Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Why do I blog?

It's a good question, with a simple answer. Flannery O'Connor used to say she didn't know what she thought until she wrote it down. Neither do I.

Speaking out makes an idea, a belief, a conviction suddenly more real. It demands a clarity and commitment that fleeting thought can never have.

A few years ago, the Australian bishops cracked down on the excessive use of the Third Rite of reconciliation, which required no personal confession of sins, only mere attendance. The decision generated angst at the time. There's no doubt that the Third Rite was attractive to many, but for all the wrong reasons. The human heart is a slippery thing, and we squirm and weave in our efforts to deny responsibility for our sins.

We are thinking animals, and when we get off the rails our rationalisations are never far away. The act of speaking out our sins breaks that bondage, and that is exactly what the Third Rite could never achieve. Hence its popularity.

So when I make my confession here, I challenge things in me that I'd rather were not there. I give myself something to live up to, and commit myself to what I believe. And there is something sacramental in that. It's an act that changes that actor. And I hope that you get something out of it too.

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