus pro invicem
You know DB, I was praying on exactly the same thing. What if Satan was trying to fool me with my own sin? Jesus called him “the accuser”, and that seems to be exactly what I fell for. He accused me, and I caved. I think if there is anything I’ve learned in this, it’s to be a bit less impulsive, so that I have a chance to be retrospect. Keep me in your prayers brother!
So glad to hear you will be back writing. I start my fourth year of classes in my formation Journey and your blog is very comforting for me at times. It is ironic that you are writing about your vanity as I just struggled a little bit as to why I am on this journey was it for me or was it for God. Thank Steve
Ugg. Vanity is the worst. The trouble is, to be the kind of person who is willing to stand up as a deacon for a community usually means we are also prone to pride, at least I am. I think we all have our issues, and they don’t really go away. I think of St. Ignatius of Loyola, he too was a bit on the prideful side. Instead of focusing on himself though, he channeled that pride into doing God’s work, and trying to do it better than anyone ever had. Now we have a Jesuit pope! It was clearly effective. He was able to use his tendency towards pride as an engine to bless the world.
I really appreciate your writings as I myself am going through formation. I understand that demon that is constantly tugging at your purpose. I question daily why God would want me for his work in the fields, I am reminded about the hope and faith i am being called to share! God is always good!!
You know, I had the same issues when I was in formation, feelings of unworthiness. A mentor of mine asked me a question that really helped me out. “What would make you feel worthy? Do you really think you can ever be worthy? If you do feel worthy, then you aren’t.” Having said that, and continuing even still to feel unworthy, I find the only thing that really helps me is by trying to be more worthy, however feeble my attempts may be. Sadly, ordination hasn’t made me a saint yet. These feelings don’t really ever go away, we just have to focus our eyes on Christ, and not worry about it. He is worthy, and that will have to make up for our deficiencies.
I am so very happy you have chosen to return to your digital ministry.
I will live in hope that some of your classic posts will return in days to come. But for now I am happy that I will be able to enjoy your new content as it arrives.
Your early posts helped me on the road to my own vocational discernment, I know your new content will help others with theirs.
I’m actually kind of happy for the restart, as I can rewrite some of those older posts. While they were valuable to me as I was going through formation, I certainly have different thoughts from the other side of ordination!
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am eager for new content.
Like many who read your posts, I am in formation. I found your early posts instructive and helpful lights along my own path. They were helpful during my early discernment and application to aspirancy.
There is very little genuine content out there to help a man in his vocational discernment. Most of what can be found is too formal. Yours was authentic.
You know, after reading your post, I decided to search again for some backup of the site. You are not the first to say my bumbling and fumbling was helpful to them. I found one. It’s older, but with it and the Wayback Machine, I may be able to piece the old site together, and revamp it to what it is currently but with all the old content intact. Your comment inspired me to try to make it happen, though with my technical ability, I’ll probably break the whole thing!
Thank you to all who have provided such encouraging words to Dance. It means so much to both of us to know that this is a worthy endeavor. If his words draw one person closer to Christ or comfort them in their Formation, it is time well-spent.
I love your REALNESS, Deacon Dance. As I am back in formation with new class (had to step out for family related needs) I am greatful I have a new chance. Your writing helps me to see I’m not alone in the struggles, that it’s ok to be human, and that it’s not about me, but about God…lol
I will follow you and your inspiration as a Deacon wherever you may be
Thanks for the compliment! It seems an odd one since I usually feel like I’m full of crap. Glad to hear you are back in formation. I have a brother deacon in my class who had almost finished formation once before, and had to start over. He used to say he was the slowest deacon of the group, because it took him 9 years!
Deacon from SF Bay Area here…I know what you mean about the vanity and also about reaching out to a wider community. I’ve been ordained a little over four years and for the first year parishioners and relatives kept asking me to record & post my homilies and I kept putting it off out of a sense of …false humility? So my spiritual director told me to start and I did. What a surprise after a bit of time to be getting email from a lay chaplain at a woman’s prison in Phoenix saying that they use my homilies for Sunday meditation time. My point is this: let’s forget ourselves and get out of the way and let the Holy Spirit do His work. You never know where God wants our ministry to go. Keep up the good work!
I hear you loud and clear Dn. Dave, my thinking is right in line with yours. We just don’t know what God will do with our labors, and we really shouldn’t worry about it so much. I hope I can do a better job of that in the future!
I love your blogs so keep writing!!
Very sweet of you to take the time to say so. It means the world to me, thank you.
Great to hear from you again as I am half way through my fourth year. I look forward to your thoughts which do provide an insight into what will come.
Oh my, it’s getting quite close now! Enjoy this next year, it starts to speed up really fast! Praying for you and your brothers now.
You have so much to look forward to with ordination. Just…enjoy.
I’m glad you came back to blogging. Reading your first few posts from your formation experience helped me during my own formation, and your posts continue to feed me.
Thank you for the kind words Deacon. It’s good to know the work bears some consolation.