It just might be that of all the forms of communication, the Internet is the most catholic; the Web is truly universal. Blogs, chat rooms and online forums have be-come our confessionals, our pulpits, our sanctuaries. My friend the Anchoress has even experimented with posting morning and evening prayer on her site, complete with chants, creating something like a monastic cyber-choir for countless anonymous souls seeking spiritual refreshment. (Behold: you can now sanctify the day with a keyboard and mouse.)
Of course, no computer screen or comment box can replace the sense of community found in a gathering of like-minded souls, huddled in a hushed and darkened temple, surrounded by lit candles and smoldering incense, raising their hearts and voices to God. To be church, you need more than a screen name and an e-mail address. Yet I cannot help but think this technology offers wondrous possibilities. Here is a new way to evangelize, to learn, to teach, to build community. Who knows? Maybe the era of fish fries and soup suppers and pancake breakfasts will eventually give way to online chats every Friday during Lent.
In the meantime, I go on blogging. At last count, “The Deacon’s Bench” was averaging about 50,000 visitors a month. Whenever I start to feel cocky about that, I just check my site meter for what they were searching for, and I am quickly brought back to earth.
A lot of them are still looking for advice about furniture.