As perhaps you noticed, this blog disappeared for a couple of days, along with my Twitter account. I just needed that little bit of space in my ongoing project--or perhaps the ongoing project of grace!--of clarifying for myself my voice, who I am online, what this blog is for me and how I use it. Writing, after all, is a spiritual practice not to be taken lightly. As Thomas Merton put it:
“If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men--you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.”
That's from New Seeds of Contemplation. It's amazing what an influence that book has had on me over the years. Right now I'm reading an Italian translation; since it's a text I know pretty well, it's good practice.
So, coming back from a couple days of retreat into the void, I've made a couple of adjustments. First, I've marked the occasion with a new layout. The old template was one I had been using since I started this blog over six years ago, which was before Blogger was part of Google. Not everything on the template was working rightly any longer, and it was also full of my amateurish efforts at hand-rolling some of the HTML. (In those days there wasn't yet the widget-based layout editor we have now.) I've edited out some old posts of which I've repented. I've also reduced the lists of blog on the sidebar to one. When I started this blog, I knew of only a few other blogs by Franciscans, so I thought it would be right and just to start a particularly Franciscan blogroll. At this point I couldn't even read all of the blogs by my Capuchin confreres, let alone all the Franciscans who are out there bringing some pax et bonum to the web. So now there's just one list for everyone: old and new blogging friends, bloggers I just find interesting, and those I feel like it's only right to link out of filial piety or because of visitors sent.
The licensing information as well as the disclaimer are unchanged, and both still appear all the way at the bottom.