Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Am I boring you?

Folks keep visiting, but fewer comments lately.

Just wondering if you don't like what you see -- or if someone is experiencing technical difficulties.

I know, I know; you probably want more "day in a life" posts . . .

OK: Mass at 8 am; I was tired getting up, so I was a little late starting Mass. Probably talked too much on the Letter to the Hebrews. Stopped at Tim Hortons for coffee and some doughnuts, intending to head home to work on homily; saw a couple of parishioners, chatted with them a bit.

Worked on homily for Sunday rest of the morning, into early afternoon, then to office. Moved paper around, made phone calls, wrote a few letters for various things, handled a few matters with staff, reviewed the two bulletins for Sunday. Did a little 'net surfing late in the afternoon, am about to head over for the weekly Bible study. Home by 8:30 when I'll have dinner.


Anonymous said...

In answer to your question, no you weren't boring me. Sometimes, there just isn't anything to comment when you are right, or maybe I want to ruminate on something you've written. Anyway look at how long people visit, that rather than comments is a better indicator of whether or not your blog is being read.

Anonymous said...

Also sometimes with Blogger, you try to post a comment: you write it out and, verify the "word" and hit login and publish and you think you've done it, when in actuality the posting didn't take.

Jim said...

Father, I like your posts about performing sacramental duties like hearing confessions. Also I appreciate your common sense approach to the changes in the liturgy.

Ellen said...

Wow, that's a loaded question!

I don't find your posts "boring," but sometimes I feel your posts are way over my head. While I am an educated reader, your knowledge and the knowledge of many of your readers is far in excess of my knowledge of the church. But I keep reading and hope that something will stick in my thick head.

And like "puff," often I just don't have a comment.

Anonymous said...

Father, your posts are anything but boring.

Anonymous said...

No, Father, you are NOT boring me at all. Some posts are qustion/comment provoking, and some are just thought provoking. That combined with the fact that I don't want to "spill my guts" with all of the questions I think of and overburden you.

But most of all, let me thank you for taking your valuable time and energy to provide this blog! AND to take the time to answer my questions here as well as on some other sites (like Father Z's blog).

You, my friend, are quite a guy!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I haven't commented before.I enjoy your blog and have included a link to it on the Blogosphere page of my website

Anonymous said...

How can a guy who likes Tim Hortons be boring? (If you wonder whether I'm being ironic or not, figure out my hometown and then ask yourself the same question.) :)

the Joneses said...

Definitely not boring me! I look forward every Monday to seeing the homily posted. The kind of posts I like best are "Life in the Day..." and anything about music (I'm the music director for our church).

Please keep it up! I like this blog.

Anonymous said...

If you must ask that question, you must question yourself as to whether blogging is an appropriate use of time for the pator of two parishes.
You are not in the entertainment or news business. Bordem is a moot point.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Is that you, archbishop?

Rich Leonardi said...

Fr. Fox,

I tried commenting a couple of times earlier this week but was bumped by Blogger. (With a free service, you get what you pay for.)

And as others have said, I don't think the number of comments are an indication of whether or not your posts are worth reading.

Rich Leonardi said...

If you must ask that question, you must question yourself as to whether blogging is an appropriate use of time for the pator of two parishes.

But it's O.K. for the laity, right?

Fr Martin Fox said...


Yep; I asked the question for two reasons:

1. I am a great believer in "taking the temperature" -- in my parishes, I am often soliciting comments and feedback. Part of my reason for doing it is that so many lay Catholics say they are afraid to speak up, or that they perceive their input is unwelcome.

2. I suspected there might be technical issues as well (as you and others have reported).

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox,

Nope - not boring - although you do recognize that your range of topics that you are knowledgable on and can write about is broader than the average bear. (In my family, we call that not being normal - but we think normal is over-rated!)

Additionally, your typing speed is WAY ABOVE NORMAL!! (I've heard it from you friends as described 'like a machine gun')and could be faster than some or our reading speed - not that you should stop - just pointing out the logistics.

Finally, NOT BORED! but don't always comment if I don't have something relevant to say AND agree with one of the other commenters - if I have questions - don't want to overload you - you have just a 'few' other things to do.

