Use media to encourage

When do YOU use the combox?

If you’re like me, I read [er, skim] a lot online. Blogs, news, you name it. And if you’re like me, you read and move on. Unless, that is, something just infuriates you. Then, you become a righter-of-wrongs; an online crusader! (Insert triumphant hero music here.) The combox becomes your opportunity to say, “Enough, you scoundrel!” and proudly sign your name to a defense of truth and all that is good / just / beautiful / etc.

If you’re like me, that generally doesn’t happen. Most of the stuff I read online, I read because:

  1. I generally agree
  2. I think it’s cool
  3. I subscribe

The result? Most of us bloggers, webmasters, etc. often receive more negative feedback than positive feedback. Rarely do we hear from those that subscribe to, agree with, or ‘dig’ us.

Today, I posted my two cents on this blog entry for Fairfield U’s “More than a Monologue” series on LGBTs and the Catholic Church. Of course, I found the blog and the series itself lacking. After putting on my truth-defending helmet, I posted a link to Courage, the only Church-approved apostolate ministering to those with same-sex attraction.

The need for encouragement

Warsaw soccer team huddleThis reminded me of all the good work that Courage has done—and continues to do for our Church. (I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of the local chapter; they do phenomenal ministry.) Their presence is so needed. I decided that I should write them an email to say, Thanks. Your work means so much. I’m praying for you.

Having been blessed to work in ministry for several years, I know the importance of encouragement. Often, we deal with tough times. We wonder how much the community values our work. But—when our office get a letter, email, or comment from someone who says, “Right on! I’m praying for you!” it helps us to keep on going.

What would Rocky Balboa have been without Mick? Luke without Yoda? Frodo without Sam? We need support and encouragement in the midst of a fight, a war, or a struggle. As Catholics, that’s what we’re in. We’re not the Roamin’ Lone Catholics. We’re the Catholic Church.

A challenge for you and myself: If there is a group, ministry, web outreach, blogger, or other entity that you admire and appreciate, tell them so. Use those “Contact Us” buttons and comboxes for encouragement as well as admonishment.

Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up…
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who are laboring among you and who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you,
and to show esteem for them with special love on account of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all.
See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek what is good [both] for each other and for all.

(1 Thess. 5:11-15)

5 responses

  1. Angela – great post! I wish as a reader I had more time to be engaged and active on blogs. Like you, my time tends to go into writing vs. commenting. But honestly, I agree that many comments tend to the negative side, or the confrontational side. That’s not really my nature, so I often stay out of those conversations. Regardless, I love this post and your blog in general!

  2. I’m always impressed when I see the Visitors Flag Counter. Blogs and comments are truly global on the web.

    I don’t blog (yet) but I do comment frequently over a wide spectrum.

  3. I think many people have created a world full of negativity because for some, hearing about a thing gone wrong seems to prove that their lives are better. But I agree, I think we could all use a positive word or sentence to lift our spirits. It’s so important to make someone feel good, feel like they’re important. So, great post. :)

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