I've just begun reading Joan Chittister's book Wisdom Distilled From the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today; it "hits the spot," so to speak, where I'm at in my faith life right now.
Chittister notes that Benedictine spirituality is grounded in openness of heart and, in her words, "a willingness to be surprised by God" -- an openness that makes space for regular prayer and reading/hearing of Scripture; for learning; for hospitality.
This is great stuff. But what does it have to do with bloggery?
I've struggled for a long time with how to adequately honor the circles of Christian bloggers in which I travel. This is partly a function of hospitality -- I know I certainly enjoy it when others visit my weblog, and assume that the rest of us feel the same happiness and satisfaction when we connect with other human beings on an intellectual and/or emotional way -- and partly a function of wanting to learn from others; to explore and exchange experiences and insights; to seek to discern together the "whats" and "hows" and "whys" of living in Christian community.
My bloggy circles of friends include people I affectionately refer to as The Instigators, who got me started on this enterprise a little over a year ago, and other bloggers I met via The Instigators' blogrolls; there's the community of Lutheran bloggers; there's the RevGalBlogPals and the Reconciling bloggers. I've never had a real system for visiting others' blogs; if one graphically portrayed my usual blog-hopping, even among my good friends' blogs, it would be reminiscent of the experiments I heard about as a kid, when scientists fed spiders caffeine and then watched them spin frenetic, anarchic freeform webs. The problem with this as-the-mood-strikes method is that it tends to lose people; people with engaging, funny, thoughtful, profound, inspiring posts. To add to that oversight -- sometimes I get busy; busy with myself; that curvatus in se thing. And that is not only disrespectful to others, but it also puts me at risk for becoming too enamored of my own Deep Thoughts,unmediated by the comments and counsel of others -- to, as Chittister puts it, elevate my arrogance to the level of inspiration.
So I'm making an effort to "get out more" in the blogosphere, and make the rounds more consistently, even if it means I don't post here as frequently. Because I think we're all doing something really important here; I think we're "being the Church" in a new and profound way that brings together people of faith who would otherwise never have an opportunity to meet. That's worth quality time and attention, I think.