So - please keep blogging - I particularly like the homilies and the comments on the liturgy - especially the reform of the reform as well a day in the life...

Thanks again for your time and for you saying yes. Know that you are in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

I find I have to write something offensive to get a lot of com-box traffic. :-)

And if I found your blog boring, I'd take it off my blogroll...just my little way of casting blogs into outer darkness.

Anonymous said...

Not boring in the least - sometimes I can't think of anything relevant to say, or am busy and just stealing time to read a post. And, often, there are technical issues (especially with the old/new Blogger situation).

Puff, how do you look at how long people visit?

Fr Martin Fox said...


It may or may not be true that I oughtn't to blog, or perhaps oughtn't to be blogging right now.

As it happens, most of the time, there is usually "something better" any and all of us could be doing, than what we are doing.

I spend quite a lot of time busy about sacramental duties, meetings, administrative duties, interactions with staff, parishioners and the general public; and at any given moment, many of those -- if measured by some ideal sense of what's "best," ought to give way to something else. I.e., maybe instead of an administrative task, I "ought" to be visiting the nursing home.

I have had online evaluators of my daily schedule advise me that, at 9 or 10 pm at night, I ought to visit the hospital, rather than surf the 'net or blog. Perhaps true (despite the fact that patients probably wouldn't like a visit at that hour, and certainly the hospital wouldn't like it).

I think a more realistic view of life is that all of us have undulating levels of energy for various tasks, and we have "up" and "down" moments throughout the day. I might add that many of us -- not just priests -- tend to be about our "profession" (I use the word not to say being a priest is a "profession," but to talk about it in analogy with professions) all day long. So, while I may have some down time in the middle of the day, it also is true I have "on" time from early to late -- whether interacting with others, or not.

It just happens that few people can be "on" in the same fashion, from morning to night.

At least, that is my experience; you may be otherwise, and if so, wonderful.

Even if one has plenty of energy, it helps to switch from task to task. And I can tell you that I find that when I do "mindless" things, it helps my creativity and productivity. I realize that is subject to abuse, but it remains true, nonetheless.

There is a mindset I find amusing -- although it may not be yours, I concede, it does produce comments identical to yours. And I characterize it as the "voluntary slave" mentality.

The mindset begrudges the priest -- or teacher, or social worker, or business owner, or anyone else who is about serving people and their needs -- any time away; and it often says, "well, you chose this, so stop complaining and get back to work!"

It is certainly true that a priest ought to be highly dedicated to serving others, and ought to strive for more. That said, it does not follow that anyone is entitled to come along and boss them about.

However, if you are the Archbishop, then I am getting back to work, your Excellency!

Anonymous said...

I must agree with your last post, Father. Our former Bishop (RIP) was very adamant that his new priests learn to take time away from the office so that they could come back fully recharged. He took this sufficiently seriously to occasionally pop in to the various rectories to make sure those who were on their "off" day weren't doing office work.

At the same time, the point about asking questions and generating discussion is at least as important. By using this type of forum everyone, from every walk of life, gets an opportunity to learn from each other. Although I must say that we, your readers, do get the much greater part of that arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Boring? Absolutely not. I stop by every day to read what's up on your blog.

As a rather shy soul, I rarely visit blog com boxes, but your post points out that perhaps more of us should write something to show our gratitutde and appreciation for the time you (and other bloggers) take to post thoughtful (and humorous) things for us to read. So, here's mine: Thanks for taking the time!

And as for priests blogging? Go for it guys! Everyone - even (especially) priests - need an outlet and a hobby. Besides, most of what you (and other preists) post is educational and enlightening. We out here on the Left (West) Coast are rarely fed anything substantial or orthodox, so I really appreciate the virtual food for the soul!

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox & all,

The following is a "Litany of Humility" from the late Rafael Cardinal Merry de Val (+1930) who was the Vatican's Secretary of State under Pope Pius X. This beautiful litany is very moving and is something for all of us (archbishop, priest and laity alike)to meditate on.

"O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me. From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being love,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the desire of being humiliated,
deliver me Jesus.

From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotted,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,
That others me be more loved than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world others may increase and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may be holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should.

