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Pride and Blogging

In an earlier piece I alluded to one of the reasons that I stopped blogging for a while. Other than busy-ness and lack of home access to the net, I said that I could never get the links correct and when I'm embarrassed I tend to shy away from anything that might lead to more embarrassment. Especially on simple things like technical stuff (and no, I've never figured out how to program VCR's either) which any four-year-old child knows how to do. I have had this problem for a long time. My mother, of blessed memory, used to tell me that I don't have to be perfect and not knowing it all is not a problem. When in fifth grade I was in one of those go-at-your-own-pace programs beloved of educational programs dealing with smart kids. While I think it is often a good thing, I have doubts that even "gifted and talented" kids are always well-served by it. In my case, I got stuck on some lesson, having to do with the new-fangled computers that were just beginning to be used in schools, if I remember correctly. Mortified to admit I needed help I read other books and pretended to work on my assignments until three weeks later when the teacher noticed that I hadn't turned in any work. A crisis ensued, my parents threatened me with psychologists if I didn't straighten up and ask for help, a horrid possibility considering my bad experiences with school counselors.

I did straighten up enough to avoid the possibility of counseling, but the problem didn't end completely. I developed a much smoother public face, but still suffered the pride of smart kids. To put it more bluntly, I was not and am not a person who likes to admit I don't know something and will generally find some way of making it through a conversation without admitting I don't know at least as much if not more than the person I'm talking to. It's a dandy skill, but morally a killer.

At some point I'll need to do an entire general confession, featuring all the times I've "faked it" in conversations.

It was the example of one of my most revered teachers, Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., of Fordham University (perhaps THE GUY in the history of the Arian crisis of the fourth century), that finally made me realize that "I don't know" is a statement of indomitable strength rather than an admission of weakness. I was reading something about Maximus the Confessor and asked Fr. Lienhard what he thought about it. He shrugged his shoulders and said he'd never read any of Maximus and didn't really know any more than I did.

Choirs sang out, the ceiling of Fr. Lienhard's office opened up, and St. Bernard, accompanied by cherubim and seraphim, descended on a ladder chanting, "The three greatest virtues are humility, humility, and humility."

When the vision was over, I said, "Oh, really," and changed the subject. But I've never been the same since that day. I still fake it sometimes, but not as much, and my conscience has gained back enough of its numbed nerves that it hurts when I fake it any more.

Well, I just edited the entry below, "Do Protestants Become Catholics for Love?" for a third time to try and get the link right and I hope it worked. If it doesn't, I'm sorry, I'll keep trying. Keep in mind that I DON'T KNOW what I'm doing.

Ah, that felt better, if my stomach turned over a couple times in typing it.

Before I leave off this confession of faults to you, my internet religious community, it is necessary to recognize that my friend Jason Adkins, to whom I'm extremely indebted for more than he could know, has very patiently emailed me over and over, answering my endless questions about how to do this linking thing, and many other things, with nary a smirk or a dig at the guy who puts "dumb" into "blogdom."

To such as he is the Kingdom of Heaven.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 8, 2005 12:38 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Partial Birth Abortion Still Legal.

The next post in this blog is SCOTUS Nomination Abonimation Revelation.

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