Over the past year I have seen at least three bloggers reflecting on blogging as spiritual formation. Blogging, after all, has connections to journalling, but where the journal is a private affair, the blog is public. That means the blog moves the journal past the merely personal and inward pursuit and invites others into the journey, becoming a communal process. Theological reflection is necessarily a communal process, and an intimate component of community life for apprentices of Jesus.
Back in mid September Paul Fromont at Prodigal Kiwis was asking for help on a reflective project for the Journal of Contemplative Spirituality. That request resulted in some creative dialogue, and Paul wrote an excellent and short article on blogging as spiritual formation. I’ve shared the article with a few of you, and now I want to share a bit more here.
Paul asks, with a remixed statement from Delbert Wiens in 1991,
“I wonder if blogging (though individualistic at one level) has the function of allowing us to attend (particularly if we write and reflect on a daily basis) to the lengthy rhythms of the creation of a self… and the growing sense that our practice of blogging is related to the larger natural, social and spiritual rhythms of being formed as a distinct people of God…?”
Paul notes that blogging can be a spiritual practice, a creative component of a personal (or communal) rule or rhythm. “It creatively recovers and re-mixes several traditional “practices” such as: study, journaling and self-examination, discernment (recognizing and responding to God); community; lectio divina; spiritual friendship, pilgrimage; the sharing of resources; service, encouragement, guidance and prayer. Blogging too requires intentionality and discipline.”
I have found writing a powerful tool for continuing conversion. As Augustine wrote, “I am the sort of a man who writes because he has made progress, and who makes progress by writing.” (Epistle 143:2-3.)
Paul also mentions Mike Riddell who writes about “cybermonks” in what he calls an exercise in poetic imagination (In Beyond Ground Zero). There is more, and I’ll post a note here when the article goes live.