This "Litany of Humility" is touching just reading it. Imagine it being sung in gregorian chant.


Cathy_of_Alex said...

Father: Don't despair, I added you to my blogroll a few days ago. With my blog traffic this could bring you at least 2 more readers!

Anonymous said...

Gee, Father, I hope anonymous isn't the archbishop, because if he is, he can't spell...(pator, bordom?)hehe..
I think all of us need to take a break in the course of our busy days...I take mine either praying, reading, or blogging....I skip the TV and such. I think it's great that you blog. You aren't boring, but sometimes I think my comments never respond back to any of mine on your site.
If anybody is boring, it's anonymous... or I should say he's a bit annoying. If he thinks you're wasting your time blogging, why is he "wasting" his time reading?
A blessed day to you, Father.

Fr Martin Fox said...


Thanks for the Litany of Humility, I like that prayer a lot.

Will I do a homily akin to the one by Fr. Johansen? I haven't decided.

As it is, I've written about liturgical matters in the bulletin, a few times, discussing things like musical choices and including latin.

The holy father is widely expected to issue either one, or two, documents, addressing the liturgy. I am considering a number of ways to present them to my parishes, including homilies and perhaps a series of talks; but I won't know until I actually see what he issues -- i.e., how much "news" he makes.

Anonymous said...

Never boring Father! Just been gone and trying to get back in the swing of the new year. Hardly time to read, let alone post!

You have an important ministry here, too! Some of us are not as blessed to have a priest so true to the Church, so honest about changes and so insightful about politics. You give hope to those of us stuck in "Anti-Catholic" land and spiritually "dead" leaders.

I am grateful for you matter what you post, because it is always something that helps me grow, reasses!

God Bless,

Fr Martin Fox said...


I haven't responded to any of your posts? Huh!

Well . . . just fixed that!

Anonymous said...

You have a wonderful blog, Father. I think it is just a slow time of the year....

Anonymous said...

I've often visited, Father, but never posted. Please accept this, my first post, so that I can assure you that you are most certainly not boring. I always enjoy reading your posts.

But Tim Horton's in Ohio you must explain. I had no idea that the invasion was so advanced!

Anonymous said...

I wish to second Clare's comments
We out here on the Left (West) Coast are rarely fed anything substantial or orthodox, so I really appreciate the virtual food for the soul! . Just substitute Melbourne, Australia for the West Coast.

Jim said...

Father, regarding the criticism of a priest blogging, let me just say that you are ministering to your online flock when you do so.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Father...hehe...
Actually, I've never told you that we have met once. Back in your seminary days. You were in Trinity Church Supply in Price Hill, and my children saw you and said "He's one of the guys on the refrigerator." I keep that poster that the archdiocese prints of all the seminarians on the fridge to remind me to pray for them (we know several seminarians personally including Mrs Darwin's brothers). So at that time your picture was up on our fridge and my kids (and I) recognized you. I said hello to you (I even knew your name) and told you that we prayed for you and you looked a little startled. End of conversation. Hehe...
The first time I linked to your site from DarwinCatholic's, I was excited to find a priest from our archdiocese blogging.
I hope you keep blogging Father.
A blessed night!!

Anonymous said...

Fr. Fox, yours is one of the Catholic blogs I read (almost) every day, and I learn something (almost) every day! Thank you for the time you devote to it, it truly is a ministry. I'm sure there are many many people like me who read and appreciate, but are too shy to comment.

Diane Korzeniewski said...

To those who think priest's are wasting time when they blog....

Some see blogging as strictly entertainment. The reality is that the web is a mission territory. People who need this or that in their spiritual life stumble upon a given blogpost (often led unsuspectingly by their guardian angel) and it's great that priests are involved. People can learn from priest-bloggers and I truly believe priest-bloggers learn something from commenters, as well as, from other bloggers.

I've learned that translation issues, for exapmle, are not something to blow-off. I've learned that I am not alone in my desire for orthodoxy and gravitation towards traditional worship.

The issue of humility is something for any Catholic blogger to ponder. Blogging can prompt lessons that would have taken years to learn without.

One priest in my parish, with whom I was close before he was reassigned overseas, encouraged me to avoid the temptation to watch things like site statistics. It is tempting to become a slave to these things. I blew off his advice at first, but then found it to be quite true. If we blog in order to drive up the hits, or the comments, or anything else, the "work" itself is less pure than if we were to simply post on those things that come to us as a good subject to post on (referring to spiritual posts).

Father: Just keep posting what you believe you should be posting and don't tailor it to what you think people want or what will bring more comments. We've had 40 years of priests tailoring things to the way people want. Follow your gut and post away on Catholic issues. You may be surprised with how many fish are in your net with each cast, even if you don't hear from them.

Anonymous said...

I thought this might not be a bad thread in which to introduce the fact that I find the formatting of the homilies difficult to read. I would like to read them thoroughly because I enjoy your blogging so much but sometimes cannot concentrate enough to get past the non-paragraph spacing and italics. I am only one person though so I was hesitant to "complain." Perhaps other readers prefer it in that format.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1-19 - Personally, I like the format as it lets me, to some extent, read it like it was preached. (I am guessing that is why Father writes it like that - sort of tells him where the complete thoughts are, the format will drive a pause, etc.) My best friend, on the other hand, is also distracted by the format. She either copies and pastes it to word and then takes out the italics, spaces OR I do and send it to her. I have to guess where the paragraphs start and stop.

Hope that helps and I am making an assumption about why they are formated like they are.

Anonymous said...

"Is that you, archbishop?"

How can you think this stuff is boring????

Anonymous said...

Father, are you kidding? On my own blog, I've whittled done the links to other blogs to only those I read each day and feel important enough to check on - and yours is there!

Fr Martin Fox said...


I'm sorry the formatting of my homilies is difficult for you.

The reason it's in short lines is that is how I type it out on paper (in much bigger type) so it's easy to refer, at a glance, in the pulpit. So when I post my homilies, I just copy and paste from a Word document. Other than a little tidying-up, I don't change it much.

Except for the italics -- I do that merely to set the homily off as a little different.

If it would be easier, I don't have to use italics, it's a (small) extra step.

Anonymous said...

...still yet regarding the blogging priest - here in the Archdiocese of Boston, our own Cardinal Sean O'Malley blogs every Friday evening and his, too, is a wonderful site! Keep up the good work Fr. Fox, because it truly is a good work!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhmen! to your post about the "voluntary slave" mentality, whether or not if fits Anonymous.

Boring? Never.

Your homilies are always greatly appreciated, but all your posts are good reading.

Anonymous said...

LOL, Father. With that question you certainly got plenty of comments.

But the discussion does raise an important question: Why do I blog? Especially blogging within the Catholic sphere. What keeps me blogging?

With the Catholic Blog Awards just around the corner, it's a useful thing to re-evaluate why we do what we do.

Anonymous said...

If you have already began tracking how long people visit, you are going to be very happy. It took me a long time to read all these comments!
I love your blog and read it very often, if not every day. I also love your comments at Fr. Z's blog.
Every human being needs down time to recharge, and even blogging is not down time, as you have to think and create your posts.
You have taught me very many things in this blog, which you could call your B ministry. There are many ways to evangelize and preach, and you have many, many full pews behind your keybord.
May God bless your words to us always.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, it did occur to me but for some reason only after I posted my earlier comment (after being distracted by the formatting for months) that I could just copy and paste the homily posts to ease reading. If anyone else minds the italics then it would be nice not to have to do that, but certainly don't just change it on my account, Father. :)

Anonymous said...

I just checked you have over 4000 views to your profile. People are trying to find out more about you.

Anonymous said...

Blogging can be an exellent use of one's time. Whether priest or laity, to spread the gospel. It's where people are at right now. All within moderation thought, not neglecting important duties.

Anonymous said...

I never have anything good to say. :)

Anonymous said...

I believe that blogging is a good use of your time. The Catholic blog community is a great way for us netizens to deepen our faith. I always read Catholic blogs over lunch at work, and your blog is a fine example. I would say, keep posting the homilies, but also keep up the daily life posts. It's interesting for us laypeople to know what our priests are doing. And, I know, I am curious for my own sake, as I am seriously looking into going to seminary.

Anonymous said...